But as a mother of both boys and girls, my personal experience tells me that it’s not always true – at least when it comes to how they all deal with Mommy. With most girls, no matter Big or Little, the Spice to Sugar ratio can be wildly out of whack. It’s Little Boys who know how to turn the sugar on.
I often joke that my five year old son Nicholas is my boyfriend – partly because he’s so darn cute and about the only person who kisses me right on the lips – and partly because he says the nicest things to me. To be fair, I’m comparing him to my eight year old daughter Bridget who has a knack for, well, being a girl and telling it like it is. While this honesty will serve her well when she has to deal with a boyfriend herself, frankly I could live without some of her input. Some of it is definitely NOT NICE. The difference in Little Boy/Little Girl behaviour occurs quite frequently. Like this discussion we just had at a fast food lunch:
Bridget: Mom! Aren’t you breaking your diet?
Nicholas: Oh my god Bridget! Mom’s so skinny! She is!
Bridget: Not if she keeps eating McChickens.
(See? He’s not only lovely, he’s smart too because he knows I’ll forgive the expression of “OMG” because of what followed it.)
Or this lovely exchange the other day:
Bridget: You don’t have wrinkles everywhere Mom.
(Short pause while I silently ponder “who asked?”)
Bridget: Just on your face.
Nicholas: But she still looks younger than Dad, right Mom?
(I’m actually not, so that one was particularly good. Only way it could have been better is if Dad could have been standing right there. I’ll just publish it.)
Sadly, all Little Boys get bigger, and my fourteen year old son conveniently demonstrates that that all pre-teen behaviour is something to be cherished while you can. When these lovely little fellows dive into the hormonal teenage abyss they decide overnight that they certainly do not want to marry you, and that you are also quite possibly the most annoying and stupid woman on the entire planet. How do I know this? As an experienced parent, I draw on my keen observational powers. Witness the eye rolling, the palpable condescension, and the subtle avoidance techniques he deploys when I enter a room he happens to be in (leaping over couches, darting around corners, cowering behind kitchen counters). Also remarks like “Mom! How come you have to be so annoying?”, and “Are you stupid?” The charm and sweet-talk they honed in their kindergarten years is simply going to be redirected to the next woman they want to kiss on the lips. I can live with that.
Besides, what is a Snip anyway? And why are poor innocent Snails given such a bad rap? I quite like them myself. Had some in garlic butter last night as a matter of fact. And yes, that was breaking my diet TOO, Bridget. Thanks for asking.
Read Funny Mummy every month. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com. Kathy’s latest book, “Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home” is available at bookstores everywhere. Watch Kathy on Slice Network’s “Birth Days”.