When it comes to kids I’m lucky, I’ve got the full set. One girl, one boy, job done.
This has led to debate and intrigue, particularly from those about to enter the perilous world of parenthood, as to which is the easiest to handle.
As my daughter is only five and Jack is ten months, I’m not the most experienced person to ask, but there are some evident differences.
For example, if you gave a little girl a cardboard shoe box and a stick, she’d probably turn the box into some form of ornate castle for a doll, using the stick as a flag pole, indicating that Barbie is resident in her pasta garnished palace.
Give the same to a little boy and he’ll wear the box as a helmet, shoe and boxing glove. Then transform the box into a doghouse and actually shoe-horn his pet inside, finishing with the obliteration of the box, using the stick as a bayonet.
Which would you prefer?
Having grown up with a younger brother, my mum must have longed for at least one person in the house who wasn’t hell-bent on destruction or fire.
I’m not suggesting that girls just want to darn and decorate, but a summer holiday at home with two wrecking balls must have taken her close to her physical and mental limits.
One school is so concerned that it has released a leaflet to parents, explaining the major differences in parenting boys and girls and offering advice on how to avoid the pitfalls when bringing up a daughter.
They suggest that girls are a lot more complex and parents should build a strategy to deal with the child’s behaviour.
That’s the bit I don’t understand – at one stage or another most mums were girls. They’ve been involved in the mind-games, trickery and manipulation around daddy’s little finger – so surely mums should be able to see it coming?
In the future, if my son says: ‘Dad, I’m going to catch a fox over the flats, bring it home, wash it and keep it as a pet in my bedroom,’ I’ll reply knowingly: ‘No, you’re not, foxes don’t like showers and they aren’t too fond of living under a snooker table either.’
I don’t really need a document to warn me that boys can be evil; I was part of the research.
We ran a poll on my radio show asking people across the south which was easier to bring up and the findings were enlightening.
A massive 87 per cent said that being a parent to a boy was easier.
In general, dealing with a football through a window pane is a 20 minute job.
Dealing with stroppiness is 20 years plus.