Emma’s most recent reaction to things kreepy and krawly has made me wonder about boys and girls, and the things that make them different. Of course, this is a sweeping generalization as I know a particular blonde haired, blue eyed little girl who loves anything gogga-like. And of course, my younger brother, at the age of thirty-something, still has a coronary when he sees a moth.
Emma plays with trucks and building blocks and she has a black little bike that her granny gave her. The point I’m making is that we’ve never purposely steered her towards all things girly and away from anything boyish. Clothing doesn’t count. Everything she owns has pink on it, somewhere. This is of course for the benefit of strangers who insist on asking me how old ‘he’ is (see blog entry http://melindasmemoirsmumbled.blogspot.com/2011/07/adopting-black-babies-101.html).
But lately she is a real girl when it comes to anything frog-like, bug-like or gogga-like. Just the other day I was outside the kitchen door – I’m a smoker and I’m not allowed to smoke inside the house….yes, I hear the jeering and the jibes…it really is my only vice 😉 – and I heard Emma ask her dad “where’s mom?” I mumbled underneath my breath that I had gone mad and had been duly shot, but Mark told her that I was at the back door. Emma went into her power-walk-run type thing where she pumps her arms at her side, apparently propelling herself forward. Not. But it is funny to behold.
As she got to me she asked “Mom, what you doing?” After a quick huff and puff I told her I was looking at the frog. Of course I said this as she got to my side. “FROG?!?” she yelled. “Yes a frog. And neither the frog or I are deaf. You don’t have to shou……….” I didn’t get to finish my sentence. When I looked to see where she was, she had turned, pumped her arms in order to gain momentum and had hot-footed it out of the kitchen. All in one very coordinated movement. After nearly peeing on myself (and the frog) from laughing so much, I walked into the lounge and there Emma was, tucked under dad’s arm, telling anyone who cared to listen that she was scared and that she didn’t like frogs.
On another occasion, Emma was playing in the dining-cum-play-room, when I pointed out a daddy long legs to her. “Ooooooooh” she said looking at. “It’s incy wincy spider!” Of course I told her that it wasn’t IWS but rather a daddy long legs…”I don’t like daddy’s long legs” she exclaimed and waddled off. Almost two hours later she asked me if I would read with her. “Sure, grab a book from there” I said pointing to the dining-cum-play-room. “No way” she said “The incy wincy spider with daddy’s long legs is there!” Three days later I still couldn’t get her into the room. She was convinced IWS was waiting for her.
Where did this fear come from? Mark and I are not born-nature killers. We don’t purposefully go out and kill members of the insect world. In fact, every day when I pull my car out the garage I walk around it to see if there’s a frog near one of my tyres. If there is, I move it to somewhere safe. We don’t burn ants with magnifying glasses and we don’t sacrifice mosquitoes to any gogga deities.
It can’t be inherent, cos like I said I know a little girl, a year older than Emma, who lives for an encounter of the insect-kind and I know a thirty-something male who still, to this day, wets himself at the sight of a moth or a Christmas beetle…
I just know that if Emma marrying someone depended on her kissing a frog we won’t need to worry about labola!