Girl vs. Boys

If you thought it wouldn’t be until she hit adolescence that you’d hear “I hate you!” you’ve never had a 4 yr old daughter.

So let me be your guide. I am rapidly becoming somewhat of a know-it-all on raising….well, at least having…girls. During a visit this morning with our close friend J and her kids, Noosh earned back-to-back time-outs for being rude and then remarkably ruder.

As I set the timer for the time-out it’s fairly certain that everyone on the block heard N yell out a smattering of phrases that signaled her anger over being placed in time out. She sat there, but she was disturbingly loud, rude, and let’s be honest, annoying.

Listening from the family room, J and I stifled our silent laughter and quietly started calling out random things our daughters have said in frustration. It sounded like this:

“You’re not my mommy anymore!”

“I’m going to live at another house with nicer parents!”

“I don’t love you anymore!”

“I am not looking at you anymore…this is me not looking at you”

Both our daughters are 4 yrs old. They growl, throw just about anything within reach, and scrunch up their faces in very primal ways to show their disdain. They are four, and somehwere somehow they learned to say “I hate you”. I swear to god it did not come from us.

J has three boys along with her daughter and I have Sugus who’s 2 1/2, and what we both remarked on is the amount of drama associated with having a girl compared to the more physical exertion of having a boy. Our consensus? The girls are hands down require more emotional energy to navigate.

Having only daughters and expecting another I only know of the hair, clothes, and attitudinal drama associated with raising girlies and very little about the energy output of boys.

So now I’m curious, just how much more “energy” does it take to raise one gender versus the other?

How does the emotional drain of the verbal/psychological fatigue compare with physical fatigue? I heard that it takes more energy to be pregnant with a boy than a girl….I learned that from Grey’s Anatomy so don’t go quoting me or anything dumb like that. But what about when they are born?

Do girls cry more? Yell more? Scream more? And why am I under the impression that while boys may be louder and wilder, girls are more…dare I say it? Demanding.

I’m going to find people to weigh in on this and get back to you.

In the meantime, if you can shed light on this, please do – I’d like to hear from you. Whether you’re professionally in the know or have the real-life kind of training of raising both son’s and daughters, or are an innocent bystander with an opinion, lets hear from you.

A.

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The truth is in the buds.

Don’t tell N, but I brought 6 Oreo’s into bed with me.

I was eating the first of the six Oreo’s when I closed  my eyes and suddenly realized that what I expected to taste: chocolate and cream wasn’t tasting like chocolate or cream at all.

In fact wasn’t taking good at all. So I placed a second whole  Oreo in my mouth and wondered: does chocolate really taste as good as we have been conditioned to think it does?

It’s supposed to be better than sex…supposedly most women prefer it to sex. Poor things…anyway, it’s usually less messy, it’s oral, it satisfies a craving, it releases endorphins, and you can enjoy it in public without any dirty looks, unauthorized picture taking/videoing or risked forced community service.

My slavery to chocolate has been documented over the years and more recently widely conveyed to the world at large given that by month 5 of this pregnancy, rumour had it the baby would look more like a Toblerone triangle than a baby and be known as Ferrera, Tella (as in Nutella), Kit, Kat, Toble, or Hazel (again as in the ever yummy nutella spread).

So it comes as no surprise that when we spent part of the holiday season visiting family in Northern California and enjoyed a few days in San Fransisco, a visit to the Ghirardelli chocolate shop was mandatory and that this and the trolley ride cemented our girls as fully fledged members of our SF love club.

A brief – and relevant – side bar about our trip: on our first day exploring the city we went to obligatory fisherman’s wharf, saw the sea lions, rode the carousel, watched a mediocre magic show and ate clam chowder out of a bread bowl. It was on our second day that we went to Ghirardelli Square, ate more than our share each of  milk chocolate caramel square samples, bought chocolate for the car ride, the plane ride, some just because I need more chocolate now, and some to give away (which became the I didn’t eat them, the baby did. I was used…merely a tool stash of chocolate).

Loaded up with melt in your mouth chocolaty goodness, we hopped onto the trolley for a ride through the city and wound up at {name of mall} …. where we descended to the most phenomenal food court ever in a desperate attempt to counteract the sugary crashes that were making the girls unbearable and both us crazy.

F—ing chocolate.

