Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10 Reasons I Enjoy Having Sons

Yesterday we talked a bit about the advantages of having daughters. Today I want to focus on the other 40% of my offspring: my sons Jared and Jack. Here's why they're fun to have around.

(1) There's always someone else who appreciates bodily emissions the way I do: I'm stereotyping here, of course, but girls tend not to find as much amusement in everyday bodily functions as boys do. I'm a boy. Ergo, I always have a buddy to laugh like a 4-year-old with me when someone in the house lets loose.

(2) Sports: All three of my girls have engaged in some sort of athletics during their lives, and they're avid fans of the Lake Erie Monsters hockey team for which we're season ticket holders. But when it comes down to really caring how the Indians did last night or how bad the Browns are going to be, Jared is the only one in the family with whom I can relate.

(3) They're uncomplicated: Again, big stereotype here. But stereotypes generally exist because there's at least a kernel of truth to them. If I ask Jack if he's happy and he says yes, I know that what he means is "yes." If I ask one of my girls whether they're happy and they say yes, this could mean one of several different things, depending on the context, the time of day, and her tone of voice. I'm a bottom-line kind of guy. Just give it to me straight.

(4) Hair care: I mentioned yesterday that I'm at least familiar with taking care of little girls' hair, but little boys are a snap. Run a comb through there a couple of times and voila, you're ready for even the most formal occasion!

(5) They eat anything: At least Jared does. Put anything in front of the boy and he'll gobble it down. Feeding time is complicated only by the sheer amount of nutrients needed to satiate him. But when it comes to selection, he's not especially picky (and my girls are).

(6) They understand what it means to get kicked in the gonads: Girls comprehend that this hurts a guy, but they don't know it like a boy does. This is an area in which my boys and I can commiserate, while the girls can never truly understand (though their sympathy when it happens and the care they take to avoid it when we're wrestling is greatly appreciated).

(7) No embarrassing undergarments: I refuse to acknowledge that my girls have developed anywhere past the age of 7 or so. The presence of these garments shatters the little dream world I have built for myself. Not a problem with boys, whose tighty-whiteys are essentially the same from ages 2 through 100.

(8) Meeting my child's girlfriend is less unsettling than meeting their boyfriend: Dads and boyfriends historically have a tension-filled relationship. I like Sean and Chris, Elissa and Chloe's boyfriends, but it's hard to fully dispel that little bit of territorial distrust that lurks in the heart of every father of a daughter.

(9) My old-fashioned gender biases don't show through as much with boys: I know this isn't right, but I feel much better about my sons being out late than I do about my daughters being out late. There should be one curfew for them all depending on their age and regardless of gender, but I'm always going to be a lot more nervous when my daughters are late than when my sons are.

(10) I know what to buy them for birthdays and Christmas: I can list five gift ideas for Jared and Jack off the top of my head in seconds. But the girls? Wow, that takes some serious thought. Probably more thought than I want to expend at any given time, especially if I'm out doing the dreaded Christmas shopping. Boy gifts = easy.

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