Monday, July 28, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Pony Tails

AFF answered my plea for blogging topics a few weeks ago with the question "what do you think the difference is raising girls vs boys?" As a mom of an 8 year old girl and a nearly 19 month old boy, I can certainly say that there are differences although I know so many of you, who have more children than I, would be much more qualified to answer.

In my experience, though, the differences are quite surprising and typical of what you would probably expect. My daughter was/is quiet, polite and sweet. She is obedient and kind. So far, my son is none of these things.

When Claire was a toddler, a firm "no" and a disapproving glance often stopped her cold. If I raised my voice or said her full name? Oh, my goodness, she would wail. She liked hats, dresses and hated bugs. She truly was sugar and spice but perfect? No. She whined. All. The. Time. I understand language development and that she didn't have the words but good gawd could that child whine...She whined so much I taught her to go to her room while she whined and cried unless there was a good reason for it- of course, she was more like 2-3 when that was enforced.

Liam, though, eats ants. He climbs things. He is covered in bruises and I find myself explaining to people that he is just busy and I am not a child abuser, despite the temptation. He doesn't whine unless he is ill or sleepy. Tantrums, though, are monumental. And I do mean the throw himself on the ground and have a royal fit kind of tantrum. He loves to be outside and into things and is always busy.

So, for me, my kids fall into stereotypical roles. Did I encourage them? Of course sociologist and behaviorists would say yes but I think Liam was just born more aggressive than Claire. He speaks louder and is more physical than she ever was. Claire has a very nurturing personality and is nice and always has been.

With Liam, I find that I have to raise my voice louder and more often than I ever have with Claire; she was more responsive to a verbal cue. He needs removed and touched to be signaled that his behavior is inappropriate. I am told by others that this is just "being a boy."

I have been told that boys are more difficult in the early ages and girls more so in the teen years. For me, I have a feeling this is going to hold true because Claire has been a real breeze to date but Liam kicks my ass every day.

To be honest, I was disappointed that I was having a son when we discovered that we were at 18 weeks. You see, I liked buying dresses and hats and ruffly socks. The boys clothing department is smaller than my closet and how many pairs of navy shorts can one kid have? But, I feel really badly now for my early disappointment because that little ant eating, cat chasing, stinky boy? He loves me so completely and differently than Claire (a daddy's girl from her first breath) did at this age. And I adore him too. There really is something magical about the relationship between a boy and his momma.....

I just hope that this special relationship doesn't translate into trouble when he starts dating because I don't want to be that MIL. You know, like mine. And hers. And hers.

9 comments:

wright said...

I am not sure what I want this new baby to be. I am a bit scared of having a boy. But I think you are right, boys love their mothers differently.

MamaGeek said...

This is exactly what I would have thought it to be. And it's funny you mention the MIL sentiment, because I've often thought about that too. If anything she serves as a muse as how NOT to be.

Now then, seriously, when are you sending me Claire for a week? :)

Kellan said...

I only have the one boy and the 3 girls. They are very different and I too, just love my little boy to death!

I am so glad you are going to be my first Guest Blogger at On The Flipside. I am going to copy that whole post and create a draft. I will attach a picture to the post and I will indicate that you are the writer of the post and the guest blogger and link back to your site. If this is okay, I will probably publish your story on Thursday. Let me know if you are okay with all of this.

Thanks, Toni - Kellan

Dana said...

We had no problems with the oldest boy. The girl, what a difference from him. The youngest one, he is worse than the older 2 combine. But I love him to death.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I thought you might say something those lines. I kinda wonder what a girl would be like, but I simply adore the rough and tumble boys.

Missy said...

Very well written, Toni! I think that my 2 are similar to yours - my daughter being the sweet, kind, caring one and my son being the loud, climbing, throwing-toys-across-the-room one. But, my son is my sweet cuddly guy. When he falls off the back of the couch for the 3rd time today, and he comes running to me with sad eyes crying, "mahm-eeeeee..." it melts my heart. Really. :)

Kellan said...

Hey Toni - thanks for the okay on the post for On The Flipside - I'm planning on publishing it tomorrow! Thanks - I think it is a great post/topic! See you - Kellan

MamaMichelsBabies said...

Really at his age, it's personality over gender difference. There have been studies that have proven that up until about the age of three there really isn't a gender difference between boys and girls, just personality differences. I was just reading for my English Comp class a article on this by Natalie Algier who besides being a journalist was part of the founding crew of Discovery magazine. In one study they put 100 children around 2 years of age in gender neutral clothing and their hair done similarly and asked people to observe and guess the gender. They were only right about 50% of the time when they judged by aggression tactics.

That being said, I also have two nephews who tend to be more on the quiet and clingy side more like you would expect a girl to be and my own daughter Boom defies all gender roles and is often the ringleader in escapades that involes snakes, bugs, or knocking her brothers one when she feels they need it (soooo not ok, but she does have the aggression)

I'll step the heck off the box now. Sorry hun... didn't mean to blog jack, just thought I'd put it out there...

Nap Warden said...

Oh, I agree with you so much. I love my Miss Peach...and The Little Man and I have a special bond:)