Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Sharing my Wisdom–on Not Having Girls June 25, 2016

Filed under: Family Life,Growing up,Just Thinking,Summer Vacation — leighj @ 1:51 pm

I very much enjoy my four boys. Harlan rolled all the way over for the first time on Friday morning. It was also the day that Seamus and Gilbert got out of school for the summer. We won’t have a kindergartner again for a while! However, it made me a little sad on occasion that I don’t have any girls (and Gilbert’s right, you can do the same things with a baby brother that you can with a baby sister), until I tried to figure out what that sadness stemmed from. I think it has something to do with the idea that I have a lot of wisdom stored up from the years about being female in our society that I wanted to share. I have a suspicion though, that I’ll be able to share plenty.

On Thursday night, we played outside. Seamus and Gilbert got some jump ropes at a party and are quite taken with them. While we were running errands the other day, I decided to get them some hula hoops, since they liked the jump ropes so much. They’ve been learning jump rope rhymes in school. “Cinderella, dressed in yellow, etc…” I encouraged them to make up their own. “Cinderella, dressed in blue, went upstairs to find her shoe, how many times did the cow moo?” Or “Cinderella dressed in pink, went upstairs to find some ink. How many bottles did she think?” and so on. These rhymes are ridiculous, but they bring back my childhood vividly, and it’s fun to use them to encourage wordplay and exercise. Patrick got into it too! He was hula hooping with the best of them!

My mom’s wisdom often came from dealing with hair (and I’m seriously regretting the bangs I’ve cut). I get to help Gilbert deal with his hair (coarse, double crown, and thick). He likes to use my bobby pins to keep it off his face. Porter is entering the phase all children go through (I think), in which they want their toenails painted shiny colors. They’re just kids, learning to play with everything. It is harder because we have to make a conscious effort to introduce toys that others might consider “girl toys” but it’s even more important to read books with girls as main characters and encourage the boys to help cook, do laundry, plant in the garden, play with the baby, and more.

Gilbert thinks you have to sling it quickly around your body.

Gilbert thinks you have to sling it quickly around your body.

Seamus mid-jump.

Seamus mid-jump.

Porter watching Patrick make something.

Porter watching Patrick make something.

Harlan laughing his head off!

Harlan laughing his head off!

Going out to dinner. Seamus tie-dyed the shirt in his art class at school.

Going out to dinner. Seamus tie-dyed the shirt in his art class at school.

Porter loves to wear sunglasses!

Porter loves to wear sunglasses!

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2 Responses to “Sharing my Wisdom–on Not Having Girls”

  1. Erin Peters Says:

    I wish I had a girl because of the grown-up relationship I have with my mom. My husband and so many other men I know do not have a close relationship with their mom, but pretty much all of my female friends do. My brother is pretty close to my mom, though, so maybe the mom matters more than the gender. I hope so!


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