What do you say when you want to compliment someone generally? If you're just making a comment on their likability or all-around goodness, how do you express it? I'm sure you've heard these before: "You're the bomb", "You're the berries" or the extremely overused "Awesome". There's also the silly comments like, "You're the frosting on my cupcake". (For more food-related comments, read June 16th's entry.) For my boys, it seems lately that the best compliment they can give someone is to call them "the Man". If one of them does something particularly smart or cool, one of the others gives them a high-five and a "You the man!" They've even complimented me this way. "Mom's the man!" It felt weird when I typed it and it sounds weird when they say it too.
I don't mind the compliment so much. When they throw it my way I feel like I'm one of the crowd (of boys). But something else started annoying me recently.
When the boys really want to get under each other's skin, they call them a girl. I noticed my oldest son doing that to my youngest son just to make him mad. But I've seen all of them do it when they're arguing. "You're a girl!" "No, you're a girl." Does anybody else see the problem here? Why is being a man a compliment and being a girl an insult? I understand male mentality and all that, but I don't think this gives a good image. I finally complained about the unequal treatment the other day. Results? The boys still compliment each other by calling them the man, and they still insult each other by calling them girls. But now when they compliment me, the say, "Mom's the woMAN." Somehow I don't think they're getting the big picture. And all I've managed to do is get myself moved one step away from being one of the crowd. That's fine. I wonder what their reaction would be if, when they're being high maintenance about something, I called them Barbie dolls?