If you have boys and haven't read this book then can I suggest that you get on to Amazon/the Book Depository/Borders or wherever you can find books these days and get a copy or 2. It is full of the most wonderfully freeing common sense advice.
I also stumbled across this article yesterday about The 8 things boys really need from their parents, which gives a lot of the same kind of advice. Basically boys have to be boys in order to become men. They need to be physical, loud and boisterous and no amount of trying to make them sit nicely, like girls are often more capable of doing, is going to help. It will only make them feel inadequate and resentful.
Obviously we have our moments here, one of the boys in particular does my head in at the moment, but I can remember back to when Archie was at the same stage (See, not him for a change Christine!) and know that there is hope. He needs a lot of exercise, adventure, and danger - I foresee a career in the SAS. Equally he is such a loving, sweet and generous boy - he'd definitely give you his last Rolo (except they are made by Nestle so he's not allowed to have them...!).
As another friend pointed out privately, it's all been about team work. Those of you who know us well know that John is (and always has been) very hands on, partly because he needs a lot of exercise too! He does work A LOT and woe betide anyone who interrupts, but there have always been runs, bike rides, football and now there is also a lot of bonding over movies that "the boys HAVE to watch"! The long hours he worked and commuted in Edinburgh were very hard going for all of us and I think I was probably heading for a wee padded room and lovely white jacket somewhere. Coming here, while hard going in it's own way, has given us back our family time which is so precious. So err, not one to be gushy but thanks Mate. Hilariously, he does actually read this and often asks why I haven't posted!
I should also mention my brother and his great contributions to the upbringing of my boys. Unc has always been as involved as a single young bloke can be, always coming over for birthdays, helping out with football parties, taking the big ones out to Edinburgh on their own for a day and so on. He has never held back from telling me how gutted he was/is that I have taken his nephews and neice away. He is great at keeping in touch with them on skype and facebook, never one to miss the chance at a bit of a wise crack. We all miss Unc heaps.
For Grandma, Unc and anyone who might be interested, I'm planning a wee holiday round up post next...
Edited to add: you can now find me on facebook if you fancy it... Haven't worked out how to add a sidebar link so if anyone can help that would be great!