I've got two boys and they're bloody great. Yes, I am their mum and yes, I am biased. Speaking more objectively, my eldest (12) is a nerdy boy, erring on podgy, who avoids kids his own age like the plague. From about the age of three, he has always thought of himself as an adult. He is condescending towards his peers, thinks most of them are stupid, and as a consequence, doesn't have a friend to his name. He also whinges. Regularly. This can be incredibly annoying.
On the plus side, he is incredibly mature, has a wonderful sense of humour, a rather charming sly side and is practical beyond belief. He builds IKEA units for me, knows how a wing works, is a talented mathematician AND writer and will one day be able to buy my a Greek island.
My younger son (10) couldn't be more different in character. Children flock to him as if he has magic powers; and yet he does nothing, doesn't say anything clever, doesn't do anything impressive. Just....is. He is good looking and charming, and can wrap me round his little finger. He spends time doing his hair. He laughs a lot. He is sporty. He has 'it' - whatever it is. But but but he is obsessed with 'cool', can be moody, and sometimes difficult to communicate with.
So these are my kids. Normal. You'd have thought that, anyone dating over the age of 45 would recognise that kids often come as part of the package.
On the second date with my boyf, he said that he wasn't interested in kids, and he would have nothing to do with them. He'd had two of his own, messed that up, had enough, thank you very much. Ah, thought I, just wait until you meet my lovely boys. They will charm their way into your life.
It's been a year now. Boyf actively avoids seeing them, even to the point of, if he gets to my house when they're there, he'll spend time in town until they've gone to their dad's.
I have only just twigged how big a deal this is. (I am a bit slow.) Reject my children, reject me. They come as part of the package - can he not see that? I'm certainly not asking him to be their dad - they already have a reasonable one of those - but I probably would expect him to interact with them, maybe go to the park with us, kick a ball about. Perhaps even play on the xbox. Xbox. xBox. Or however you say it.
Boyf is a musician. I had vision of him teaching my youngest how to play guitar. Ha! How stupid of me.
So now I'm at a crossroads. Do I carry on seeing him, in the hope that one day he will come round and accept them? Or do I cut the strings now; isn't a year long enough for him to get used to the idea? Surely, if he's not making the effort now, he never will.