30 November 2008

Off to the races

One of those stereotypical things: guys are more competitive; girls are more connective. I’m no expert on little girls, but little boys are indeed competitive.

The local specimens treat everything as a competition: they race to their chairs for supper; whoever finishes his milk first yells “I win!”; whoever gets up the stairs or out the door first proclaims victory while the other one wails in the agony of defeat… I thought it was just the four-year-old who was inventing these contests, with the two-year-old echoing without comprehension, as he is wont to do when the conversation exceeds his cognition or vocabulary.

Turns out he knows what’s going on too. They both announced their intent to use the bathroom at the same time, so I accompanied the toddler to one while his brother was in the other. Mr. Two completed his business in record time, hopped off the throne, speed-washed, then sprinted back to where his brother was still sitting, yelling “I win! I win!” and cackling gleefully the whole way.

O, for want of a camel to race!

Now, I used to be as competitive as the next girl, before this whole bearing-and-nurturing gig mellowed me out so much (ahem), but I don’t recall ever being tempted to compare time splits on bathroom visits.

I just consider myself fortunate that these boys haven’t yet had the bright idea for a contest like the one reported by a friend, who happened upon her boys as they were arguing about who could in fact pee the highest up on the bathroom wall.

Of course, the little apples don’t fall far from the tree. My in-laws recently bestowed their vintage pinball machine upon us. When my boys’ father achieved what he believed to be the Highest Score Ever, he immediately called his brother, which I thought was amusing. But even more amusing was that his brother remembered, to the exact point, the highest score he himself had ever attained (folks, we’re talking about when these guys were adolescents). And it was indeed higher than my husband’s. So now there’ll be no peace until that score is topped. Ah, boys…

For a cool book on differences in how the sexes communicate/relate/etc., check out Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. Has this book previously come up on the blog? I can’t remember. Well, it’s still good.


Cheryl said...

So THAT's why my 5yo is so molasses-slow! He doesn't have anyone to compete with! (My other two are 13 and 16.)

And I second the recommendation for the Tannen book. It's a great read, and so true.

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Another interesting book is: Why Men Don't Iron.

Rebekah said...

I believe I said "It's not a race" three times during breakfast this morning, and that's with only one man-cub in the running. :P

Gauntlets said...

We have bathroom races around here with but one manchild, complete with posturing and wailing from everybody. We also enjoy racing to wash hands, racing to get in the car, and racing to crash headlong into the nearest wall.

I can't say I get it, but I enjoy yelling about it.