I often wonder to myself, do mothers trailing gaggles of girls behind them inspire the same degree of pity that I do with my brood of boys? Do they get that sad-eyed stare when they say that they have only managed produce girls when I admit that, yes, not only do I have four children, they are, whisper it, all boys.
Everyone assumes that I must be desperate for a pink-flavoured baby (and OK, hypocrite that I am, I will admit that my twin boys were meant to be a girl), but how insulting is this horrified pity to my beautiful boys? The implication being that to have four boys is a curse, rather than a blessing.
I will admit that when I trawl the aisles of Hamleys or Toys For Us (as the boys have appropriately rechristened it) - and with a husband suffering from arrested development when it comes to toy shops that is more often that I might wish - I do linger by the sparkly Barbie displays, wistfully stroking the violent pink mane of her fully adjustable pony, and coveting her frothy ball gowns. But I long ago resigned myself to a house littered with Power Rangers, Ben 10 branded bric-a-brac and lethally sharp-cornered Lego bricks.
To be honest perhaps a penchant for mindless violence with the odd unconvincing alien thrown in for good measure is easier to cope with than a pre-pubescent obsession with blusher, bras and boys. At least my sons show no signs of wishing to dress like underage hookers the moment they cast off their school uniform (with the possible exception of my eldest who is a sucker for nice fairy frock).
But the best thing about boys is the love they shower onto their lucky mummies. Whatever romance might have exited from your marriage the moment kids arrived, is more than replaced by the adoration heaped on any woman who has birthed boys. No bunch of long stemmed roses from an ardent suitor could ever match the clutch of wilted flowers brought home from the park in a sweaty little paw just for me, no diamonds could outshine a string of poster-painted pasta painstakingly treaded into a beautiful bracelet and no words whispered in passion could make my heart contract with joy as much as my son declaring that he loves me as much as he loves chocolate (and believe me that's a lot).
So next time someone gives me that horrified look as they breathe 'Four boys....' in terrified tones - I shall smile and say: 'Yes, lucky me'.