What a difference!

by Carol

Our first child was a daughter. I had hoped she would be, but back then there was no way to find out the sex of your child before it was born. My mother-in-law insisted that she would be a boy, and knitted baby clothes in blue! Apparently no girls had been born in my husband's family for almost 100 years.

Well we smashed that record when Becky arrived. I think that secretly my mother-in-law was jealous!

Becky was a delightful baby, who started walking at 9 months old. She started talking just before she was two, uttering a complete sentence one morning and astounding us as she had only really uttered a few separate words before that day!

She started school and each parents evening we came to know what to expect. "Becky is a wonderful student, a pleasure to have in class." Her marks were always up there at the top of the class.

I think we were spoiled!

When she was 7 and a half, her brother appeared on the scene. Oh my goodness! What had we let ourselves in for? He was christened "noisiest baby on the ward" within a few hours of birth!

On taking him home, he was soon well known to all the villagers "Ah, Carol is taking Ben out for a walk again!" they said from within their houses, as they heard us go by!

I can honestly say that raising a boy was a TOTALLY different experience from our previous experience of a baby girl.

He did not want to walk. He did not want to talk. In fact by the time he started nursery school they assigned him a speech therapist in order to encourage him to talk properly.

We started getting phone calls from school while he was in infant school. "Please remove Ben from the school grounds, he has thrown a chair at the teacher!" was perhaps the worst.

That is until he started senior school at age 11. Unbeknown to us he had taken our dog's chain collar with him one day. When he used it as a weapon on another boy we had yet another phone call asking us to come and collect him. I am sure he spent more time at home than he did at school that year.

Whatever we tried to control him, it backfired. He was banned from traveling on the school bus, so we had a 15 mile return journey to drive twice a day.

There were times, I have to admit, that I wished I had stuck at one child!

When he was seven he set fire to his hand hoping to get some time off school. Sadly, it wasn't just his hand that was injured. He ended up with 18% burns to his body and almost 6 months out of school. He was not happy when assigned school work in hospital though!

Fast forward to the day after he finished school. He changed beyond recognition! He had hated school and now it was over it was as though he took a breath and relaxed.

He quickly found a job, as a chef and has never looked back. He went on to marry a young lady he had met at work, and who looked beyond his scars.

They now have two children, a boy and a girl, who are delightful. Not a bit like their daddy.

At long last I am proud of my son.

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