#1 The obvious one - stand back when you change them
I knew this. I knew it because everyone told me. But I'm still the only one in the family who has been caught out on more times than I care to admit. Why is this?
#2 Boys are well, boisterous
The clue is the name right? Seems like another obvious one but at fifteen months Little Man is SO much stronger and more boisterous than Curly Girl was at the same age. Heck, he's almost as strong as she is NOW and she's almost five. There's nothing he likes better than some ruff and tumble play which is exactly what I expected, I just didn't expect him to be able to wriggle out of my arms when I'm half way down the stairs. *gulp*
#3 ...and violent!
When you're a toddler it's all about me, me, me. That's my toy. That's my milk. Get off. As a result toddlers can be a touch aggressive. I count myself lucky with Curly Girl. While other Mummys at playgroup kept a watchful eye over their little ones to make sure that they weren't whacking other children over the head she was, more or less, the model of perfect behaviour. Indeed she was usually the one being whacked. With Little Man it's a different story. Don't get me wrong, he is completely adorable most of the time but there are lightening flashes of violence that leave me a bit stunned. For example, last week I was sitting crossed legged on the floor and Curly Girl came and perched on my knee. As soon as she sat down Little Man came toddling over and smacked her in the face crossly before trying to back into her space and sit down on top of her. What the...?!
#4 Kleptomania and misbehaviour
Curly Girl had her fair share of naughtiness but if she was playing with something she shouldn't have been then after a few strongly spoken disapprovals she would back off and find something else to amuse herself. Little Man, on the other hand, is unrelenting. He knocks down whatever anyone builds and throws noisy tantrums whenever he doesn't get what he wants. He happily takes everything out of all the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen before moving onto my handbag, OH's work bag and anything else that happens to be lying around. Doesn't matter what we say to him, he just smiles and toddles off with whatever he's nabbed. I spend most of my afternoons trying to locate the things he's rehomed. When he's a bit older we're not going to need the naughty step as much as a flight of naughty stairs.
#5 You don't need to buy any bath toys
Yep, it starts young. Who needs expensive bath toys when you've got one built in. No matter how Curly Girl tries to coerce him into playing a fun bath game, he's not interested. His 'can't you see I've already got my hands full' expression says it all.
#6 If it's food, it's going in
If you've been a regular reader of this blog you'll remember that when Curly Girl was younger I started the Fussy Eaters Support Club because it was so difficult to get her to eat anything. Little Man isn't half as choosy. Anything and everything goes in. If it looks edible he'll eat it. If it's on the floor, under the sofa or down the back of the radiator, he'll pop it in his mouth. It might get spat out again or thrown over his shoulder Henry VIII style to decorate the walls but it goes in first.
#7 They have problems with their ears and bums
At the moment Little Man is suffering with glue ear and constipation. I'm reliably informed that the two things are not connected (except by about half a mile of blood vessels) but they do seem to be common to boys - lots of my friends and acquaintances who've had boys tell me they suffered with more ear infections and toilet problems than their daughters did. I wonder if studies bear this out...
I realise that the title of this post makes it sounds like I'd change something about having Little Man if I'd known these things - of course that's not true. He's my last born and I completely adore him. But if I HAD known some of these things perhaps I might have prepared myself just a little bit more thoroughly...!