It is an established fact that boys are different to girls.
Ok, moving away from the obvious, I mean given the same parents, upbringing and influences, boys will generally seek out more masculine pursuits than girls.
This is, perhaps, why my 10 year old son has injured himself for the third time in as many weeks.
Firstly, it was his arm, the result of getting stuck in a tree –happily he escaped with wounded pride on having to be rescued, but no broken bones.
Then he hurt his foot during the final match of the season (Achilles tendon to be precise – which has blighted the careers of more than one professional footballer). This not only put him out of the second half (luckily his team still won) but curtailed all sporting activities for a fortnight.
This week, having returned to full health (and school), he slipped on the newly laid Astroturf and hurt his back resulting in him being immobilised for a further two days.
Then there is his collection of (toy!) guns. When my son was born, after two girls, vowed that I would never let him play with guns. This went out of the window very shortly after his second birthday when it became apparent that if we weren’t prepared to buy him the aforementioned toy, he would improvise with whatever came to hand. We relented and he now has a Nerf arsenal worthy of a small arms dealer. (I should add that my son remains one of the most gentle boys I know and would not intentionally harm so much as a spider.)
Added to this is the sheer joy he gets from taking things apart to see how they work, even though he has long since found out that they don’t always go back together again! Lately, he has come to the conclusion that the toy manufacturers don’t always deliver and he has started designing his own games, cars and toys (ok, yes, guns too!). We have diversified from Lego and Meccano into elaborate creations handcrafted from wood and metal. If the football career doesn’t play out(!), I can foresee a career as a designer.
My girls love shopping, my son hates it. I have just taken him on the bi-annual trip into town to buy enough shorts, t-shirts and sandals to see him through the summer months. A similar trip takes place in the autumn.
My daughters have inherited their parents’ love of books whilst their brother has just enough attention for a Simpsons comic.
The girls like rom-coms, he prefers action thrillers.
I could go on. The last month of injuries has confirmed what I always thought to be true; boys are definitely different to girls.
And as the doctor said when I presented him with the latest injury: "Boys will always be boys."