With just a few months to go before we leave, I’ll admit to sometimes lying awake in the middle of the night anxious about some aspect of our year in the Caribbean. In no particular order, things that have caused night time sweats include: going offshore for the first time, being responsible for the safety of my family or being able to keep all of Alchemy’s systems working.
But most of all, what keeps me awake at night is the challenge of taking three boys afloat and trying to stop them going feral. And just to mention, a few gender stereotypes might creep into this blog post, I apologize in advance.
As our three boys have grown up, and we have been brave enough to take them to public places, I have always been surprised at how differently the girls of other parents seem to be. I can remember restaurant after restaurant where the table across from us had a couple of girls the same age as our boys, and they’d be quietly reading or coloring, patiently waiting for dinner to arrive. By comparison I’d be pleading with our boys to get through the 20 minutes before food arrives. They’d be writhing under the table or seeing who could make the loudest “cheek squeak”.
Looking at other sailing families, I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but an awful lot of them seem to either have girls or only one or two kids. Looking at the peaceful images of child tranquility gives me pangs of doubt. It seems like it’s our visits to restaurants all coming back to me.
OK, OK, I’ll admit I cheated and deliberately leveraged Google image search to find those pictures, but I have a point to prove after all!
Thanks to Women and Cruising, Sailing Papillon, Sailing Britican and Kamaya for the wonderful examples of their great girls!
But, in my defence, let me just throw out there what the North boys consider a good time:
- Shooting bows is great fun.
- There was that time they wanted to just run into things.
- Or when our friend generously lent the boys boxing gloves.
- And bodily functions are always a team effort.
So, just saying, I reckon sailing with boys can be very different to sailing with girls. And, to be honest, it makes me nervous.
Maybe I shouldn’t have bought the harpoon tips so the could hunt for
Do you have any good ideas for activities for boys and/or girls on a sailboat?
(Obviously this post is full of (mostly) gender stereotypes. If you are interested in a great resource that explains the different developmental levels of children, check out Yardsticks: Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14)