I have stubbornly refused to believe there are differences between boys and girls—that the gender stereotypes exist because the media creates them and parents perpetuate them. Then I became a parent.
The differences between my daughter’s and sons’ developmental stages are startling. My daughter’s language was Shakespearean compared to the Bamm-Bamm Rubble-like script my twin boys use to grunt their fragmented sentences. And while my daughter built amazing feats of engineering out of play dough, my boys act as if they are hungry lions and the soft, colored stuff is a wounded gazelle.
The frantic energy they use to go about their day is the equivalent of the middle finger, and it can only be used for climbing, destroying, and throwing anything they can get their chubby hands around. It’s maddening. And because their vocabulary consists of big truck, ball, and snack, they don’t have answers when I ask this simple question: Why? Why do you insist on throwing shit?
Until they use their tongues for talking instead of licking paint, my boys have forced me to come up with my own reasons for their barbaric behavior.
1. They have heard stories about parents’ heads spontaneously exploding. If that theory is not worth testing, no theory is.
2. One cannot just not kick something which is on the ground or making its way to the ground.
3. The drama of negative attention is way more entertaining than positive attention. Jamming toys into the radiator, the toilet, or into the dog’s mouth plays out better than the best fight on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
4. It creates the illusion that the toys are not fun or age appropriate, forcing parents to think new toys are needed. This leads to hours of unsupervised time while parents search Amazon for a toy which *will* be played with—because the reviews promise so. The illusion works. A new box arrives for endless hours of throwing the new toy in and out of the box.
5. No toy is worth its weight if it is not damaged or destroyed or can be used to damage or destroy something else.
6. The sound of parental sighing, groaning, or growling is as pleasing as waking several times during the night until parental self-control is gone and toddler-parent co-sleeping is achieved.
8. Puzzle pieces are to toddlers as confetti is to sorority sisters during rush. The time between meals is too long and withdrawal is setting in. Must. Throw. Something.
9. The time between meals is too long and withdrawal is setting in. Must. Throw. Something.
10. Children develop sadistic tendencies around their first birthday. Behaviors include tantrums, limp body syndrome, biting, whining, flailing for no reason, and throwing shit all over the house.
Much like their genitalia, it’s as if they need to have everything hanging out in the open. Their sister is not perfect; in fact, she is one dead cat stuffed into a backpack away from being a hoarder, but she is more or less civilized. And the messes she made never ended with me dodging wooden blocks while I sang the cleanup song.
I don’t wish my boys were girls, I just wish their seemingly penis driven behavior would allow them to hold something instead of ripping it apart and throwing it in the dog’s water dish. Tuck those willies, Boys, and enjoy a touch and feel board book for a change.
About the author: Amber Leventry is a writer and SAHM. She tries to be good at both each day,but never the twain shall meet. She lives in Vermont with her partner, the
kids, and their attention deprived and Cheerio fed dog. She writes for The Next Family and InventorSpot . Follow her on Twitter @AmberLeventry.