Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Are Boys the Wild Part of Our Species?

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!

It’s spectacles like these that get me thinking: are boys the wild part of our species?  When I tell my mom about such incidents, she opines that the boys shouldn’t be “allowed” to engage in such reckless activities.  What she doesn’t seem to realize is that a mother does not allow such things!  And, if you take away a risk-taking activity from a group of boys, they’ll always find one that is much more reckless.  (Redirecting the boys to peaceful pastimes like reading, puzzles, or art doesn’t always work!)

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!  

And what is it about blood-letting and boys?  Not a single day passes without a bloody ear, scratched face or mysterious cut on the body.  When asked how an injury occurred, the boys never seem to know!  I once spied one son hitting his brother, and the victim refused to budge even though there was visible pain!  He even had a little smile of appreciation on his face, as though to say “Wow, he really got me good!”  At bath time, I count a scrape nightly, a fresh bruise weekly, and a chipped tooth monthly.  To my boys, bloodshed is a sport!

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.

15 comments:

  1. Quite simply put...yes. Boys seems to be the wild part of our speicies! LOL. I constantly point out to my hubby the difference between our son and daughter. She enjoys quietly playing with her dolls and nurturing her "babies". My son is always loud, wanting to rough play and STICKS! They LOVE sticks! lol Great post Jenna :)

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    1. Brandi, what is it about the sticks? I have absconded with so many sticks, and I have a giant pile stashed beside my home!

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  2. I have two girls and one boy, so I don't know how he would interact with another boy. My boy is very caring and tender, maybe it is all the female influence around him.

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    1. The Country Mouse, my boys can be very tender--when they're not bonking each other!

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  3. Country Mouse, I'm with you... the dynamics can be different if there are two girls and a boy. I had two girls then my son so he tends to be more attentive (the girls have always kept him in line) but roughhousing was never part of our family dynamic (not a criticism just reality around here). They are all different so it's all good.

    Bless your heart for having 4 boys...You are brave but I bet you are laughing you head off some days.

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  4. I only have a girl but I spent years in childcare and I have to agree with what these ladies are saying, it really depends on both their nature and their environment - 4 boys together, I can just imagine how "rowdy" they could be!!

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  5. It's so TRUE!!! I was raised in a household of girls, I had NO CLUE what boys were really like until I had 3 of them. My daughter is so quiet and subdued. They like to punch each other in the balls for fun! My husband tells me all the time to let them be, "they're boys" - it's such a strange thing to me.

    I'm glad I'm not alone! :)

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    1. Gee! That's got to hurt, but watch them do it again and again and...

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  6. LOL, love your non-answer. :)
    I totally agree. This silly nonsense about boys/girls being the same. So not accurate.
    I have 5 sisters and 6 brothers so I've seen it too, although I have bonked people with brooms myself.

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    1. Nicolthe pickle, my MIL has a twin sister and says about their relationship "we've never spoken an unkind word to each other". Why can't I imagine the same being said by my boys?

      Awesome that you come from a big family!

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  7. Oh my goodness you just had me hystarically laughing...my oldest yes a boy was giving me a funny look!! after finding out today we are expecting our 4th boy, I already feel for you and think it'll be some fun crazy years ahead...mine are 4,2,11 months and new baby due in april...was your 5th the girl??? at this point i'd be scared of 5 boys!!!! lol think i'll be stopping by often to see what your boys are up to and compare notes!:)

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    1. MommyKnowz, congratulations on your 4th child! It's a very exciting time for your family! To answer your question, my 2nd child was a girl. My kids are also about 1 year apart between each, so we have a lot in common.

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  8. I think you are onto something Jenna. It is often the boys who are a tad more "wild", but that is part of the fun for them. Hopefully they aren't as rough :)

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  9. I have two girls one boy. But My boy has ADD so he is a huge handful! And yes he loves fighting! Wrestling is his fave and the girls are constantly yelling at him to quit it cuz they don't wanna play! HAHA

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  10. YES!! I have 2 boys so I have no experience with girls, but I would have to say boys seems to be wired differently. There's always that debate about nature vs nurture and I really think there are some things you can't argue with and that it's clearly all nature's doing!

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