March 13, 2012

Of Boys and Girls

I often think that our family with two boys and two girls is the perfect laboratory for research into what makes boys and girls so different. Because our two boys are as different from each other as can be, and so are the girls, but even so, the boy-girl divide is startling.

For instance, I just came across this scene on our kitchen table:

This is nothing unusual. Just another project the girls have thought up and are totally into for an entire day, something about making a new doll house for their Littlest Pet Shop animals. I will just have to make a mental note to remind them to clean it all up afterwards, or I will get a very innocent “you never told us to clean up” three days later, thick blobs of paint caked everywhere. It made me marvel at how they can immerse themselves into something so entirely, for hours and hours, and don’t mind the amount of work it creates (though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering my recent obsession with redesigning my blog).

Our boys, on the contrary, would not in their wildest dreams think up a project like that. Even if forced to. I remember Zax needing to bring a Valentine’s card for every single child in his 2nd grade class, and being utterly unable to make the cards (me, being the mother I am, opting for home-made cards rather than store-bought ones). In the end, Impatience, barely four years old at the time, made them all for him, and was loving every minute of it.

How is it that girls and boys can be so different? Just to be sure, I went to the game room to check the scene there. Sure enough, there was Zax, playing FIFA Soccer for the seven hundredth time this year. The only reason I don’t have a picture of THAT scene is that Zax got up and refused to have his picture taken. He follows my blog and he knows, by now, that I’ve usually got an evil plan up my sleeve to write a story about the most innocent situations.

Anyway, and I invite debate about this topic, this is my observation:


  • like to create something that’s beautiful, that they’ll like to look at later and show off to the world
  • like to HAVE stuff 
  • are not afraid of hard work 


  • want to do something that is fun and challenging at that very moment
  • want to DO stuff (and yes, the kind of stuff they sometimes want to do is NOTHING)
  • will always strive to find a way to avoid hard work.

To be fair, I should mention here that I took the boys shopping for some new sports gear the other day, and we were in and out of the store in ten minutes. IMPOSSIBLE with girls. But that's another story, some day.

What is your observation?

By the way, did you take note of the same thing I did? If I parked myself in the game room with my camera, I could keep Zax from playing xBox forever and ever!


Suzie said...

Ha Ha! Great observation!
I only have one boy - and always wonder how men can become more successful than women after all!!!

kaboden said...

My kids are young and I have just started noticing the amazing difference between the two which is apparently nature and not nurture. I would say that my son doesn't avoid hard work he just has a VERY differnet opinion about what is worth working hard on!

cat said...

I think you are ot on, however my L boy loves to tidy up. Oh and yhe Princess is so ito LPS too

Sine said...

That's a good point, kaboden. My husband is very dedicated to the hard work of reading his newspaper while I tidy up the kitchen, lol!

W. A. Jeffrey said...

As usual, I'm an outlier. I see myself in both lists... items #1 and #2 on the girl list and item #3 on the boy list. I also take forever to shop when I WANT to shop. If I am not in the mood to shop for the sake of shopping I will be in and out lightning fast.