• Keratilwe Mphafudi

10 Things I Have Learned From Raising Toddler Boys

Growing up as the youngest of 4 girls, I kind of thought I would have girls and I would be set in the "raising girls" game. I mean, how hard could it be.

Well, imagine my surprise when our first was a boy. I accepted that we were having a boy and hubby loved the fact that Ronewa is a boy. He was and still is a our easy child.

So now here I was thinking I have my boy parenting game on point and now we can roll with having a little girl and she would fit right in with our parenting style and I could play dress up and do all the things I assume girl moms do with their daughters

Then, Bam! Baby number 2 was a boy. A boy? A boy? Doctor are you sure it's a boy? I asked several times. My doctor looked at me and said, "yes a boy!" I fake smiled, came home and cried for a couple of days. There I was thinking to myself, 2 boys. What am I going to do with 2 boys. I haven't got the slightest idea on how to raise boys. 


Now here we sit with our two beautiful boys and they are everything. They are perfect and I wouldn't change anything about them. 

Raising toddler boys coming from an all girls family has come with a few surprises for me and I'm learning and researching everyday. Also, having conversations with other toddler boy moms, I have heard the funniest stories from them.

Here are a few things I have learnt raising my toddler boys.

1. They Love their Penis'

Yes, I'm diving right in. They LOVE their penis. Once they realise they actually have one, its like a new toy especially once they are out of diapers. Its easily accessible. They touch and talk about them any chance they get. It sounds like a lot this side because our boys use the correct anatomical term. Imagine sitting in the middle of a lovely restaurant and your 2 year old yells out at the top of his lungs, "Mommy, my penis hurts! My penis hurts!"


Never in a million years did I ever think I would be having a penis conversation in public.

The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: What is wrong with your penis my boy?

2 year old: My penis hurts! (Shouting out loud for the chef in the back of the kitchen to hear)

Me: Alright my angel, lets go to the toilets so we can see what is going on.

2 year old: Daddy! Mommy going to to fix my penis!

Once we return from the toilet

2 year old: Daddy! Daddy! Mommy fixed my penis! (loud AF)

Me: Pretend no one has heard a single word of this conversation and keep smiling.

2. Busy, busy, busy.

Little boys are busy. They run, dive, roll, throw stuff etc. It never ends. Just the other day, I was telling this couple that I had just met that Lutendo (2 years old) has two modes. sleep or run/on the move

He run everywhere for everything or his throwing stuff at us or between him and his brother or unpacking things in the house. Its constant. Now I understand the phrase " mother works from son up to son down."


3. Roller blades, bikes, scooters and Legos can be a nightmare and require a lot of patience

Roller blades, bikes, scooters and Legos are all a great idea when your shopping for them or when one gifts them to your children. We all jump for joy and forget these come with a lot of responsibility. Remember the busy part that I mentioned? These all form part of the busy.

You as the parent have to assemble them. Then you have to teach, and hold your little angles hand or entire upper body as they learn to use the new roller blades, scooter or bike. Actually, I lie. As determined and enthusiastic as they may be, they just hang there like rag dolls and let you do all the work for them. I have learnt to have a lot of patience through this practice because it takes hours and many many days for them to get comfortable. 

Once they get the hang using all these contraptions, they will ride all of then in your house over your nice rugs, crash into you fridge and cupboards and your house turns into a pimp my ride garage for toddlers.

Legos are like gold to them. At least it is to our oldest. It's another universe for them. They can get lost in creating different 3D figures and it's absolutely amazing. I was actually never really interested in the world of Legos but my boys have taught me a thing or two and I have even started googling new ideas for them to recreate and learn along the way. They might just become little STEM experts in the making. As much as these legos can be entertaining and educational for boys, they can be a nightmare. 

They get scattered throughout the house since there are so many pieces and then theres that one lego that gets your barefoot in the dark. Its is freakin painful. Did I mention patience. The patience not to throw every single block in the bin after one of them comes for you.

4. Clothes shopping is hard

So. there is a misconception that shopping for little boys is easy. One walks into a shop takes a few pairs of pants, tops and shoes and you're done. Well if this is your thinking, I have news for you. Its not that simple. At least this side it's not.

These little humans grow a centimetre every night. Maybe not but it sure feels like that. We buy clothes this week and they don't fit the next. Crazy right. So now, shopping is a huge challenge. We have to buy everything 2 ages/sizes bigger (2 year old wears age 4-5 and 5 year old wears clothing for kids between 6 and 8 sometimes 10) but there is always a catch. The tops either fit the torso but the sleeves are too long or the sleeves fit and but torso part is too small. Same goes for the pants length and waist fit. It's a nightmare. 

Now we come to colours and prints. Where do I even begin. Whoever told retail stores that boy moms love dressing their kids in camouflage and that our kids love it, please stop. Whether it's green, blue or black and white. Just stop it. Its hard enough finding a good fit for the boys now we have to struggle for colours or prints.

I am so happy that I have come across some great proudly South African Mom owned online stores who have met our sizing and colour needs and we love them. I naturally gravitate towards neutrals for my boys but these online stores also offer great colour and print options. Nonetheless, I can't shop online for all their clothes but as hard as it is sometimes, we just make it work.

