Two nights ago, my nine-year-old Lexi had her friend, Ally sleep over. The girls spent a lot of time in Lexi’s room, listening to music, putting on make-up, dancing, and making up pretend games. That’s the kind of stuff Lexi always does with her friends. They paint their nails and do each other’s hair. They put on shows where they sing and dance for me. Then they put on their jammies, brush their teeth, and drag all their blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and dolls into the family room where they set up camp, taking time to arrange their belongings just so. They settle into their sleeping bags and watch a movie until they fall asleep.
Last night, my twelve-year-old son, Jackson had a friend sleep over. The boys did almost exactly the same things that the girls did.
The girls played with dolls. The boys played a video game where they raced cars and smashed them into firey balls of twisted metal.
The girls made up pretend games and played “royal wedding”, taking turns being William and Kate. The boys also made up a game. It was called “let’s smash each other’s skulls with a baseball bat” “fencing”, as they took turns hitting each other with plastic baseball bats.
The girls applied eyeshadow and lipstick to themselves. The boys applied mud to themselves. Lots and lots of mud.
The girls listened to songs and made up dances and cheer routines to go with the music. The boys made their own, ah, um, sort of music. They burped. They laughed. They tried to outburp each other. They laughed some more. Then, when Austin got off the couch, Jackson’s friend, John called squatter’s rights and claimed the open space on the couch. Austin, not accepting the rule of squatter’s rights, bent over and farted on John’s head. This caused uproarious laughter. John’s face turned red and he almost pooped in his pants as he strained to return the ah, favor to Austin. I used an entire bottle of Febreeze trying to destinkify my house.
The girls put on a show, demonstrating the cheer routine they’d made up and practiced all evening. The boys ran through the house, whipping pillows at each other.
After getting ready for bed, the girls made camp in the family room, snuggling into their carefully arranged blankets. The boys passed out, draped across the couches, muddy limbs, stinky clothes, unbrushed teeth and all.
Nature versus nurture! Snort!
Want to read more from Dawn? Whether you’re thinking about having kids, you’re pregnant now, or you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll love her popular, You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth)!