Monday, June 25, 2007

The boy next door

I'm so glad I have girls. Having boys must just suck. Take one of the local neighbor kids, whom I shall refer to as "Tad" (named changed to protect the innocent) as an example.

Tad is a local neighbor kid. He's 8 years old. And chances are if there's trouble in the neighborhood, he's behind it. He's also responsible for some of the best sarcastic comments I've ever heard from a kid his age.

A while back Natalie was riding her bike in the cul-de-sac. He joined in and, as 8-year-old boys tend to do, started following her in circles in a slightly menacing way (for an 8-year-old). Natalie was still getting used to 2-wheeled riding, so understandably this was making her nervous. I called out, "Hey Tad! That's my daughter and I'm pretty protective of her, so if she gets hurt there's gonna be trouble."

His response was, "Why? You've got another daughter."

Point for Tad. Another was when he came out to ride his scooter with no shoes on. I asked him where his shoes were, and he replied with, "aw, mom doesn't care...she just wants me to make sure I don't end up in the hospital cuz it will screw up her exercise schedule."

Now, knowing his mom, I can definitely see her saying that. And I can respect her for that...I'd probably say the same thing. But she obviously didn't realize when she said it that he'd use it against her later. Point two for Tad.

This past weekend we had some folks over for a BBQ, including two girls around our girls' ages. The four of them vanished for the entire evening. We never heard a peep from them. For at least two hours I forgot I had children.

But then Tad showed up. Within minutes, there was trouble.

He came down he driveway wearing bright green rubber dishwashing gloves. He said he just liked wearing them, but I'm guessing he was really hoping to avoid fingerprint evidence. Before too long I saw an object from the toy collection flying down into the part of our yard I refer to "the ravine of lost souls", and Tad tumbling after it. The girls were about to follow, but I warned them against it. Soon after that, Tad found himself bound tightly to a plastic see-saw with jump rope.

Now, normally I would have cheered for four little girls who were able to hogtie an older boy like Tad to a plastic see-saw, but I'm afraid he likely tied himself up. From what I've heard, boys will do that sort of thing.

The problem was, he couldn't get out. The more he tried, the more it tightened. The boy obviously has a future as a kidnapper. I had to go and rescue him. I considered leaving him tied to the see-saw and carrying the whole package back to his dad, but I figured the dad had enough aggravation. They have another boy. I then considered tossing the whole pile into the ravine of lost souls, but there were too many witnesses. So I had no choice but to go down there and untangle him.

Later after I untied him, his name came up amongst the adults above on the deck. From the driveway he yelled, "I heard that! I know you're talking about me. Remember I'm everyone's nightmare!"

He's a sharp kid.

Speaking of boys versus girls, I heard another example of the difference from my wife today. she took the kids to dentist and, while Natalie was in the chair, my wife recognized one of Natalie's classmates in the waiting room. Now, Natalie knows every boy and girl in her class by name. She can describe each one's habits, dressing styles, mom's name, and favorite colors. When my wife said hi to the boy and said she was Natalie's mom, he responded with, "who?"

She followed with, "you know, in your class, long red hair..."


Thus proving boys have no concept that girls exist until cooties make their presence known.

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