Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snips and Snails and Puppy-Dogs' Tails

I remember reading several articles, before I had children, about how boys and girls are just the same- it's all in how you raise them.  These authors and so-called "experts" contended that if you give your little girls Tonka trucks and your little boys Barbie dolls, they will all display similar behavior and essentially blur the line between the sexes.  I was skeptical but, not having any children of my own, and having grown up in a house where three girls ruled a land of Barbies, ballet shoes, and glitter, I was open to the possibility that what these people said was true. 

My daughter does play with trucks.  She uses them to cart her dolls to and from their dance recitals.

My son does play with Barbies.  He hurls their maimed carcasses against the walls and laughs hysterically.

I have decided that there is a distinct possibility that those people are full of malarkey. 

Another interesting difference between my son and daughter is this:

Notice the distinct bulge in the pocket region of my son's jeans.  I never had to check Adelaide's pants before I threw them in the washer.  Now, if I don't check every pocket of every pair of Atticus's pants, at the end of a wash cycle, I will remove all the clothes and find the bottom of the washer tub littered with toys, rocks, and other detritus. 

I often bring Atticus into the laundry room so I can ask him about the contents of his pockets.  Here's how our conversation went this morning. 

Me:  (Holding up the phone) "Hey, Atticus, what's this?"
A:  "Dat's my cell phone."
Me:  (Holding up the penguin)  "And what's this?"
A:  "Dat's a penguin."
Me:  (Holding up the piece from the game Connect Four)  "What's this?"
A:  "Dat's a quarter."
Me:  (Holding up the piece from the game Hi-Ho Cherry-O)  "What's this?"
A:  "That's a apple."
Me:  (Holding up the car)  "What's this?"
A:  "Dat's a car.  A gween car!"
Me:  (Holding up the star)  "And what's this?"
A:  "Dat's a sar!  Here, I wight it fer you."

He then pushes the button on the back that makes it light up.

What I really love about going through the contents of his pockets is how it shows me that even at the age of two, he has a life entirely separate from me.  We spend all day together, but I rarely catch him sneaking things into his pockets.  What, in his mind, qualifies as pocket-worthy material?  Why this rather than that?

I must confess that I'm a little concerned about what I'll be finding in his pockets come spring when we all start spending more time outside.  I did not react well last week when I happened upon a small mound of dead lady bugs' shells in one pair of khakis.


  1. For some reason this entry made me think of a study where young female chimpanzees were given sticks and the chimps treated the sticks like a baby doll (even going as far as making a separate nest for them, playing "airplane" with them) until they had offspring of their own. As for the male chimps, they were more inclined to treat the sticks as weapons... Not that I'm comparing your children to chimps. :)

  2. When they get older, they start filling other places in the house instead of their pockets, like the freezer, shoe boxes, under the bed, etc. enjoy your boys. they will never cease to amaze you.

  3. Well, I've compared my children to things a lot worse than chimps... and Sherry, I can imagine you saying that last sentence in a couple of ways: "They will never cease to amaze you!" in a happy, jovial tone of voice, or "They will never cease to amaze you," in a low, doomed tone. I think both might be applicable here.

  4. Does Adelaide not fill bags???? Adi constantly fills bags full of lots of what I have labeled "garbage" and leaves them all over the house.....super annoying for this anti-clutter freak! :) Guess God's trying to teach me something.....

  5. Thankfully, Adelaide has never filled bags nor anything else, although that sounds really funny. At least, it is for me... probably not so much for you...

  6. So very true, I thought the same thing about boys and girls until I had Bria. They are just wired differently. Bria loves to arrange things such as the other day when she rearranged some of mom's household decorations outside the house only to have mom come home and think that someone had been rummaging through the garage. Kids are so funny!

  7. I'm pretty amazed he could fit that much stuff in his little pocket.


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