She gave advice on coping with the desires that most small boys have to own weaponry (or re-purpose items of furniture to represent swords and guns), eat constantly, and their need to be exercised twice daily much in the way that you would walk a dog. Forget a walk or a snack at your peril, for if hungry or bored then your tidy living room is toast.
I checked this with a friend of mine who is also a mother to three 'blue ones' and she concurred that it is indeed a very particular experience when you are a parent to more than one boy (and especially if you only have boys). You can read about her 'best bits' here.
For me, the article contained a massive 'a-ha' moment. In a lightbulb going on way, not in a being trapped in a cartoon way a la Morten Harket. It read: "At around the age of four; boys experience a surge in testosterone which explains their obsession with characters and light sabres." So that's it! This is why our day begins with a running commentary on Spiderman, Batman, and whether Catwoman is a baddie or a goodie (baddie).
This is why the only way we could stop our son from writhing around bellowing "NEVER!!!" in a muddy field, so aggrieved was he at being made to go for a walk, was to list all of the superheroes we could think of.
This is why there are two cutlasses in the boot of my car instead of an emergency blanket, torch, and spade. Ok, part of that is my fault for not buying the requisite 'dig-yourself-out-of-a-ditch-in-the-dark-whilst-maintaining-a-degree-of-warmth-using-some-tartan-wool' kit but the cutlasses are most definitely his.
And when we had his best friend over for the day it is why they practised flying kung-fu kicks on the trampoline much to the distress of our daughter who was hoping for something a little less 'fighty'. With the power of his buddy, we got to see our son in full-on masculine-mode and wondered quite how the pre-school teachers manage with something like ten boys on a daily basis all getting their testosterone groove on. We salute them.
Of course it wouldn't be me if I didn't make reference to equality for the girls in all of this. I wouldn't for a moment suggest they are the opposite of the above. Girls are of course shouty, fighty, active, funny, loving, and (just like their brothers) very hard work at times. We had one particularly incredible tantrum that involved our daughter blocking the doorway to Monsoon and I have thrown more than my fair share of toys out of my pram (and mobile phones across the room). But these boys, well, they're just a little bit more....wild.
Soundtrack: Wild Boys by Duran Duran