It is only recently that I have started to notice a real difference in energy levels between girls and boys. It’s ridiculous that it’s taken me this long. Maybe it’s only now that the “baby years” are now well and truly behind me that I can make a conscious observation.
My son, G, is two and half and a complete bundle of combustible energy, and endless enthusiasm. He simply cannot sit still, unless he is on the potty or asleep! Long gone are the days when he would have a loooooong nap midday. He doesn’t need to recharge his batteries anymore.
I recently commented on my observation during a catch up with a very good friend and fellow SAHM, Trim (her nickname). I was moaning, there is no other word for it, I was moaning about G and his boundless energy, his need for speed, his need to be in front and faster than everyone else around him. I compared him to a naughty disobedient puppy when using his reins. Trim just nodded and said she knew exactly what I meant and remembers only too well how her son was at that age.
Trim has a daughter who is four months younger than G, and they get on brilliantly. In actual fact when they sit together you could be forgiven for thinking they were twins, they look so alike.
Anyway, we began discussing the differences between girls and boys. I mean, I suppose it’s obvious when you think about it. But only ever having girls meant that I had no fore-warning of just how exhausting a little boy could actually be. I should in theory be a size 8 with all the running around I do, but those damn yummy foods keep finding their way into my mouth! I’m sure I comfort eat to congratulate myself on surviving another day with my kids!
Going for a walk with a little boy: It’s physically demanding. You spend a vast majority of the walk almost jogging to keep up with them. Forever apologising to people who have they hurtled into as they are going to damn fast. They’re not interested in browsing through shop windows – unless it’s a food shop and there may be a possibility of getting fed. They will jump in EVERY puddle, regardless of size and what footwear they have on and you can’t stop them, they’re too fast. If you run after them, they run faster and laugh while they’re doing it! They will kick at anything which is on the floor (stone/a leaf/a bit of rubbish, etc) and shout “GOAL”. I’m assuming of course that all little boys are like this, and it’s not just mine!
Going for a walk with a little girl: It’s mentally draining. Girls will happily walk, or skip, along side you holding your hand. They will embrace the window shopping. Although they too love puddle jumping, they know that unless they have their wellies on, their shoes will get ruined. They will occasionally run ahead, but they will not do it at full speed and they will not pretend to be a rocket/motorbike/car/lorry/train/tank with the obligatory sound effects. They will however talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good chat. But sometimes they enjoy talking about people who are within earshot, quite loudly! This is most of the time all fine, until some poor unsuspecting sole becomes subjected to a four year olds scrutiny. Everything comes under question; their dress-sense, their hair colour, their choice of bag/shoes/coat. It can be very draining, and sometimes embarrassing.
With a little boy: oh lordy where do I start. I’ll start with the fact the they do not sit still, unless it is on the potty/toilet or sleeping. They will run around pretending to be “Superman” and rescuing you – this involves running up behind you, usually when you’re in the kitchen cooking dinner and wrapping their arms around your legs shouting “saved you”. They will run up and down the lounge/kitchen/hallway, wherever they happen to be, racing with themselves – slapping the wall and turn around to race back again. I found this lovely to watch at first, but now it just tires me out. They will run up and down the stairs as fast as they can, giving you a mini-heart attack every-time. They will fling themselves over the back of the sofa, headfirst, and find it highly amusing when you try to stop them repeating it, this making them want to keep doing it. Quite simply; THEY DO NOT SIT STILL!
With a little girl: Girls will sit quietly playing with their toys in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a chair, under a table. It will be a make believe game and usually involves some kind of doll/Barbie/soft toy. BEWARE: if they are too quiet, it may be worth investigating! My make up drawer was recently been tampered with….! They will cuddle up with you on the sofa, to watch a bit of telly which is absolutely lovely. However, sometimes this is not as straight forward as it sounds. “Mummy, can you tickle my feet?” “Mummy, can you play with my hair?” “Mummy, can you plait Barbie’s hair?” They will come into the kitchen to watch you cooking and ask to help. Please don’t get me wrong with this, but my kitchen is a galley-style kitchen (quite narrow and long) and sometimes having a child asking to help/watch is not what I need when doing dinner. Generally girls do not run around being noisy and boisterous.
So is the difference in the sexes something they are born with. Is it in their DNA to be completely different? Or do we condition them, subconsciously from birth to act and play in a certain manner? I guess it’s the age old argument of dressing girls in pink and boys in boy. If we didn’t do it, would they grow to like those colours naturally? Blue is a masculine colour, whereas pink is girly and “not for boys”.
In the end Trim and I agreed that we should swap children for a day, so that we can each have a break from our own child and embrace a day with a child of the opposite sex. Whether we will actually do this, remains to be seen. But it would be interesting.