BUT, I didn't intend on this blog becoming "all Punkin, all the time" so I'm going to share the love and talk about Bubba just a little.
Bubba is in the throes of the "all girls have cooties/no way would I like I girl/NO, I DO NOT HAVE A GIRLFRIEND" stage that most boys go through. The only girl that is accepted no questions asked is his beloved cousin Birdie. Bubba and Birdie have been inseparable since they were old enough to play together. While other cousins of the same gender as Bubba and Birdie have occasionally parted them, they generally wind up back together doing their "Stupid Country Cousins" routine, which is generally hilarious (and incidentally the only time I allow him to say stupid.)
Bubba did have a little girlfriend once, when he was about four. Her name was Rose and she had lovely, curly red hair. She was smart and feisty and I liked her. But somebody -- not me, I'm smarter than that -- teased Bubba about her and that was it for girlfriends. Or even girl friends -- that he will admit to, anyway.
So, when we were at the beach recently, I couldn't help but notice a little girl playing near us in the water. She kept placing herself in general proximity to Bubba and looking at me and smiling. She and Bubba looked to be about the same age, so I called Bubba over and said "Bubba, I'm pretty sure that little girl wants to play with you. Why don't you play with her?"
"Mommy! She's a GIRL!"
"So?! Just pretend she's Birdie!"
"I don't want to play with her!"
Finally, I took matters into my own hands and when she ran by me I asked her name. Her name was Hailey and she was camping with her grandparents. And I was right, she was seven, too. After that, it didn't take too long before we were all building a sandcastle together and then before too long, she and Bubba took off to ride their body boards together.
From then on Hailey was all I heard about. "Do you think Hailey will be at the beach when we get down there? Can Hailey come see our campsite? Can I ride my bike over to Hailey's campsite? Can Hailey and I ride our bikes around the loop?" Hailey, Hailey, Hailey.
On the last day, Bubba begged to ride his bike to Hailey's campsite to say goodbye. When he got back I couldn't resist and said "See, aren't you glad you played with Hailey after all?"
"Yeah," Bubba admitted. "It's just that I didn't think she would like to do stuff like I like to do, since she's a girl."
My tomboy and feminist feathers slightly ruffled, I replied somewhat indignantly, "Well, maybe from now on you should get to know someone before you start deciding what they might or might not like to do, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so. She was pretty cool."
So maybe, just maybe, girls don't have quite as many cooties as they used to. Hailey, wherever you are, thank you for being a cool girl.