Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Whistle while you work.

P’s lads are on a youth camp this week.

So P has to do all of their paper rounds. And here I am: the oldest paperboy in the South of England.

I’ve just finished – and I am totally cream-crackered. But I enjoy it: the thud of paper on carpet – the clipping letterbox snapping shut – the crunch of boots on driveway – the barking dogs and twitching curtains – it’s all joy.

Trouble is

… boys aint so enthusiastic…the little Philistines.

If you only knew the weekly hassle I have in getting the little blighters out of that door, and down the road to deliver the bleedin' papers. They just don’t want to do it. Sometimes when it’s peeing down with rain – I end up doing it for them. And that is krap….and weak.

We have a system:

My daughters put the leaflets in the papers and my boys deliver. And the contrast between male and female is never starker than in this division of labour.

My girls come home from school - and the first thing they do?

They get the leaflets done. You should see them – no hesitation – no blubbing – no complaining – they just get right on with it. The task is completed days before schedule. So perfunctory in their approach.

But my boys? Oh me Gawd – anyone would think I was subjecting them to weekly torture.

Why is this? Can someone offer an explanation as to why the girls just get on with it whilst the boys' energies are directed towards wriggling out of it?

My other system

I have another system for getting jobs around the house done.

Mrs P was complaining that she was doing ALL of the work whilst we (me and the lads) were watching the boxing and football and generally lazing. So I sorted out a rota – with every kid (and me) getting a job to do every day – it went up on the wall – with days at the top and jobs down the side – with the name of the worker put in each box.

Honest-ta-Gawd – it’s a brilliant system.

My girls love it – and enthusiastically tackle each job – can’t wait to see what jobs they have for that day….and just get on with it….no blubbing and complaining…

Anyway – within days the chart is covered in arrows and lines and crossings-out. The girls know nothing about this and are as perplexed as I am. So

I say to the boys:

“Okay – what’s all this krap on the chart?”


“Well – I swapped two jobs with him and then he swapped one with him over there and then we didn’t think it was fair to give us that job on boxing days and so we crossed that one off and changed this one for that job…and anyway the girls aren’t doing as many as us…which isn’t fair, and so we tried to even it out…and then it’s also unfair that we have to walk the dogs on two consecutive days..and….”

I tell you P Club


This is not just my problem.

I went for lunch with an old mate today. He says to me:

“Mr P – how do you motivate your boys to do their school work; my daughter is fine and gets on with it – but my son just wants to play tennis and golf – what’s the answer?”

Bloody Hell. I don’t know – I am still working on it.


We treat our kids the same – no favouritism – all are encouraged – built up – praised etc….but there is definitely a difference between boys and girls.

Girls = organised, disciplined and serious minded
Boys = disorganised, and couldn’t give a stuff.

What’s the Answer P Club?

Mrs P blames Me. She says the good traits are inherited from her (discipine, eye for detail, getting the job done, seriousness) and the girls are lucky enough to inherit these characteristics from her. That it has nothing to do with being a boy or girl.

She says the bad traits are inherited from Me (anarchistic, unruly and anti-establishment) and the boys are unlucky enough to inherit these characteristics from me.

It's Utter Bollocks of course.

There is most certainly a difference between male and female.

Don't cha-think?


boXer girl said...

I'm not so sure I agree with you, but Mrs P is definitely on to something... my daughter gets her creativity, passion, zest, enthusiasm, and cute toes from me, but gets her laziness, "don't talk to me in the morning", live-in-a-pigsty, why do I have to learn math anyway, attitudes from her father.

Law Minx said...

My Dear P

Are not BOL***KS ( posession or lack of thereto )THE definitive difference between Male and Female, Man and Woman, Boy and Girl?!
Eight kids? I cant cope with ONE - and that's not even MINE, but my Cousins!! I commend you sir, for your dilligent and patient parenting. I think I would have been off a cliff in a car long ago!! :))

Ms. Moon said...

I agree with your wife. I have one boy, three girls. Only one of the girls performed as yours do. And my worst procrastinator and whiner was a girl, too. So there! You're lucky to have ANY children who do their work without being nagged. That's my opinion, anyway.
P.S. The worst procrastinator and whiner is still lazy at home, but is a terrific employee and is constantly praised at work. So there is hope.

Law Girl said...

I am so glad to hear someone else say this as my brother who is only a couple of years older than your boys, is EXACTLY the same if not worse. Monosyllabic. Uncooperative. Refuses to do homework until last minute. Generally in his own world of boyness and gaming!

LG has been pondering the brother problem for months. Is it just genetic evilness? Mild aspergers? Dropped on the head as small child? (I do admit to dressing him up as a girl and putting make up on him and wrapping him up in a duvet and rolling him down the stairs but in my defence he was 2 and doesn't seem to remember it!).

But it is none of these things.

It is boyness.

The inexplicable phase between sweet and engaging child and responsible, intelligent and intelligible man.

I hope he emerges from the cloud soon or my threat to throw the computer out of the loft window will be realised.

Vodka Mom said...

as a teacher, I must say....THERE IS a difference. no questions.

as a mother, I must say......I blame my husband......