So I’ve learned something lately. Well, I knew it already, but now I really KNOW it.
Boys and girls are very different.
Revelatory, huh? Clearly, they are different. My mom always used Sesame Street to illustrate the differences in the specific case of my brother and me. I, for one, could not get enough of Sesame Street- I watched every minute of it, sang the songs, counted in Spanish, and loved Ernie because my dad could do a perfect impression of his laugh. My brother? Well, apparently he would stand in front of the television, arms outstretched, yelling “Noooooo”…I loved to read and to sing, but my brother loved to jump around, build things, and did not tolerate learning via television. But even though I had heard this story and many others growing up, my eyes have been opened in a whole new way now that I am the mother to both a girl and a boy myself.
Oh, and a disclaimer: please note that this blog post is simply an observation based on my experiences. Clearly, there are exceptions to every situation and I am not saying that girls are ALWAYS one way and boy are ALWAYS another. End of disclaimer.
Now, back to my observations…
1) My 1 year old son has a perpetual bruise on his forehead due to his desire to conquer EVERYTHING. He climbs, he jumps, he climbs and then jumps. My adrenaline junkie isn’t walking just yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from discovering a new love: climbing on top of the toy box and attempting to dive over the gate that separates the living room from the kitchen. My little girl never gave me nearly as many near-heart-attacks as he does. She was not one to climb and jump, or for that matter, to throw herself backward with abandon. At least, not on a daily basis.
2) My little guy, like his sister, has a great sense of humor. But his preferred vehicle of choice for delivering this humor is definitely more on the gross side. Case in point: his newest comedic act is to stick his finger in his nose and laugh like crazy. Now granted, it is partially the fault of his sister and I that he realizes this gets a reaction, because the first time he did it, we both said, “Eww, Asher.” (And I admit, it is funny in a gross way, mainly because of how he breaks into such an adorable smile and laughs). The kid can’t get enough. Eila may put her finger in her nose, but not to make others laugh.
3) Eila loves to sit and read. She can go through book after book and does not lose interest. Asher does like books, but only for the first few pages or only if read with increased animation. He is not one to sit still for long during library story-time, nor do I expect him to at his age, but there is certainly a noticeable difference in their response to their attention-span regarding books so far.
4) I cannot watch Asher eat sometimes. It makes me feel somewhat sick, and I typically don’t get sick-feeling all that easily. I do know girls can be just as messy as boys, so this (like some of the others I have mentioned) could easily be more of a difference-between-individuals issue than a gender issue. But Asher delights in making a mess. Today he had a lovely glob of pizza sauce in his
minimal amount of hair and laughed with delight as he squished a piece of banana between his thumb and forefinger. He loves to put food in his mouth, give it a nice chew a few times over, and then take it out to examine it. I am just not used to this!
5) Asher is more affectionate than Eila was at this age. He loves to come up and give hugs and kisses and is a cuddle bear. Don’t get me wrong, Eila was (and is!) affectionate, but there is a difference in the amount and spontaneity of it. I’ve often heard it said that “boys love their mommas”, and I am experiencing this firsthand.
6) Asher is also more “smiley” than Eila was at this age. He is very outgoing and smiles easily, while Eila at this age was often much more contemplative and would study someone for awhile before granting them a smile.
As I think back on what I just wrote, it could definitely be argued that just as many of these differences are simply differences in personality rather than influenced by gender. Whatever the cause may be, I find the differences both wonderful and fascinating. I love watching my kids grow and develop as individuals, and I am thrilled by watching them relate to each other.
So I’m curious- what differences have you observed between boys/girls, siblings, and so forth?