Girls vs Boys
The birth of a baby is almost always a much-anticipated event. The parents dream of having a little angel to snuggle in the perfect rocking chair, in the perfect nursery, which, by the way, is entirely unisex in theme. However, that all changes once the first cries are heard. If it’s a girl, the women huddle around exclaiming how cute, how soft, how sweet. But the birth of a boy! Now, that is something to brag about. Great gatherings of males draw together to back slap the macho man responsible for adding, yet another to their numbers, while polluting the air with clouds of cigar smoke. “Did you see the size of that boy?” “That kid’s got huge hands!” and “He’s going to be gigantic by the time he’s grown!” male voices boom through the local barroom. Of course, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. I think we all know about the male species’ preoccupation with size.
Most of the hoopla surrounding the birth of a boy has never made sense to me. Why anyone would prefer baby boys to baby girls baffles me. For instance, think about diaper changing time. A baby girl doesn’t have anatomy springing up unexpectedly to anoint all within a fifty-meter range. If she lets loose, it just dribbles into a puddle on the dressing table. No one needs to take a shower of a different kind, when finished with the chore. In two years, when potty training rolls around, little girls are still as non-threatening as ever. Just sit her on the little seat, and it trickles down where it belongs. No matter what her age, the method will never change. Try putting a boy on the seat. It can be done, but it’s not wise to forego the safety equipment of a good pair of goggles and a floor length rubber apron. Shower caps and boots are recommended, but not required.
Just when you think you’ve mastered staying dry, the rules change. The little critters have to learn to do it standing up. This becomes the period in your life when you redecorate the bathroom in Early Polyethylene, more commonly referred to as plastic. Some of you may be a step ahead. Marriage often prompts the new bride to redecorate her bathroom when she learns the honeymoon is over.
Little girls do not deface the pristine white of a new snowfall by squatting over the landscape to practice their penmanship. They don’t reach into their jeans pockets to bounce any body parts from side to side. They don’t pull on it, just to see how far it will stretch, and when they reach their teen years, they invest in a good ruler merely in the interest of scholastics.
My daughters never played games or tried to do tricks with their private anatomy. I was not prepared for my son when he reached five years of age. He developed what I dubbed, “Stupid Penis Tricks,” using his own imagination entirely. It began one day after he took an early shower. David came down the stairs wearing nothing but a towel draped loosely around his little boy hips. The Power Rangers were on. He wasn’t about to miss a minute of the show, just to get decent. I was absorbed in a good book, when he asked me to look at what he could do. Unsuspecting, I looked. My mouth dropped open, and for maybe the third time in my entire life, I was speechless. Somehow, he had managed to push the whole thing inside of himself. He placed a penny over it, and flexed. The penny flipped through the air in a wide arc and landed on the other side of the room.
When I found my voice, all I could say was, “Stop it! You’re going to knock someone’s eye out with that.” Of course I meant the penny. He, on the other hand, being male, assumed I meant his equipment was a danger to society. I stuttered a few times before I pointed to the steps yelling, “Clothes! Now! Put on!”
Two months after the penny incident, I discovered I needed to go to the Home Depot to purchase paint for a project. Warning him to go use the bathroom before we left, I got myself ready to go. David ignored my warnings, insisting he simply didn’t have to go. I was adamant. The store had no bathrooms. I didn’t want to be inconvenienced unnecessarily. Alas, he just couldn’t do it.
We were in the checkout line when he made his announcement to all within a five-mile radius. He danced. He held himself. He threatened me with dire consequences if I didn’t get him to a restroom fast. I paid for my purchase, and rushed him out to the car. His dance became wilder.
“I gotta go NOW!” he cried.
Not seeing any sign of a restroom for blocks, I panicked. I pulled him close to the car, speaking firmly. He was to stand close to the tire, not make a spectacle, and get it over with as quickly as possible. Then I moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk.
“Whoa! Look at that boy go!” I heard him yell.
I cracked my head on the trunk in my haste to get to him, hoping there were no police in the vicinity. Rubbing my head and shaking the stars out of my eyes, I saw a tall arc of urine flying across one of the driving lanes in the parking lot. Drivers were slamming on brakes, trying to avoid moving under the spray. Horrified, I raced over to the edge of the lot, snatched him by the arm, and dragged him back to the car while promising bodily harm.
Undaunted, he gleefully shouted into the night sky, “That baby must’ve gone six feet!” He was euphoric. For some unknown reason to me, he believed he had succeeded in accomplishing one of life’s great challenges.
As the years crawl by for mothers of little boys, physical changes begin to take place. It’s true that girls also experience physical changes, but rarely are those changes gross to look at and feel. Think about it. How many guys do you know anticipate rubbing their fingers through the stiff, bristly hair on their girlfriends’ chests? How many guys want to wake up next to their honeys, caress their faces, and tell them, “Ooh, Baby, you need a shave?” Better yet, how many guys do you know, who describe their wives as distinguished because of the beautiful wings of gray hair gracing their temples? We’re more likely to hear, “Honey, Clairol’s having a sale this week.”
Take a look at a man in his eighties. There no longer is a need to close the eyes during sleep, or to grow hair on his scalp. During the day, simply combing the eyebrows back will do the trick. Brushing in the opposite direction will effectively block all light, ensuring a peaceful undisturbed slumber.
After writing my thoughts on the subject, I find myself pondering a great mystery. Why do women look at these characteristics in their men with adoring eyes, not only finding them cute, but often times going so far as to describe them as handsome? Are we twisted demented creatures to feel that way? Or is it that men are just too picky and superficial to appreciate the same characteristics in their women?
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