I see in my kids a very interesting case study in gender identity. Laylee, the ever dainty one, who cries if a droplet of water enters a 3 inch radius around either eye and begs for a towel. Who demands a napkin at the beginning of each meal and uses it after every bite, also pointing out when I have a stray crumb of food on my face. “MOMMY! Please wipe that OFF!” How embarrassing!
Magoo is the manliest of men. He is all physical and quite acrobatic in his movements. He crawls along smoothly, going over rather than around any items in his path – be they toys, furniture, steps or fallen comrades (read this: Mom laying in a drooling face-plant in the middle of the living room floor at the end of the day).
Earlier today I was watching him charge over a small children’s couch and I told my friend, “He looks like that space thing, the module…the Mars Rover thing, just bouncing over things and adjusting and overtaking everything in his path.” He has no fear of injury.
Tonight some friends had us over for dinner and were watching him go and the husband said, “he’s like that lunar….module…thing.”
“The Mars Rover?” I piped in.
Yep. We all agree. That’s our little buddy. Sheesh! He’s crazy. In the past I’ve referred to him as a psycho-bot, but I think Mars-Rover is more appropriate.
Laylee, on the other hand, keeps getting more and more girly. In my recent book club book, we learned about the differences in the way men and women communicate with each other. While men will seek to find a solution to a problem that’s presented to them in conversation, women are more likely to identify with the speaker and try to share a similar personal experience to make the speaker feel better about herself.
I thought this was something learned over time. Not so, my friends.
I was standing in the kitchen the other day when, for no apparent reason, I inhaled my own spit and went into purple-faced convulsions. I gasped for breath and grabbed for the counter to steady myself. I thought I was dying as one does when one inhales one’s own spit for no apparent reason. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself and, if you’re a woman, you’d tell me about that experience and we’d all be comforted and feel the love.
Laylee asked, “Are you sick?”
Laylee: Are you okay?
Me: Yes. I’m (gasp) fine. (yorkle-snorkle-gasp) I just have a (gurgle-dy-gasp) a silly cough. (balgerloojie-hack)
Laylee (very seriously): It’s okay Mommy. I had a really silly cough sometimes too.
I did not make that up. As soon as I could catch my breath, I called Dan and said “HA! It’s innate. We ALL do it.”
Boys, on the other hand, are whirling-churning-psycho-bot-Mars-rovers-of-destruction. But we like them. And instead of comforting you with stories of their own near-death experiences while you asphyxiate yourself, they may actually get you a glass of water.