Sunday, October 10, 2010

Girls and Boys

Last night, we met another family out for dinner at the wonderful Pizza John's.  Jason's friend, Mike, from work and his wife have 3 kids aged 8, 5, and 1 and after years of commiserating their stories of fatherhood, we decided it was high time to get everyone together.  Apparently, Mike had been turned onto Pizza John's by a fellow coworker and he and his family drive from the Towson area every so often because they like it so much, so it just made sense that it be our first meet up.  We all ate together and then came back to our house for the kids to play for a bit and for ice cream.

And while our kids are similar in ages, the big difference is that their two older kids are both boys.  Oh what a difference that makes.  While clearly I've got and son and know about boys, 2 boys (brothers, no less) are clearly a whole different ballgame.  Caroline's influence on Bryce (and vice versa) cannot be overstated.   Both of the boys, are very nice kids - talkative and friendly, much like their father.  I enjoyed the stories they were telling us along with the easy interaction between them and my kids.  When we first got back to the house, they ran outside to play and were instantly scaling all parts of the playground in a matter of seconds.  Clearly, very active boys and and this activated Bryce into full on boy mode.  By the time it started getting dark and we came inside for ice cream things were starting to amp up.  I don't know if it was the combination of the ice cream or just the fact that the kids were getting used to one another but the craziness began and before we knew it, full on wrestling began between all 5 of the older kids!  (Their 1 year old daughter was feeling a little under the weather and stuck close to her mom all evening.)  A plush soccer ball was being punted around the playroom too.

It just made Jason and I laugh about the differences between the dynamic of having mostly female families over vs. mostly male families.  To date, most of our family friends tend to be comprised of mostly girls and Bryce just plays along.   So I was happy to see Bryce get a chance to be one of the majority and see how different the dynamic was.  Caroline and Piper were the ones on the "other side" this time and they played right into it.  At one point, Piper was trying to wrestle and take down the 8 year old!!!!!  I had to pull her off of him because she wasn't letting up!!  (Should I be worried about this one?  Ha ha ha!)  All 3 of my kids were more amped up than the 2 boys were as I think the excitement of having new kids in their house was contagious.  Even after they left, my kids were bonkers and the older 2 didn't go to sleep until after 10pm!

As for the difference this morning, currently all 3 kids have a damp rag and are wiping down every available surface in the playroom.  Any guess on whose idea that was?  Obviously, not Bryce.  But all 3 kids are happy and enjoying a little dusting.  Although the first thing they were playing this morning was pretending they had an older brother playing with them, so I think their evening was clearly enjoyable.

I'm just always amazed at the gender factor in a group of kids and how it being balanced, slightly unbalanced, or completely unbalanced makes a difference in terms of what the group does.  In the days where we've had mostly girl groups playing, the games generally end up being geared toward pretend and dressing up.  We didn't get anywhere close to that last night!


Erin said...

LOL!! We need to hang out sometime. ;)

Erika said...

Erin, you're actually the person I was thinking about when I wrote this. I was really glad to give Bryce the chance to do more boy-centric stuff. I mean, he plays with boys at school and with a boy here and there in the neighborhood but this is really the first time it's been a "boy family." Being around more boys than girls made a more adventurous side come out in both the girls too. Quite an interesting gender study!

Katie said...

I love getting together with my brother's family. What a difference! LOL!

I think my family was pretty balanced growing up. There were more girls, but take away the oldest sis & youngest sis(who often weren't in the core age for playing) and there were three boys and three girls. Add in the other kids on our street and it was majority boys.

If we were ever in a group, we always played sports. With my sisters, we played barbies or imagination, but the boys never played with us at all. If we were in a group, it was always a "boy" activity (ie. sports or wrestling). Always.

We watched a lot of Redskin football, pro-wrestling, and Nintendo too.

If it had been even slightly more girls than boys in that core group, I seriously doubt I would have learned about piledrivers and halfnelsons at such a young age. I also can name almost every player that played on the Redskins in the 80's. Thanks to my brothers!