Boys Vs. Girls

It was my week to drive the six little munchkins over to Gymnastics Land again tonight.

Only I guess we didn’t have the full half dozen, as Madelyn was home sick. So really? I exaggerated. I only drove five monkeys to gymnastics today.

And, if you read the post from November 17th (believe me, I had to search to see which post I’d told the tale in), then you know about The Sleepy Game. Why is it called by that title? I have no idea. Does that title make any sense at all? No. But it’s what the kids call it, so it’s what I call it. I wouldn’t want to veer off of the path and be considered abnormal by renaming the game at this point. I like to think that the crowd thinks I’m rather cool, only I’m not sure that it’s actually cool to use the word cool these days. Maybe the word cool is officially out of style. If it is, I’m unaware of it. But, regardless of the dialect, at least I manage to speak their language, so they have enthusiastically accepted me as their Monday Night Leader. (Of course, that could just be because I’m the only one in the group with a driver’s license, and the only one in the group who is actually tall enough to sit in the driver’s seat and have her feet reach the pedals.)

But oh, yes! I can speak their language.

Listen: LG Chocolate Touch. Taylor Swift. Nintendo DSi. iPod. iPhone. Jonas Brothers. Aeropostale. Darth Maul. Hogwarts. Isabella Swan. (I speak both the male version AND the female version of this language. I’m practically fluent!)

So we played The Sleepy Game on the way to Gymnastics Land again this week. Talia, Gracie and Sara set enormous limits on WHAT phrases Ryan and the boy could use. This time, the Congressional session declared that disgusting verbiage could not be used in the game — Not. At. All.

Remember, The Sleepy Game is played by the first person throwing out a word — any word — and the second person tosses out a word that the first word reminds them of. Clear as mud, isn’t it?

This is how things shook down tonight.

Gracie started. It is, after all, Gracie’s game. It was Gracie’s game two weeks ago; it was Gracie’s game last week. It was Gracie’s game tonight. By sheer ownership of the idea of playing The Sleepy Game, Gracie gets dibs at going first.

Gracie said, “Gymnastics.”

Sara said, “Madelyn.” (Because, clearly, the word gymnastics reminded Sara of Madelyn, who was home with the plague. Or the twenty-four hour stomach flu.)

Talia said, “Sick.” (Because thinking about Madelyn reminded Talia that Madelyn was sick.)

And then it was Ryan’s turn. Oh, people. The girls should have known. They left off with the word sick, and a boy had the next turn. Boys’ brains do not think in fluffy, rainbowy terminology like girls’ brains do. With no hesitation whatsoever, Ryan pitched out the words, “Excessive vomiting.”

The girls shrieked. They emphatically declared that Ryan was in gross violation of the Code of Conduct for The Sleepy Game. Ryan wasted no time at all in proclaiming that he was actually completely innocent of the crime of which he was accused, because he was polite enough to use the term “excessive vomiting,” when he could have said something MUCH worse. The boy backed Ryan up, wholeheartedly. The boy actually KNEW synonyms for “excessive vomiting,” which he was happy to share with the group, in an attempt to show the girls that Ryan was absolutely correct in proclaiming that he had, indeed, used a polite phrase.

And then Gracie said, “You know, I’m just going to eat the snack that my mom packed for me, instead of playing The Sleepy Game.”

Gracie proceeded to peel the lid back on a little cup of bright orange Jell-O. The boy (my pride and joy), turned around in his seat and said to Gracie, “Did you know that Jell-O is made out of ground up horse hooves? The factory actually pulverizes horse hooves into dust, and they put it into orange Jell-O.”

I was prepared to let the boy take the beating that Gracie and Talia desperately wanted to dish out to him. They shrieked. They howled. They gasped. Gracie refused to eat her Jell-O cup.

I’m not sure why the little ladies continue to ride with us on Monday nights, but I’m glad that they do. I enjoy them thoroughly. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — those girls warm my heart, and I’d adopt each and every single one of them. They’re a nice balance to the boy.

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