He Said/ She Said: He Said:
Boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. And never the twain shall meet in our house–at least for now.
Luke and Garrett, having just completed the fifth grade, still subscribe to the theory that girls have cooties and are not to be trusted. Soon, no doubt, they'll realize that girls don't have cooties but still aren't to be trusted.
Some of their friends already have fallen to the dark side. A few, in fact, have fallen so hard they've damaged their heads, I think.
I learned this recently as I drove Luke and two other fifth-grade boys to a Boy Scout campout. The Romeo of the bunch made mention of his “ex-ex-girlfriend.”
Naturally, I couldn't pass that one by. Inquiring minds want to know.
“How many girlfriends have you had?” I asked.
“Oh, lots,” the boy replied.
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“Well, how many?” I continued in an interrogative style worthy of my own mother. “Why don't you name them for me.”
And so he started rattling off names, including one girl whose name got listed over and over and over again like a stutter. Obviously, breaking up wasn't that hard to do. And neither was getting back together.
Shocked at the worldly experience of this 10 year old, I pressed on for more juicy details, sparked by his report of “going out” with these girls.
“What do you do when you go out with a girl?” I queried.
“Sometimes we go bowling or to a movie,” he said. “Sometimes I go to her house and we hang out or she comes to my house and we hang out.
“One time I took a girl swimming,” he added. “But I don't really like to do that, because my hair doesn't look good when it's wet.”
The other two boys in the backseat groaned, unaware of how soon they'll be captive that mirror on the wall as well.
Methinks our boys doth protest too much when it comes to girls. This year, they have waxed a little too eloquently on how they hate certain girls and how certain girls are always getting on their nerves and how certain girls did this, that or the other. For two boys who don't like girls, they sure do talk about them a lot.
And that mirror thing already has hit. Hair gel has taken precedence over teeth brushing in the morning. Of course, brushing teeth never has been a priority with my boys. If they are short on time, they will skip the toothbrush altogether in favor of more time managing their hair goop.
I don't remember when this enmity with the girls began. Luke was good friends with a girl in kindergarten, but I don't recall when girls became the “enemy.”
It certainly was an issue by second grade. At our church's Vacation Bible School, I taught second graders–the girls sat with the girls and the boys with the boys. Everything was a competition between the two groups.
On the day we studied patience and humility, I asked them to form two lines at the door on their way to recreation. After specifically telling them not to have all boys or all girls in one line, guess what? They formed one line of boys and one line of girls. Big mistake. The activity they were to do was to take turns with the person in the line opposite them saying, “After you.” And then that person would say, “Thank you,” and walk out the door.
You would think I had asked them to walk off a cliff. The boys probably would have liked that more.
They did it. Reluctantly. But based on my boys, it will be awhile before their attitudes catch up with their manners.
With any luck, when their attitudes about girls do change, they'll be forced to learn some manners as well.