Boys and girls find different ways to play
The weather has been great lately, and the Patterson boys have been taking full advantage of it.
For the past few days, it has been just me and baby Elsie at home while the boys take off until well after the sun goes down.
It has left me thinking about the different things that each gender does during their free time. Even though our kids are very young, I can see the pattern developing in them.
Jason and our son James knew that they were going to go fishing last Saturday. The weather had been perfect, and they had talked about it the whole week.
When Saturday morning rolled around, the boys were up and ready to catch some fish. Decked out in their “play clothes” and shaking their bait in the air, the two ran through the house announcing their departure.
I barely even got a goodbye. The two were out the door and diving into the truck. With fishing rods in the back, they were off for a day of excitement.
I am sure that same scene played out in many homes throughout Yazoo County.
As for me and our baby girl, we had other plans.
Decked out in our comfortable clothes and shaking coupons, I carried Elsie through the house announcing that we would be going shopping.
I even called my mother to get ready because I would probably need help carrying everything to the car.
The kids needed some new clothes for the warmer months. And Elsie is steadily growing. So I decided it would be a perfect excuse to go shopping.
I’m sure Jason and James had a wonderful day on the water. They caught some fish. They probably rode the truck over the land, checking on cows. I bet they made a trip down to the creek, where they found a few pieces of petrified wood and a wandering snake or two.
But Elsie and I had our fair share of fun too. The stroller made its way through a jungle of clothes racks. Elsie was able to grab a few dolls from the wall. I had an assortment of coupons and sticker deals to pass over the counter. And we still had time for a quick stop at a kitchen-goods store and for a quick bite to eat.
When Jason and James entered the house that night, they were covered from head to toe with mud. It was so bad that they had to immediately take a shower.
When Elsie and I entered the house a few minutes later, Elsie had two new dolls in her hand. And the circulation in my arms was cutting off from hanging onto to so many bags.
I guess that is just what each gender, regardless of age, does in their free time.
Jason and James spend their free time out on our land. Whether it’s catching fish, throwing a ball, riding the hills or exploring creek beds and wooded hills...they have to be outside.
The last time I took those two shopping, I left the store in disgust. They don’t believe in looking for stuff. They would rather grab the first thing they see that fits. They don’t work the magic of the coupon system. They would rather pay up front than spend time hunting the deals. They don’t hold purses. And all they can do is huff and puff as Elsie and I look for the best bargain.
Of course, Elsie and I aren’t invited out much during those outdoor excursions either.
The last time we went out with them, the boys were taking us back home before the hour was over. Elsie and I don’t believe in sweating. Handling bait is too much trouble, and taking a fish off the hook is gross. Elsie needs constant bottle breaks, and I like to stop for water every now and then. Elsie and I don’t get excited when we see snakes in the creek. We will run back to the truck, screaming at the top of our lungs. And somehow, cows like to charge us when we get out in the field.
In other words, the outdoors may not be the best place for girls to relax. And I guess boys don’t feel comfortable in shopping scenarios.
And that concept sinks in real well for both sexes at a young age.
There have been times I have put Elsie in a cute outdoor outfit and told her we were going with the boys. Although she can’t talk yet, her eyes said it all as she took a deep breath.
And the one time this week Elsie and I loaded up in the truck with the boys, James struck a nerve.
“You and baby Elsie can’t go with us,” he said. “We’re not doing chick stuff.”
Maybe he’s right. As the weather continues to get warmer, I guess Elsie and I had better get used to “chick stuff.”
I just hope Jason realizes what that means for our bank account.