Raising a boy and a girl together is interesting, to say the least. All these years the twins have been almost inseparable, joining in each others games even if one was a bit reluctant. Naisha’s no tomboy yet she does enjoy football and ‘bat ball’. Hrit, though reluctant, joined in celebrating Shanti’s birthday with gusto.
Now however the differences are becoming pronounced and they’re not sure how to handle the situation. Last evening when we came down to play there were a host of girls, 6 to 4 years old, playing together and they asked Naisha, just Naisha, to join in, categorically saying, “Aunty please, no boys.”
Naisha happily went off with them and I took Hrit to the swings. Fortunately he met another boy and they launched off with their beyblades. However, every five minutes or so Naisha would come running to check on Hrit and every few minutes he’d say..”Mama may I go play with the girls?” I tried to distract him because the other girls didn’t want him around. Finally the other boy also gave up the beyblade and they ran off to the girls.
When I reached there huffing and puffing I found the girls shrieking and running around with the boys following them kicking and punching in the air. “Don’t run after the girls, Hrit,” I yelled till I saw the girls were actually enjoying the whole thing. The one who’d asked me to keep Hrit away clarified, “Aunty they can play with us. We are all princesses, they can be monsters and chase us.”
With that I had to be satisfied.. at least they were all having fun together.. so what if the son was a monster?
Afterthought: I can see myself some 15 years hence telling my son, “Don’t run after the girls” while the girls will be having just as much fun as him. I do hope I accept all of that with as much equanimity as I did this time. Just as I dismissed this as part of growing up, hope I can do it then too. My sister's sniggering, already.