Here’s the point: after a healthful vegan meal all four of us were spoon-swording in self-serving efforts to get the most gelato into our mouths (hubby brought us a huge bowl of chocolate, praline, and strawberry gelato) when some of N’s strawberry gelato blended with my chocolate.  Suddenly every sensory receptor in my mouth and brain realized that I liked the taste of strawberry more than the chocolate (which was stupendous, actually, but I wonder if it really tasted like I have been trained over the years to think chocolate tastes).

More to the point: sitting here now, admittedly saddened by my total lack of enjoyment of the aforementioned 6 Oreo’s (don’t tell me you assumed I didn’t keep eating them?) I wonder how many foods there are that we think we know the taste of but actually don’t, and how many we think we like yet if we stopped buying into the conventional wisdom that some flavours are universally good we’d discover that there is probably just a very well honed, well funded chocolate lobbying organization.

When you drink hot chocolate, does it actually taste hot chocolatey or are you telling yourself it does? What other foods taste nothing like what you think they taste if you eat them with your eyes closed? I’ve always thought that ketcup chips taste more like licking a nickle than ketchup. I find that raw zucchini doesn’t taste like anything at all,and while when cooked taste delicious and mild,  if you offered me a zucchini cookie I’d look at you funny.

My 4 yr old, N, often hesitates to try something new and then just about every time she tries it says, “actually, I like it”. Evidence that how we perceive something will taste influences what we actually taste more than the flavour itself.

And on a side – but again, related note – “white linen” room spray….it doesn’t actually smell like white linen anything. It smells like detergent. You can put any colour linen in the wash and wind up with the same scent, but we all accept that yup, that smell is “white linen”. A whole other post just might be crowning here….

A.

Wife-up.

I was just reading a post in motherlode by Lisa Belkin about polygamy, a show called Big Love, and a community of women in a cul-de-sac who affectionately refer to themselves as sister-wives even though each has their own husband, their own kids and live in separate houses.

I’ve joked about wanting a wife for years; whenever the conversation between Al and I went in the direction of someone we know who’s had an affair, more than once I’ve mentioned that if it were to happen between us and after I killed him and then brought him back to life, I request that it be with someone who is available to live in, clean, do chores, run errands and do laundry.

While it’d be no fun to consider sharing my husband with someone, I’m a realist, which means that if it results in my not being completely and utterly wiped out and exhausted by 7 pm such that I am rubbing my eyes and slumping over my dinner like my kids, well….

Okay, perhaps not. But, the lifestyle of the women in the cul-de-sac really does speak to me.

The idea that I go about my days in companionable activity; sharing or swapping responsibilities with other like-minded similarly disposed moms…imagine not having to go to the market because what you need is coming to you, doubling the quantity of a meal to share with a friend, taking turns picking up each other’s kids or simply having a friend sit your kids while you and your husband need to play hookie from parenthood.

Every summer since we moved into the house my favourite, favourite, favourite ritual has been having friends over for the day – come when you want, bring your random fridge fare and we’ll assemble and fabulous fresh feast with everyone’s left over’s and nearly enough’s to enjoy at the end of the day before lighting a bonfire and roasting marshmallows while still in our swim suits as the night stars reveal themselves above. This is as close as I get to that kind of communal experience, and I quite literally crave it.

I am stricken by how comfortable and quick we are in the company of women.

Chaos turns to order. No one needs to be asked to check the oven, season the salad, grab the plates, turn the gas off….it simply gets done. We all hustle equally and no one feels it. We just dance around each other and chat and laugh and whisk babes off to bathrooms regardless of whom they belong to.

Which means that I either need to live in a climate that allows me to have pool parties year-round or I have to start dating again. Girls this time. Wonder what the hubby will think about this?

If I were wiki’d, would I know I was me?

If I were wiki’d, would I know I was me?

I think I’d like to be Wiki’d or however one would phrase being  explored and explained by anyone who knows something on a subject.

Today I met a cool chick who thinks I am a cool chick (she’s been googling me and connecting the dots of my life) and all I could think was, “Chick, yes…cool, um, I’m not sure about one.”  This evening I was speaking to a fabulous woman named Cynthia whom I look to for insight, balance, and perspective and I told her that she is truly a mentor to me.  She thought I was delirious from lack of sleep, and completely dismissed the sentiment.

We all know that how others see us and how we view ourselves are not usually aligned, this is particularly true as women and mothers. So I wonder, who’s right?

Am I who you see, who I think you see, or who I see?

You tell me.

A.