Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Girls and Boys and Boys and Girls

Until recently (really until Alan was born), I was convinced that I only wanted girls, that girls were the superior sex and that I would build an all-female army of feisty, intelligent, super hot women out of my daughters who would one day rule the world Lysistrata-style.

Shockingly, I was wrong.

My son is so much fun and as yet, not much different than my daughter. But recent events have made it clear: boys rock. Girls? Whine. They whine a lot.

Last week one girl threw shoes at my daughter's head, another tried to exclude my daughter because she is "too young" off several pieces of playground equipment and yet another insists that every toy another child touches--even if it is across the room--is "hers."

Lest you think I believe my daughter is exempt, let me be clear: my daughter's behavior is the same. All of it. She snatches toys, throws massive fits, screams at other kids and last week, she scratched the faces of both her brother and one of the babies at her daycare. Ani is currently sporting two red streaks on his face from when his sister decided to channel a jungle cat:

This lady is crazy, yo. I love her, but what happened to my sweet little baby with blond curls, big blue eyes and an angelic smile who only wanted to play, be held and laugh all day long? Oh yeah, she turned two. But the other girls are two, three and four and they are all the same.

Ok, so yes, there are a couple girls I would gladly bring home whose personalities are less fierce and feisty than the others, but the rest (my daughter included) are headed straight to adolescent angst without stopping at ages 5-12.

Meanwhile, the boys. Ah, the boys. Those bastions of peace and equanimity. When Sam snatches one of the boys' toys, he only smiles and shows her how to use it. When she scratches their faces, they cry for a bit and then get over it, unlike the girls who are likely to tell their high school guidance counselors about this transgression a decade from now under the "and this is why my life is so screwed up" category.

These boys are chill little dudes and I want to hug each and every one of them. My feelings for the girls are more complicated. Of course, isn't that the male-female truth? We women are infinitely convoluted, complicated and tricky while men employ a simpler is better philosophy. I have always liked men far better than women in general, although the female friends I do have manage to strike a balance between the stereotypes.

Like anything, it is individual. Maybe I have just stumbled into the wrong cabbage patch, the one where the girls have gone rotten and only the boys are harvest-able. But I doubt it. Seasoned farmers tell me that this is the way it goes. That girls are trickier, more emotional, less stable, meaner than the boys. But that in the end, if you grow them right, they are the richer, more delicious crop.

Or maybe that is just what the farmers tell themselves.

My April column.


k said...

Go watch Louis CKs's Chewed Up. He pretty much sums it up like this: "Boys f--k s--t up and girls are f--ked up"

He then goes on to say how boys will destroy all of your stuff (ie put a handful of dirt in your coffee) while girls will destroy your soul. He's dirty, but his perceptions of child rearing are pretty right on!

mama to a whiney 2 year old boy and a sweet, serene 2 year old girl

g and c boyarko family said...

I have only 6 weeks of experience with a little girl, so nothing much to say there yet. But, I have loved every minute of raising my son, 2 years old...he has been so calm, cool, collected. But yes, I can see that he will certainly be one to explore every aspect of everything, and likely to destroy the object of his exploration in the process :). Who knows S, they are all so different aren't they!