On Little Girls and Boys


What are little boys made of, made of?

What are little boys made of?

Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails;

That’s what little boys are made of.


What are little girls made of, made of?

What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice and everything nice;

That’s what little girls are made of.


I remembered this rhyme when I put Niece and Nephew to bed last night, after reading the requisite four books (one of which must have been a translation of a French book because the rhymes and meter were so off; even with kids’ books one can’t help being a literary critic). Niece, who has a hair obsession, called me to her bed so she could play with and stroke my hair. Then Nephew called me over to his.

‘What for?’ I asked, bending close so I could hear him.

‘So I can fart in your face, Auntie.’

‘That’s disgusting,’ I told him, and promptly went back to Niece’s bed, while he laughed at his own joke.