Sunday, February 15, 2009

Boy Noises and Girl Noises

As I come bounding down the stairs one Saturday morning, I hear strange primitive noises coming from the family room. “What is that noise?” I ask my husband. He replies without batting an eye, “It’s Colton. He’s just making boy noises.”

Boy noises. A new concept to me after giving birth to two girls before my boy. When my boy arrived so did the boy noises. These are noises such as exploding bombs, screeching brake sounds, dinosaur roars, and train whistles. When a boy plays by himself, a sound effect always seems to be needed. What is it about boys?

Get a few boys together and the conversation usually revolves around blowing something up, shooting something, crashing vehicles, or an encounter with a spaceship, alien, or monster. Boys love demolition derbies, purple extraterrestrial creatures with five eyes, and squishing bugs.

When a girl plays by herself, the sound effects are typically calming and soft. She will sing a song or quietly engage in a make-believe conversation with herself or the stuffed animal she is lovingly carrying around with her. No explosions or destruction. .

Girls love to talk. They love to create things: songs, plays, and dances. At a young age, my daughters were creating full-blown musicals and selling tickets to family and friends to watch their performances. It is true that girls are not always quiet. When a group of girls play together, it often involves a lot of incomprehensible giggling and shrill shrieking so high-pitched that at some moments only the dog can hear it. My husband does not understand. These are girl noises. I understand them.

Even as a grown woman, I am no different from these little girls. I am continually nurturing my family and building relationships. I value harmony and cooperation and peace and tranquility. I do not understand shooting things or blowing things up.

My husband, on the other hand, gets very excited about the 4th of July and the annual get together at our friends’ house that involves as many illegal fireworks as everyone can possibly smuggle into Colorado from Wyoming. The focus of the evening is on which grown man can make the biggest explosion and potentially set the most things on fire. The younger boys watch and observe in awe and amazement, anxiously awaiting the day when it will be their turn to impress their friends and blow up the most stuff.

Some things will never change. In the end I ask again, what is it about boys?


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