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The Family


Although I retained my maiden surname (Mulrooney) as a journalist, my married name is Bean.

The Family Bean comprises my hubby Miles and our three boys Cayden (10), Cullum (4) and Finn (1).

For the purposes of the blog, I refer to them as:

Miles: The Long-Suffering Husband

Cayden: The Oldest Child

Cullum: The Middle Child

Finn: The Baby

If you know anything about having 3 kids, it’s probably that the oldest child makes the rules, the middle child is the reason you have rules, and the youngest child…well, the rules don’t apply to them.

At the moment The Middle Child is fulfilling both his role and that of the youngest child (!), but hopefully this little adage helps to shed some light on our crazy family dynamic.

Being the only woman among all these boys can be tough: I spend my life picking up socks, undies and wet towels; I’ve had to learn how to fashion light sabres out of every household item imaginable; and I know the full repertoire of names the boys have given their farts.

I’ve also learnt to brace myself when I hear the words, ‘hey mom, look here’, and if I don’t hear a scream after the loud bang, knock or crash, I don’t go look.

Shoes, I now see, are overrated; cuts and bruises are badges of honour; and rocks are literally worth their weight in gold (I will never understand my kids’ obsession with collecting stones and rocks from pretty much every place we visit. I tip toe out into the garden at night and release bagfuls back into their natural habitat).

There’s no denying these Bean Boys are a handful, but I love their enthusiasm, their ability to live in the moment, and their pure delight in the simple things in life.

As parents, we can learn a lot from that.

Welcome to Muddy Boots, a little escape from your everyday world that features my personal experiences with family-friendly travel, leisure and lifestyle activities in South Africa. I’m a fulltime writer, editor and author; wife to a long-suffering husband; mom to 3 young boys (aged 10, 4 and 1); and pack leader to 2 mutts and 1 thieving Weimaraner who steals (and eats) everything he sees. We all live together in a little village at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains in the southern Cape, where the weather is wild and traffic jams usually involve waiting for herds of lazy bovines to cross the road. BRONWYN MULROONEY
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