Julie Lyles Carr: Jumpin' Genders!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jumpin' Genders!

Those of you who expected a more, say, esoteric post based on the sensationalist title, you may be a bit....ummmm...chagrined. But for the rest of you....well, you should kind of get my odd humor by this point...

I am the only girl in my family of origin, the oldest of my folk's three progeny, the Big Sissy to my two younger brothers. I speak 'boy'. I get it. Boys are not a mystery.

Girls, however....

And being one has not always improved my understanding.

But I'm learning.

Because apparently I'm in charge of the day-to-day care and feeding of a handful of girls--a literal handful. As in five.

With a trio mix of boys.

There are plenty of little anecdotes in the Mommy Files about the differences I see between all the kids...the nuances of their personalities, the sundry of shades. I tend to not think of their differences as gender based...except for a particular venue.

And that venue would be....

the trampoline.

I've come to see the trampoline as a chromosomal cauldron of sorts, the black round vat of steaming gender divergence. All it takes is asking a few questions, interviewing the jumpees, to begin to see a pattern between male and female jumping experiences.

First we will establish the Female Trampoline Experience:

Me: "Girls, what are you doing?"

Girls: "Oh, well AT is being the girl and I'm the baby and we're in this desert and there are these camels and we're trying to catch one because we are so thirsty and then I turn into a girl too and we go to this tent and we put on beautiful jewels and then AT is the princess and then I turn into a princess too and then it turns out that we are both princesses and then we get to another tent and then there are mean people and we have to escape and then we are so scared and then we go over these very high mountains and we only have our beautiful dresses on and we find a little baby and then AT turns into the baby and I'm the princess and then we find out that we were sisters!"

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Me: "Wow! So do you jump?"

Girls: "What do you mean?"

Me: "Well, you're on a trampoline...so when do you jump?"

Girls: "Remember, I told you that I'm the girl and AT is being the baby...."

Me: "Could you jump so I could take a picture?"

Girls: (with a bit of confusion) "Well, um, okaaaay....can we hold hands?"

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Next, view the transcript from the Male Trampoline Experience:

Me: "Boys, what are you doing?"

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Boys: "JUMPING!"

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Me: "But what are you playing?"

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Boys: "JUMPING!"

Me: "Anything else? Any drama? Any dialogue? Any plot? Any characters?"

Boys: "JUMPING! Oh, and sometimes we try to make each other fall off!"

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And there you have it. For the female, the trampoline is a social stage, a black box theater venue for the princess stories, relationship-building, dialogue. For the male, the trampoline is for...jumping.

I find this profound.

Revealing the deeper mysteries of life,

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