Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Girls vs. boys

I think I've mentioned a few times that on Monday afternoons I pick up Dante and a couple of his friends from school and take them to gymnastics (at a gym near our house, luckily enough). It's a great gym (one of the sons of the family that runs it is an Australian Olympian!) - well equipped, large, friendly. I remember going there for sport when I was in primary school. My mother said that it used to be a cinema, a long time ago.

Anyway, the main thing that exhausts me about this is the drive from school to gym. Those two boys (Dante and his friend) drive me bonkers! They are loud, silly, exuberant, boisterous. D's friend always brings rice crackers for afternoon tea which they eat in the car... should I say "eat"? More like inhale. The container is usually empty in not less than five minutes. The only quiet-ish time during the journey.

They cannot sit still. Sometimes I have to yell at them to "Stop yelling!". They eat like... like 6 year old boys. When we get to the gym they run around giggling, carrying on and making silly noises. I feel sorry for their teachers. When we get home they fight over the playstation (I want to be green. No, I want to be green! Mama, he hit me! Give that back! Heheh... that was funny. Do it again... Blah blah blah <insert silly noises and perhaps some jumping up and down>). Yesterday while I was getting the car ready (putting Elora in her seat, moving booster seats around), they thought it would be fun to lick the brick wall of the school. I don't know why. They are weird little creatures.


everything they do is on show. It's all obvious, out there for all to see. There's no subterfuge. I guess they're too busy DOING to think about being sly.

The other six year old friend whom I take to gym is female. I never really appreciated what different creatures boys and girls of this age are until she started coming along, even though I see the same behaviours in my 8 year old niece sometimes, and probably in the 5 year old one (especially once she starts school).

The first week Dan picked up the three kids, he remarked that the girl actually brought negative noise to the car. The three kids were quieter than the two boys alone. Probably mostly because he'd separated the boys. It's lovely having a girl around. She's so much quieter, neater and polite. She doesn't scream and yell. She's not afraid to ask for what she wants. She does get the raw end of the deal when it comes to those rice crackers.

However, now that she knows us better (even though we've known her since she was 11 months old!) she's starting to get a little comfortable and... sneaky. A couple of weeks ago we had an incident with her gym money ("We were in a rush this morning and I don't think my dad gave me all of the money") being mysteriously short by the same amount as a chocolate milk from school. Her parents were quick to rectify the situation!

Yesterday when her dad arrived to pick her up I found her in the pantry (and heard the fridge door being quickly closed). She said to me, "You have lots of nice food," and we carried on. I didn't think anything of it, until I found a chocolate wrapper on the floor near the fridge today! Tricky little thing had helped herself to the box of choccies in there. Oh well, I'm not going to tell her father - I would have happily given it to her if she'd asked (white chocolate - I've gone off it and Dan doesn't eat it).

But I've learned my lesson. Girls are quiet, but in the end they are still up to mischief like the boys, and a lot sneakier about how they do it. While the boys are being riotous and disruptive, girls use the distraction to get their own way or do their own thing. Not knowing how to handle girls, I sometimes become anxious and acquiescent. They get away with a lot more than the boys do.

What I've got to look forward to with Elora. I'd better start learning how to handle things before she gets to that stage!

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