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What’s a Girl to do? Act like a Boy.

If there are any boys reading this, please stop immediately. This is not about you. It’s for girls’ eyes only. Really, no big deal. You’re not missing anything. In fact, I think there’s a ball game on. Yep. And I left some chips on the table as well. That’s right, go on.  Good boy.

Okay.  Now that we’re alone, I’ve got something to tell you guys, uh, girls. I honestly can’t believe I’m going to say this, because it goes against some deep rooted beliefs, not to mention the dynamic of my marriage, but, brace yourselves – there are actually a few areas where girls could learn a thing or two from the boys. I know, I know. But, it’s true. Being the mom to three boys has taught me, that we ladies are not always right. Oh, man. Did I just admit that out loud?

Well now that I’ve gone and said it, I might as well give it you. Who knows, maybe one of you will actually listen and wind up a happier person. BAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, here’s my top five areas where I believe the boys have got us beat.

1. R E L A X I N G

I rush around, preparing them to catch the bus, ushering them to put on their shoes, finish their food, get in the car, while they meander about, moving in slow motion and half hearing my panicked pleas. It’s like they just don’t care if they’re late to school or a game or to pick up daddy at the train! They have an internal clock and it is set on laid back. While I think their time management kind of sucks, I am the stressed out one, and they are smiling goofs as I tornado around them in a storm of efficiency.

2. And on that note… Delegating

Work smarter, not harder. I don’t know any guy who gave up his chance at marriage and kids by being the office schmuck, but I do know a few girls. They’re really smart girls too, always willing to stay later, to prove themselves, to get it done right, and most importantly, to do it all themselves. For some reason, girls don’t like to share, even work. I guess, it’s because we think we do everything better. And, ahem, even if that’s generally true, the boys are doing less and walking away with more.

3. Confidence

Day in, day out, I am semi-consumed with my weight and my appearance. I study how my arms flab out, my skin gets pink and prickly, or how my stomach no longer seems completely attached to my stomach, but my boys, even the adult one, seem blissfully content as they pounce around naked, happily displaying themselves. Boys just beat each other up. We beat ourselves up.

4. Appearance

“Here, wear this.” I throw some sweats and a tee shirt at my son. He grabs it off the floor without looking and puts it on. I do that every morning to each kid, and each kid accepts my offering, in exactly the same manner, without complaint or interest. There is no feet stomping, laying out outfits days before, or refusal to wear any color other than ‘purple’. There’s no, I just must have Ugg Boots and Lululemon pants or I won’t fit in! (Oh wait, that was me). Boys don’t define themselves by what they are wearing, or use it to make themselves or others feel inadequate.  Clothes are just clothes. Although, I would appreciate if they made the effort to at least not wear them inside out or backwards.

5. Simply Simple

Comparing boys to girls of the same age is like comparing kittens to cubs.  They are both cuddly and cute, but the girls have claws and are dangerous, while the boys are just spitting puffs of fur. As the boys run, skip, barrel and roll all over the place, the girls are slowly licking their paws and stalking their prey. Sometimes, it’s nice to stop the grooming and calculation and just jump on the pile up. Roll around, get dirty, and say what you want! “I need to poop!” might be the frequently verbalized expression in my house, followed closely by “Mommy, can you get me…” And “I need a hug.”

There’s not a lot to figure out there.

Of course, my boys (besides the grown-up one) haven’t hit puberty yet, so this can all change in a few short hormones. But I think these generalities are actually pretty standard, just as, what just happened in my house a minute ago.

Boy 1 – Mom, can you get me a snack?

Boy 2 – Mom, can you find my other sneaker?

Boy 3 – Mom, I need to Poop!

And there I go, getting snacks, finding sneakers and appreciating his shit. So I’d say, for everything I know, I pretty much haven’t learned a thing.


Forget I said anything.

Now, that's confidence.

He’s sexy and he knows it! Dirt pile, here he comes!

Girl of the House

I’m tucking my three boys into bed. They are all naked, except for their underwear. It’s how they sleep. It’s how their father sleeps. The cool temperature of the house doesn’t seem to affect them at all. Not that it’s freezing or anything, but we sleep with the thermostat set at 67 or 68 degrees. I am in sweats, a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. They are baby bear cubs (minus the fur) rolling all over their beds as I try to shove them into the warm cave of blankets.  We do not seem of the same species.

I often feel that way, being the only girl in my house. I’m constantly the odd, uh, man out. I want the house warmer, they want it colder. I want to bake cupcakes; they just want to eat them. I want to read them stories, they want to build a house out of the books. Sigh.

The differences don’t end there. In fact, they’re just beginning, leading me to believe that in fact, we may very well live together but exist in different worlds. Case in point…

I’m the only one at the dinner table eating greens. They just look green if I make them eat any.

I am the only one who sees things. I actually did an experiment here. Not one of my boys or husband noticed the Monopoly game dead center on the floor of our hall for days. They walked past it, stepped on it and even tripped over it, actually kicking it across the floor, but no one ever thought to move it.

I am also the only one who can find things. It’s a string of, “Honey, where are the keys? Mom, where is my basketball shirt? Where is my lego guy? I can’t find the mayonnaise. Did you see my hat?” I mean come on people, “Table, drawer, under bed, fridge, on floor by shoes.”  Duh.

I am the only one who can just roll up my sleeve and take a shot or give blood. They wrestle and beat each other to the ground, no problem. They can come home with scratches on their face, but no memory of how it actually got there. A tiny prick in the arm? Babbling, snot bubbling tears. Really?

I am the only one who can tell time. No husband, 9:30pm at night is not when we start a game. No son, 10pm is not when we remember we forgot homework. Nor is when we decide to be hungry. And kids, whether you are finished with what you’re doing or not in the morning, the bus for school does not care. 8:25am. Get your butts out there. No, you cannot have just one more minute. Just look at the clock.

There are also simple differences. They all favor vanilla. I am chocolate through and through. They love the ocean. I am land locked. They are all good at Math. I don’t even trust myself with a calculator. They beat each other up. I just beat myself up.

Is it gender inherited? Is it learned behavior? I tend to believe that they are who they are, just as I am who I am. Trust me, I tried to turn them to the dark side, of chocolate of course, but they couldn’t be swayed. I try to open their eyes, but they just can’t seem to see the same things I see, and not in the same way I see them.

It may just be that boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. Totally different, yet, most of the time, living together in harmony. So, while I may be destined to be the only person in my house who can find anything, at least I know that no one is going to be stealing my ice cream.

vanilla boys