Monday, August 28, 2006

Why You Might Want Daughters Instead Of Sons

Usually I'm all for waving the flag about having boys instead of girls. The general rule is that girls are easier all but a few years, but those few are so thoroughly miserable as to make boys worth it overall. I briefly had foster daughters for a few months each - one eight, one seventeen - but I can't say I really know what I'm talking about with that group. My forays into coaching or directing girls' or co-ed groups were of, uh, mixed success.

Boys I understand better. The flip side of that is that they understand me better, which does not always work to my advantage. Dave Barry has written persuasively that males have a joke-storage part of their brain which seldom exists in women. In the event of any tragedy or national emergency, men spring to the fore to tell jokes about it. Even "better," they immediately network with other men to share these jokes from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream Waters and all that. They tell jokes and they remember them. It is painful to watch most women trying to tell a joke, forgetting important parts of the set up or doubling back to correct themselves.

For a father with sons, this becomes a burden. I have dozens of reusable lines that are clever when first heard, but are admittedly tiresome or even grating when you've heard them, oh, several dozen times. In the wide world, most people get to hear the line but once, and if twice, then long separated. My sons get to hear them many times. One son in particular, who is either blessed with a more prodigious memory or thinks he is, or both, is no longer amused. A particular favorite of mine when a small child is out of sight of his parent and moving quickly is "Somebody's going over the wall, warden." I love that line. Yeah, I wish I'd had it when the children were small.

The Son With Exacting Memory points out "You say that every time you see a child running." Well, that must be a bit irritating, eh? eh? I said 'That must be a bit irritating, eh?'

If daughters are like wives, then I might get to hear something much more encouraging, like "What's that thing you say when you see a child escaping again? Something about around the wall?"


bs king said...

I don't think the strategy of having daughters worked for my dad. My MO tends to be beating him to his own joke, saying it in an ironic tone of voice, then looking at him condescendingly. My brothers just aren't that quick. I think in general for jokes you are probably correct, but never underestimate the power of a daughter with 95% conversational recall, no limit on how fast she can talk, and a love of sarcasm and cynicism that is almost pathological.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Almost pathological?

Old Wacky Hermit said...

Today was probably not the best day for me to read this post. I'm just about ready to trade a couple of my boys for girls, provided that they are like my daughter. When she was little I thought she was a difficult child. If I'd known what was coming to me, I would have counted my blessings.

My daughter, when my now 6 year old son was born, got mad, but the very worst thing she did was sit on her baby brother once. My 2 year old boy, by contrast, will sit on the baby, scratch the baby, bite the baby, hit the baby with his toys... and that's all within a 5 minute span. And then it repeats for the next three hours... It makes me long to deal with four hormonal teenaged girls. At least if you get them exasperated enough they'll lock themselves in their rooms.