Well, no, actually, it’s not. It’s pretty calm around these here parts, which is a nice surprise when these here parts contain a (nearly) four week old baby. L’il Boo is pretty much a dream. He sleeps, eats, fills his nappy, sleeps, eats, fills his nappy…repeat until, well, until colic strikes, I guess.
As the mother of a three year old daughter, when anybody found out, during my second pregnancy, that I was having a manchild, I would immediately be informed as to just exactly ‘how boys are different from girls’. I should trademark this phrase, I’d make a fortune. Even people without children, people with no interest in children, people who I’m pretty sure would eat a child if sat next to one crying on a plane will share their thoughts with you on this. What was interesting at the time was the, erm, consistency of views. Or not. For every ‘boys sleep better’ I got a ‘girls sleep better, boys never sleep’; for every ‘boys are more clingy’, I got a ‘boys are more independent’. I started to keep a tally of contrary comments. Until I got bored.
Now the interesting thing, having had the boy, is how ridiculously he’s like his sister was at this age. Seriously, they could be the same frickin’ child. Just like his sister, L’il Boo: sleeps through feeding times and through any amount of noise; when feeding does so quickly and efficiently in order to go back to sleep as quickly as possible; has amazing amounts of wind; has yet to actually cry properly; hates being dressed or undressed; likes to look at me suspiciously through one eye. I accept that this is early days yet, but it could be argued that this is the only time when kids aren’t thoroughly genderised.
Boogie on the other hand has succumbed to that fate already, at the tender age of three and a half, and has already come out with the line (when kicking a ball around the house), ‘I’m pretending to be a boy because only boys play football.’ ??!!!!?? WTF? How has this happened? Whilst he’s not exactly going to win any Feminst Man of the Year awards any time soon, the Boogie Meister wouldn’t come out with anything as inflammatory as that, or anything close to it. So, she gets it at playgroup. I’m guessing from one of the other kids, but they must have got it from a parent or somesuch, right? Seriously, who tells their three year old this crap? And why can’t they be put up against a wall and shot?
She has also recently, much to my disgust, embarked on a ‘pink’ phase. Holy Mother! I’m routinely – and smugly – informed that this is just the way girls are and all my dressing her in navy ain’t gonna change it. Which nicely sidesteps the obvious fact that Boogie has eyes and can figure out for herself that all her female classmates are invariably clad in greater or lesser amounts of pink and her male classmates never are and that she’s therefore deduced for herself – from the genderisation of other children – that ‘girls wear pink’. Go figure. The only saving grace is that she still has no interest in clothes or handbags or shoes or frills or hair accessories whatsoever. These un-girl like attributes however, elict no comments other than a brief ‘oh’ of surprise. Funny that.
Don’t get me wrong; if she likes pink, she likes pink. Is it too much to ask, though, that she likes it because she likes it, rather than because everything around her tells her she should?