type='text/javascript'/> A Latte Talk: Boys vs. Girls

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boys vs. Girls

I'll never forget something my friend Kimmy said to me as she watched me in the hallway at MOPS one morning - I was with my two (at the moment) demure, shy girls, probably around age 2 and 4. They were quietly holding my hands, waiting for me to finish my conversation with someone before we went to their classes.

Kimmy's son had just kareened down the hallway making racing sounds worthy of a NASCAR track, turned the corner and disappeared out of sight. We could just make out his distant screeching and crashing sounds when she said to me, "Jenny, miss mother of quiet, sweet girls, I just can't WAIT until you have a BOY!"

We all laughed and I knew she was right. A boy would totally rock my world.

But, I didn't know how MUCH a boy would rock my world. I knew he'd be different, I just didn't GET it, you know? I guess not until you live with it 24/7 can you fully understand the difference.

I get it now. OK?! OK, Kimmy? I GET IT.

As a toddler/preschooler, Corene was told something one time and she never repeated it. Sometimes all it took was a stern look and she would burst into tears, never to repeat the dreaded sin.

Ava was "fiestier", I had to tell her something at least 3 times, because she's just more of a tester.

"Do you REALLY mean it, Mom? Let's try it again and see what she does..." was what she did on a regular basis. But, then she'd usually figure out that I really meant it, and she knew what her expectations were.

Taz now. He's hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. He does some testing as well, of course, but that's not the heart of it. The thing with him is that he just DOESN'T GET IT. Here's how it goes:

Something looks fun.
(notice there's no step here about THINKING ABOUT IT)
Fun thing is implemented.
Mother is not happy.
Mother tells Taz if he does it again, there will be a consequence.
Taz acknowleges the instruction.

Something looks fun, and there is vague recollection that it was INDEED fun.
(thinking? nah...)
Fun thing is implemented.
Mother is NOT happy.
Consequence is implemented.
Taz says he won't do it again.

Something looks fun.
Fun thing is implemented.

He reminds me of Dory, from "Finding Nemo", the sweet blue fish who suffered from "short term memory loss". Oh mothers of boys, tell me these quotes don't ring a bell for you:

Dory: "Wait! Something tells me we should go through the trench, not over it."
Marlin: "Bad trench! Saaaay... hey look, Dory! Something shiny! I think it went up there, over the trench!"
Dory: "Oh, really? WHERE? LET'S GO!"

or this one:

Marlin: "Here are the rules, these are very important: You can bounce on the tops, but DON'T TOUCH the tentacles!"
Dory: "Okaaaay, something about tentacles! READY, SET, GO!!"

Have you ever heard about the testosterone wash that unborn baby boys receive at some point in their development that actually severs some of the connections between the right brain and the left brain? Here's a tidbit:
The corpus callosum is the largest structure connecting the right and left sides of brain. This pipeline of more than 300 million fibers functions like a powerful, lightening fast, monster cable that enables both sides of the brain to communicate with each other and process for each other.
The gush of testosterone actually causes sections of the corpus callosum to decrease
in size by dissolving portions of the connection or by decreasing the growth of the

From His Brain, Her Brain by Walter Larimore, MD
I find this absolutely hilarious in parenting this "other sex", as well as, quite frankly, very helpful in my own understanding of him and how he ticks.

Now I understand why he just delves into something he's been told multiple times before not to do. He's "acting", not "processing".

Here's another amazing fact from Dr. Larimore's article:
Male brains contain about 6.5 times more gray matter — the “thinking matter”. Female brains have more than 9.5 times as much white matter — the “processing" matter.
I don't know why this surprises me, it's so obvious that men as a whole are very different than women as a whole... but it's just fascinating to hear part of why.

It's amazing, the way God made us. It causes me to be all the more in awe of our Sovereign creator who designed men and women, boys and girls, so different and so complementary.

And it makes me giggle.


Anonymous said...

I can so relate! When Mathieu was three he sprayed bug spray in his eye and cried hysterically from the pain. I made him lay down on the kitchen counter and put his face under the faucet to rinse the chemicals out of his eye -- all the while saying, "Mathieu, don't ever spray anything into your face!" "Okay." "Don't ever spray anything into your eyes!" "Okay." "Next time, ask me or Daddy for help, okay?!" "Okay."

I dried his face and sent him back outside to play. I don't think it was even a minute later that he came running in, crying hysterically, because he sprayed bug spray in the other eye.

Boys. Gotta love em. :)

Yvette said...

Yes, Jenny I get it. Consequence after consequence, and my son when he was 2 and 3 still chose what was "fun" over what we wanted him to do.