Having grown up in a house full of girls, I’m used to the prejudices that go along with being female. But it wasn’t until I had a son, that I realised just how much crap little boys have to take.
In the 6 years since becoming Mum to a boy, there hasn’t been a birthday party, school event or park date I’ve been to where someone hasn’t said something prejudice about boys, from the mum who used to tell her little girl Sadie, “Play with the girls. Little boys are loud and rough,” to the little girl’s mum in my son’s pre-school class who had convinced her daughter to be terrified of the “wild, stinky boys!” Little boys are under fire by the least likely culprits: the mums of little girls.
If any of us mums of boys ever spoke in a similar fashion about little girls, it would never fly. But somehow, it’s okay to say whatever you want about boys. Go figure.
Truth be told, a lot of boys are louder and more active than a lot of little girls. In relation to the “stinky” comment, unless a little boy has a very mature glandular system, I’m not sure he’s at risk for perspiration issues. And what about those “scary” boys? To me, scary is the five-year-old girl I know who told another 5-year-old girl she was, “annoying.” Not an energetic toddler who thinks he’s Darth Maul.
Since inappropriate and unkind comments about little boys seem to be some sort of epidemic, I thought I’d clear a few things up. Next time you’re talking to a little boy’s mum, here’s some things you shouldn’t say to her:
“He has so much energy.”
We’re onto you. When you say, “He has so much energy,” what you’re really saying is, “Your kid is a wild beast.” Yes, lots of little boys have lots of big energy. No need to speak about it in the pejorative.
“He sure does have a lot to say.”
This means you want my son to stop telling you the world’s longest story about ninjas. Of course if he didn’t talk a lot you’d probably say, “He seems delayed.”
“He’s just a boy.”
“Just” a boy means he’s doing something horrible, but can’t help himself because of his gender. How bout, “He’s just a kid?” They’re all kind of horrible sometimes.
“You really have your hands full.”
A Mum who has her hands full has been run ragged with no sign of relief. That doesn’t sound very complimentary, now does it?
“He won’t go to college in nappys.”
This always comes from someone who thinks your son will go to college in nappys.
“He’s so wild.”
Your wild is my active kid. Better than a kid who sits in the corner, no?
“He’s so much calmer than he used to be.”
Translation: he used to be out of control. He’s still not as calm as a girl, but he’s better than he was before.
Here’s some other doosies someone has said to me:
• He’ll love you until he gets married.
• You can’t get him to shut up now. But wait until high school, he won’t say a word.
• Boys are just less mature than girls.
• Girls learn better with girls and boys learn better with girls. Nobody learns better with boys!
• I never wanted a boy. Boys are so loud.
• I always feel sorry for people who have a girl first. When they have a boy, it seems like something’s wrong with him.
• Girls think boys are icky. I agree.
So Mums of little girls, the next time you say something about a little boy just think how you’d feel if that boy’s Mum told you what she thinks of your daughter? Chances are, you’d find it “annoying,” too.