boys are not girls*

*direct quote. credit: cousin Emily circa 1985.

Akka spends hours diapering her “guys” and putting them to bed. Always face-down, always completely covered with a blanket. Our living room often looks like a plush toy graveyard. Still, she is meticulous with the diapering and takes care to ensure that the blankets are all lying flat and smooth. Then she lovingly taps them on their backs until they fall asleep.

I never thought of this as particularly feminine behaviour. Then Malli came along. And when my sister (mother of two boys) visits, she practically stares gaping while Akka says “tap tap tap, shhh, shh, shhh”.

Malli is a climber. For a while, we had to leave all the dining room chairs on their side or we’d find him on top of the table. I never had to remove the knobs from the gas stove or baby-proof the cupboards when Akka was a baby. But he also copies his big sister and can sometimes be found tapping Eeyore on the back or breastfeeding Chicken. Actually, I guess that means he’s copying me too.


3 responses to “boys are not girls*

  1. It’s true, I can’t believe it. There is no putting to bed of babies around here. There is however lots of sword fighting, super brother action sequences and the occasional quiet bricollage or lego spaceship building sessions when there is actually no (read less) noise.

  2. Yesterday Akka cradled a packet of mustard seeds all the way home from the spice store, rocking it back and forth, peeling its stickers off and saying it was her baby. Weird kid.

  3. Oh, this post struck a chord today. My boy is just 41/2 months old and already he is so not a girl. At my moms’ class today, the little girls–all much, much tinier than sturdy Oliver–lay on their blankets looking soulful or smiling sweetly. They played gently with their hands in the air and let out the odd melodious sigh. Oliver, meanwhile, packed roaring, laughing, crying, whining, farting, belching, and demands every five seconds or so to be entertained in a new way into half an hour. I don’t see a lot of tapping and sh-ing in our future.

    Loved this post, btw.

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