Sunday, 2 January 2011

Bringing up boys: There’s a squirrel dead on the ice…

It struck me today as I watched the tail of a dead squirrel slip below the surface of the melting ice that perhaps there is too much sense and not enough sensibility in my home.
Perhaps this is because I have a male household rather than one full of Sylvanian Families, pink fluffy tutus and Cath Kidson coats with matching wellies. Not that  I would have allowed anything of the sort in my home even if I had had daughters, I can’t stand the colour pink and cute little bunnykin families are a no no and always have been for me. But there is a wistfulness when I go to other people’s homes and see all this girlishness. I think a little bit of pink would not go amiss.
I mean isn’t it rather alarming when your 7 year old and four and a half year old sons decide to name the Christmas dinner Oscar? And proceed to raise a toast to his demise totally unprompted at the Christmas table?
We go to the butchers and they quite happily bounce up to the displays and chatter about the hens we keep and say things like: “Would Mrs Brown look like that if we killed her?” which of course must be alarming to any Mrs Brown’s in the queue behind.
I am not saying my children are unkind in any way they are not but they see things very practically hence their rather gung ho attitude towards the chickens and perhaps towards the squirrel on the ice in the middle of the moat.
None of us had noticed it before and we have no idea how it got there and we would not have noticed it if Bog Boy had not brought it to our attention: “There’s a squirrel, dead on the ice.”
Me: “Really?”
Bog Boy: “Yes, look it’s dead.”
I looked myopically at it lying there quite still, apparently dead.
Me: “Are you sure it’s dead?”
Bog Boy: “Yes, it’s quite dead I saw it get deaded.”
I looked at my youngest incredulously knowing full well that if I had seen a squirrel die in front of me at his age I would have screamed and hollered for someone to save it. Not so my practical son.
Me: “Why didn’t you say so?”
Bog Boy just shrugged: “We don’t like squirrels they eat the baby birds.”
I had a feeling that for my youngest that the death of the squirrel was a kind of retribution for the damage its species wreaks on others.
Bog Boy: “And anyway no one can go in the ice now you said, so it had to die.”
He was quite right the dying squirrel could not have been rescued even if we had wanted to without one of us coming to grief for the ice could not have held anyone’s weight but it got me thinking.
And every time I looked out the window over the past few days and seen the squirrel lying there, I’ve thought more and more: Boys and girls are wired different…


Alison said...

Girls are so emotional and much more hard work in my opinion.My son is so much less emotional and less highly strung.And yes I hate pink so I other colours if possible.Did you bury the squirrel?

Tattie Weasle said...

Alison - I suppose they are hard work,. My Mum says my sons are blissfully straight forward and she only had girls. As for the poor squirrel, well we never were able to get on the ice so it was a burial at sea as the ice melted...

TheMadHouse said...

Oh yes definitely. Also I am married to a farmers son, so ever more pragmatic. My two would have been prodding and poking the dead squirrel. When Mr Smudge died, Mini needed to see and touch the body! But both the boys love a bit of pink!

mountainear said...

Boys and girls are definitely different - and I don't think it is anything to do with nurture. Back in the day I was determined to be very 'gender neutral' with my 3 lads. There would be a doll and they would go to a dancing class. They would get in touch with their sensitive sides.

Hah! Fat chance of anything like that. Gory, nasty, slimy, dead. Loud, dirty and dangerous. Bring it on. They loved it.

legend in his own lunchtime said...

Whan trying to hide the gory remains of one of our 3 chickens (all identical by the way) our son took one look and said, "Oh, that's all right Dad, that one is Mommy's. Mine are all right". Practical to a fault

Spencer Park said...

My lad is a lot easier then my daughter. Although, they are both great!

Emma said...

*whispers* I want all my children to be boys! Girls sound like hard work!

Go on you know you want to...


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