This weekend my first grader attended the birthday party of a male classmate.  We got in the car, drove 40 minutes across town, and landed on Planet Boy.


A football game graced the living room TV.  Little Bit stared at it in confusion.  The televisions in our house have the S chip – sports programs are blocked – so she’d never seen football before.  Birthday Boy and a few early guests spilled down the stairs and swarmed over the room, knocking potted plants and assorted furniture about. 


My daughter clung to me, eyes wide.


The Boys vanished again through a thick mist of fists and elbows, the magic words “new legos” having lured them upstairs.


“Little Bit,” I said, “do you want to go up to Birthday Boy’s room with the other kids?”


Her grip tightened and she begged me with her eyes not to leave.


I chatted with the other mothers while gently trying to pry my child’s fingers loose before she cut off my circulation.  Mercifully, the entertainment arrived in the form of Proton Pam.


The Mad Science company ( will send an educator to your house to do a one hour science show for your party guests.  The show includes chemicals, electricity, magic, and gross jokes.  I don’t know what it costs but let me tell you, Proton Pam earned every penny.


Birthday Boy’s mom thoughtfully provided a pillow for each guest to sit on, on the floor.  The four little girl guests sat on their pillows and watched Proton Pam with rapt attention.  The twelve little boy guests shoved each other off of pillows, grabbed each other’s pillows, whapped each other with pillows, put each other in choke holds in order to gain control of one another’s pillows, rolled across the floor without regard to obstacles such as other children, punched each other, and occasionally looked up to see what Proton Pam was up to.


Most amazing to me was the Boy capacity for self-deception.  One little fellow ran his mouth continuously throughout the program, yet when P.P. restored order by asking “who’s listening?” he clammed up mid-sentence, removed his hands from his neighbor’s ankles, faced forward, and shot his arm up in the air with an earnest, attentive expression. 


The cake and ice cream interlude was safe enough, as the boys were momentarily stilled by the need to aim their forks into their mouths.  That accomplished, Little Bit felt no need to linger. 


In the car she expressed satisfaction with the party, the initial trauma of culture shock forgotten.  She especially liked the bag of loot the Mad Science people provide, containing several cool science-y toys. 


I think it’s good for a child’s social development to have these eye-opening experiences in diversity.  Coming soon in the form of her big sister: Planet Adolescence.




15 thoughts on “VISITORS TO PLANET BOY

  1. I can’t believe that boy even invited any girls.   They are horrible at this age…ok, pretty much any age, and I heartily recommend that Little Bit totally ignore them in the future!  (With the exception of Cousin Chip, of course!)

  2. HA HA, that was great!!!!  Having had one of each sex, there is a difference between little boys and girls, and this is a great example.  This also proves that girls are just as good in Science as boys.  I do have to say though, it’s no wonder boys learn anything at all.  Who says men/boys can’t multi task?  Farting in faces and punching, and learning all at once?  I have to give the weaker sex some credit here.

  3. I remember having two brothers ,and being a tom boy and all about planet boy.My brothers and I had fun even if it did just look like we were wild and rather primitive in our approach to communication.Our favorite game was to take mirrors ,hold them under our chins and walk on the ceilings I am delighted ,truly ,that you dropped by because reciprocity nets me a link to a wonderful place to read..

  4. When I was a kid, I hated boys with a passion. They were mean, nasty, rotten and would they hurt my feelings every time they got near one. When did they get so innocent? Just sort of…clueless…?

  5. What’s scarier, Planet Boy or Planet Adolescence?  I have a friend who is dating a mad scientist.  I didn’t know it was a chain.  I wonder if Protn Pam hangs out with Eddie Electron in her off hours.

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