“Frogs and Tails and puppy dog tails, That’s what little boys are made of… What are little girls made of ? Sugar and spice and everything nice That’s what little girls are made of!” I never believed in this rhyme and would frown on it saying it is pure gender discrimination, until…. 8th Jan 2012 – I decided to throw a birthday party for my 7 year old son, Rohan and we invited 20 children over – that’s 17 boys and 3 girls. While the party was scheduled to start at 5:30pm, most of the boys turned up at 4:45pm with no gifts in hand saying that their mothers will send the gifts later (much to Rohan’s chagrin) and decided to settle down in the toy room.
5 board games and 2 Hot Wheels rounds later, they emerged hot and hungry – and the party had not yet officially started. (Note to self : Strictly enforce timings – no kid to be allowed before the scheduled start time). My mother-in-law almost decided to go down for a walk to escape all the noise when the rest of the gang trooped in. I gave them crayons and thought I’d keep the kids busy with colouring while I got the games organized, but no ! “Aunty – that’s a baby’s game – I won’t colour” – said a proud 8 year old, while “Yuk ! I don’t want to colour ” – said another. (There went my plan down the drain). Not to be discouraged, I managed to get them all in a line to play “Draw the tail on XLR8 blindfolded” game (For those who don’t have young boys, XLR8 is a Ben10 alien).
You cannot imagine what a tough time I had judging the top 3 winners amidst shouts of “I got it first” , “What is the next game?”, “What prize, aunty?”, “I didn’t get a chance at all”, “Aunty – he cheated”. The girls dutifully took their turn, drew the tail as best as they could , and waited patiently The next game was one of “unscrambling”. I never knew that forming teams of 2 was an arduous task for 20 children. (Note to self: Just keep a round of Passing the Parcel next time.) 10 minutes of chaos later, the kids were seated in groups, paper and pencil in hand – but did they wait to hear the instructions ? No ! It took me 5 whole minutes to get them to be quiet long enough to listen to the instructions.
The girls quickly finished their puzzle and handed it to me without a word – while the boys ran all over the place searching for their partner, searching for their pens, searching for aunty to listen to the instructions again, and what not ! Finally, I got the game done, announced the winners, and got the cake out. (Note to self: No games in the next party.) I thought that the kids would be quiet at least now !
But, as always, I was proven wrong. Until the cake was cut, the boys were seated munching pizzas, spilling ketchup on my newly shampooed African carpet, and asking for seconds (Note to self : No party next time)- I knew no peace. And, I must add that the girls were the epitome of good manners all the while !( although their parents mentioned that the same good manners get thrown out of the window as soon as they get home :)) Pizzas wolfed down, juices gulped, cakes enjoyed – each and every one of the boys came to me with a look which said “Alright – we’re done – do you have our return gifts ready ?”. I was only too ready to see the party come to an end ! I handed over my simple return gift bags and saw them leave – with a look of accomplishment and fulfilment! That’s when I realized – that’s what boys are made of ! Note to self : Will organize a party every year till my son turns 15