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Tackle, Tackle

I don't know how people raise daughters because I have 2 sons. In my in-sanest moments, I have thought about having a daughter and have entertained thoughts about rushing into Toys'Rus straight to the Barbie doll section. My preoccupation with daughters is short-lived. Then I become sane all over again ? I must be out of my mind thinking about having another child! No way, it's totally, absolutely, positively, undoubtedly out of the question. I do love babies. Oh, how I do love them. Pinching cheeks is not one of my favorite things to do an infant but I sure do love the feel of their feathery skin that is layered with fine, fine hair. I can't resist touching their bums like a lunatic.

I am quite sure daughters are fun. Sometimes I watch other mothers fuss with their daughter's hair and I look at Joshua and Jared and think to myself, "You think daddy will still love them if I leave their hair long so that I can tie them in braids and put ribbons on them?" My sons are pretty pretty, if I do say so myself but I don't think they'd like me to dress them up as girls.

I tried.

Dressing my boys as girls Joshua already knows the difference between girls and boys ? after the countless number of times we've broached the topic, how could he NOT know??? The times when we laughed till we were rolling around in unabashed nakedness in the bathroom because he thought I dropped my penis? Classic case of sex education gone folly. Jared, in the meantime, kept lifting up the skirt to see where the pant is one time I dressed him up as a Cinderella. I guess, it's not going to work.

My confusion and problem on dealing with little girls started when I realized that I don't know how to buy pretty dresses and fancy head gears for girls. Mind you, although I DO have a critical eye out for fashion faults, I am not a very good dresser. I prefer the slip-on-and-go-and-don't-feel-like-I-am-wearing-anything-at-all types of clothes. If I had to insomuch as zip, button, snap-on, clasp or buckle anything, I'd feel like dressing was too much of an effort. Naturally, being the 'casual dresser' that I am (my family members refer to it as 'sloppy' but I object), I find myself in a mental maze whenever I have to buy gifts for girls. And in this month itself, there are two. One is for my 9-year-old cousin (being 32 this year, I have a pre-puberty cousin? Yes, I do. So, sue me) and another is for my niece, who's turning 3 this month.

Birthday present problem For my cousin, I was thinking about buying soft toys because it's hard to go wrong with soft toys. I mean, doesn't everybody adore soft toys anymore? But no, I decided against it. I went into the clothes department to get her some fairy costumes, a princess crown or glass slippers, whatever! But it occurred to me that I didn't know how to pick out female clothing at all. Then, I jogged myself into the stationery department, thinking of getting her a school bag. Boy, a school bag? How boring can I be? So, off I go again, into the books department this time. And I got her something that I don't know whether she will like or not ? but I am quite sure it's hard to go wrong with books. Furthermore, I know I would have loved to get books as a present if I was still 9-years-old. Granted the fact that I was a major bookworm at that time.

It's even worse for my 3-year-old niece ? I went from one department to another, shopping mall to shopping mall for days on end. Up till today, I come home empty-handed, wide-eyed and clueless. What in the world do you buy for a 3-year-old girl who already has everything she can ever wish for?

"Bah!" to girls.

Tackling Another thing that bothers me is that I tend to be a little?.erm?.adventurous and wild with my kids. They're boys, so, they naturally like to roughhouse a little and jump, hop, skip, run, hide, scare?.tackle each other. And being a good mom, that's precisely the kind of games that I play with them. I tackle them to the ground, wrestler-fashion, knocking my knuckles into their skull, digging my fingernails into their backs and sides, biting into the butts, pushing their heads into pillows?..

When my nieces come into the room and take one look at the kind of games that we're playing with each other, they have 2 different reactions. One, they gape at us. Two, they want to join us but is afraid to. I remember playing the roughhousing game with one of my nieces, throwing her up in the air the way I throw Jared. She went stiff like a baseball bat in the air and when I caught her back into my arms, she looked like she was going to barf! Her face was green and her lips suddenly had cracks on them.

I gingerly placed her back on the floor and she sped out of the room.

As for having a daughter, forget about it. I'll stick with my two monsters and continue with our snarling and growling activities until they decide that they want to play Barbie with their girlfriends. I will continue to enjoy my boys?.until next year rolls around.

Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from her home in Selangor, Malaysia. She loves nothing more than blowing bubbles in the park with her 2 kids, Joshua and Jared and considers getting her hair yanked while playing horsey. To her, it's a privilege she treasures. She is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at http://www.marshamaung.com

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