My four sons lined up on the top of the tallboy dresser, wearing superhero costumes. The first son sprang across the room like Batman, landing hard on the bed. The second son in a Spiderman suit launched himself at his brother, and spring-boarded off of him. The third son dressed as Superman missed the bed, banged his head, then bawled. Always consistent, the fourth son in Ironman gear also landed on the wailing brother. And then they all lined up to do it over and over again!
What makes my four sons different from my one daughter? For one thing, all my boys like rough housing. If there’s fighting that involves hitting each other with a stick, then it’s smiles all around. If there’s an element of danger, the activity instantly becomes more appealing to the boys. Danger can be anything like throwing large objects at one another, sitting high up on the top shelf of the closet, or pushing close to a hot oven or pile of broken glass when asked to stand back. When given a choice, my daughter gravitates to activities that involve nurturing and femininity.
To illustrate my boys’ nature, the other day two of my sons were fighting over who was “dumb” and who was “dumber”. Okay, amusing enough…until they were bashing each other when the other claimed the title of “dumber”. And so it continued: “I’m dumber!” BASH! “No, I’m dumber!” BASH! “NO, I really am dumber!” BASH! Until both boys were laying down side-by-side sobbing. And yet neither boy made a move to get up and leave his tormentor. I had stepped in to physically separate the boys, but would you believe that each boy sprang back into his original position? Boys!
I was once dumbstruck by a conversation I overheard between my boys and their female cousin. My niece was detailing her favourite pastimes, which included ballet, reading and dress up. My boys, not wishing to be left out, rhymed off a list of their favourite diversions: “We like to fight, bonk each other, and uh…fight!” The boys weren’t joking, that really is their idea of a good time!
What do you think? Are boys the wild part of our species? I would type my answer, but I have to stop the boys from bonking each another with a broom handle!
This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and will appear in the Wednesday November 14th, 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo Kids blog.