Thursday, 4 August 2011

The alarming rise of SMOGs and why boys are brilliant too

I know it’s the silly season but this week’s newspaper stories about mothers who only want daughters really take the biscuit.

The papers are reporting a rise in the number of mums who are horrified by the thought of raising boys and reckon girls rule. First spotted by Mumsnet last year, they’ve been dubbed the Smug Mothers of Girls (or SMOGs for short).

One mother (presumably of boys) was so horrified by the SMOG phenomenon that she wrote: “I find that some mums who only have girls find boys annoying and are alarmed and judgmental about their behaviour. They tut when boys chase pigeons in the park or shout nearby.”

My lovely son (and no, I’m really not biased) celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday so for what it’s worth, I thought I’d throw in my opinion. He’d be the first to agree that he’s slightly chaotic but he’s also incredibly kind, funny, independent-minded and a mine of quirky information. Yesterday, thanks to him, I learned about the intricate detail that goes into constructing a BMX ramp, discovered a website called Cracked (he calls it “an exciting menagerie of factual articles”) and debated the pros and cons of Aerogel, a new insulating material.

Over the years he’s terrified the living daylights out of me with his scary biking exploits (one of which resulted in a collar bone broken in three places and several stints in hospital) but I couldn’t be prouder of him. Hmmm. Reading back over this, I’m definitely in danger of turning into a DMOB (Defensive Mother of a Boy).

PS: We’d planned to celebrate my son’s big day with a special breakfast on the half-built terrace at the House with No Name. My husband rushed off at dawn to buy croissants and pains au chocolat but when he got back the removal man had arrived from Oxford. He was supposed to be joined by a local monsieur called Remy – but Remy never showed up. So we all pitched in to help, my son marking the first few hours of his anniversaire by lugging sofas, tables and beds in the scorching sun. Did he utter a word of complaint? He's a boy. Of course he didn’t.

PPS: He’s given me his permission to write this!  


  1. Nice piece. I've had both and both sexes have their virtues. Boys I have to say are generally much less complicated, less prone to emotional ups and downs and very loving. But you can hang out with girls the way you can't with a boy which is presumably what the SMOGs are getting at. Every one's an individual though (says she, stating the blinding obvious)

  2. That's really kind, Fiona - and lovely tobe in contact after all this time. I think the SMOGs were thinking that boys are noisy, untidy, disorganised and less keen on primary school than girls. I totally agree that they're all individuals though and ridiculous of SMOGs to generalise.


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