Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cats & Dogs: Boys & Girls

When she was a little girl my mother believed that dogs were boys and cats were girls. Clearly, biology was not as advanced in the late Middle Ages as it is now. Nonetheless, there is something to that ancient wisdom.

GoofGirl’s favorite stuffed animal is a “kitty” – a cat – and she obsesses over all Hello Kitty products, while GoofBoy sleeps with stuffed dogs (and bears). But besides their respective preferences for those animals, there is their behavior. GoofBoy is a dog and GoofGirl is a cat.

When we go away without them, we will come back and GoofBoy runs to us, throws his arms around us and says, “I missed you! I missed!”

GoofGirl sniffs and turns her nose up at us and – after an appropriate wait, sometimes several days – she allows us to approach her and make amends. Fortunately, she hasn’t expressed her displeasure at our leaving by pooping in the corners – yet.

GoofBoy, like a dog, constantly wants to play.

“Dad, let’s go play ball. Wouldn’t that be great? Or we could play badminton – I bet you’ll win this time. Or how about that bamboo stand on the trail. Didn’t we have a good time the last time we went there?”

No begging or imploring for GoofGirl. She takes my participation in her planned activity for granted and simply positions me as necessary.

GoofBoy has a simple, direct and uninhibited enthusiasm. One night, he begged us to take him to a local restaurant because a radio morning show was doing a promotion there and “The guys on the radio always say how much fun it was. I don’t want to miss it! I’m sure we’ll have a good time.”

He always wants us to come to school to see his presentations and activities. GoofGirl, on the other hand, always tells us that, “Parents don’t have to come.”

But like dogs and cats that have lived together a long time, when they fight it is only for fun. And neither sheds – that job is left to me.

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