5. The fights are endless.

Imagine a house full of girls. Now imagine their fights over silly things. That is nothing. I actually thought since I had boys, we wouldn't experience those fights this side. I was totally wrong. 

My boys fight. They not only scream and yell at each other. They even throw things at each at each other, scratch, pull and shove each other. The crazy part is that this only happens at home. I actually think boy siblings fight more than girl siblings. Maybe the age gap might have something to do with it. Our boys are 2 years 9 months apart. 


Ronewa and Lutendo fight over everything. Everything. I wonder when this fighting will stop and even when we try play fair in terms of sharing and taking turns with things, It doesn't seem to work. I cannot wait for the day this fighting will stop. I really hope its sooner than later.

6. Injuries

This one is a little hard for me because I had my little one burn but as you have probably read from my When Lutendo burnt post, accidents can happen right under your nose.

Toddler boys never see danger in anything or calculate the consequences of their actions.They are little accidents waiting to occur. You really need to be in bodyguard mode 24/7. If you blink, war unto you (as my mother would say). Someone is bound to get hurt.

They fall off their bikes learning to ride them, even tricycles. The fall down trying to skate like the kid next door or the cartoon character they saw on tv. They are clumsy little people who fall off the bed trying jam up a storm when they remember a tune they heard on the radio or learnt in daycare. The crazy thing is that after they injure themselves, they are up doing the same thing again. Gold fish memory.

I have learnt that a box plasters can go a long way this side and a first aid kit is a definite must have. Nonetheless, not that I'm wishing more injuries for my boys but I sure do get extra hugs and kisses when little accidents occur. I guess thats a plus for me.

7. They climb on things and press buttons

Let us start with climbing. I honestly think climbing is a default setting for all baby boys and then it gets enhanced when they reach toddlerhood. I remember trying to watch tv and breastfeed my 1 year old a year ago while he tried to feed and climb onto the back rest of the couch at the same time. Ouch! For me. Just from there I knew I had a climber and it hasn't stopped ever since.

I can't prepare a meal without one of them on the kitchen counter. Its funny and frustrating at the same time. Same goes for any surface that is higher than them and they want to see what is happening on top of it. 

The balustrades are the scariest for me. They will try climbing on them any chance they get. I lose my nerves every time I see this.

Then comes the buttons. If it is a button it will be pressed. Fridge, elevator, phone, remote, laptop, an oxygen machine in the hospital. You name it. It will be pressed. This reminds me of the final scene in Dennis the Menace when Dennis presses the photocopy machine and the lady gets her face copied on paper. lol! Now I understand. Their fingers just need to press stuff but its always things they should not press.

8. They eat all day long

I have two different eaters this side. One is super fussy with what he eats and the other one eats everything and anything but one thing that they have in common when it comes to food is that they are constantly eating. They eat all day long especially when we are spending a full day at home.

I always wonder to myself if it's boredom eating or hungry eating. The fridge door is always open because one of them is digging in there to find something to eat. We could resort to locking the fridge but that will only lead to frustrated and hungry kids who just end up having a meltdown on the kitchen floor.

Boy moms out there, why did you not give a sister a heads up regarding this? I honestly thought this phase would hit us when they are teenagers. I really never saw this coming. I might have to resort to getting a food sponsor for these two at the rate they are going.

9. Car brands

I have never heard girl moms say that their daughters talk about cars, specifically brands. Never. Well, its a little different with my boys

It started with our oldest, Ronewa, when he was about 2 years old. He started asking us the names of the different cars he would see on the road. Once he memorised these brands he would associate them with all the people that he knew drove them. Then the fun started. Fun for him. Any car he would see on the road of a specific brand was followed by a loud scream of someone's name. This game went on until there are no cars in sight or until he falls asleep. We have to reassure and praise/cheer at the fact that he got it right. Imagine an hour long drive with non sleepy 2 year old. Fun right.

Now we come to our second,Lutendo. He also started playing this fun game shortly after he turned two but he doesn't know the brand names, he just associates each badge with a specific person. Its so funny now because older brother is teaching him the names of car brands. 

I have absolutely no idea where they get it from but they love it. I wonder if I we had a girl, what brands she would be obsessing over at the age of  2.

10. They love getting their hair done at the salon

Yes, boys love going to the hair Solon and getting a nice cut and shampoo. Go to the barber area and see all the little excited faces waiting for their turn to sit in the chair. 

Ron normally tells exactly how he would like to have his hair cut but I normally give the barber further instruction. Lu on the other hand doesn't get his hair cut but rather washed and cornrowed at the salon. He loves it. Once he's done with his hair, Its followed by "Hair nice mommy"and then won't let anyone touch his nice hair. 

Being a boy mom is absolutely fun. Its a world filled with adventure, mischief, dirt, noise and lots and lots of love. I am guaranteed a lifetime ticket on this fun journey of Raising.Lu.Ron.

Please feel free to share your experiences with raising your little ones.

Xxx Keratilwe Mphafudi

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