Monday, March 26, 2012

Slugs And Snails And Puppy Dog Tails (And Punching)

Since we already have one boy and one girl, we weren't necessarily rooting for a particular gender for our third child.  And I'm thrilled that we're having another girl.  Girls are sweeter, they're cleaner, they don't break as many things (on purpose) and I hear they're easier all the way through adulthood.  Plus, I know if there's a mutiny at any point, they won't overpower me physically.

But (you knew there'd be a "but") realizing that my son will be outnumbered 2 to 1 was a bit of an eye-opener.  Because right now, it's even.  If one of my kids wants to wrestle or hit stuff (guess which one) and the other wants to play "princess doctor" they either split up and play alone, or one of them does something they don't like.  But when my son is the only boy, nobody will want to wrestle or hit stuff (except me).  And he'll have two other little humans who want to put on plastic high heels and flouncy dresses and pretend to be figure skaters.  And I just can't have that being his only option.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not at all upset that we're having a girl.  (See paragraph 1 if you have a bad memory.)  But for some reason I had it in my head that we'd have a boy this time (I was good at identifying patterns in standardized testing).  And my preparation for that scenario blinded me to the other possibility.  And I realized that my eldest may be my only shot at raising a manly man who can hit home runs and punch through walls and arm-wrestle and stuff.

So here's my plan.  I'm gonna have weekly (or maybe daily) "guy time" with my son.  We will play rough, we will throw stuff, we will be gross and mean.  And I fully expect to get hurt by this.  Bruises and scars will happen.  And the girls can do their own thing during that time.  But I want to make sure my son turns out to be the kind of man who defends his little sisters instead of becoming one of them.  I've seen both kinds of boys and I much prefer him to be the macho type, not the "princess doctor" type.

1 comment:

Leah Hollett said...

A bit of advice from a mother of 2 girls and then 2 boys. Wrestle and throw stuff and gross and mean with your girls too. My oldest daughter has a bug collection, loves all things reptile and brags about being able to "run fastah dan a cheetah!" (she's 6 1/2) My second daughter loves dogs and playing in the mud and having manure fights with her brothers and dad.

My boys are all boy but can cuddle a kitten and a baby doll with the best of them. I think letting boys be gentle and girls be tough makes them great, well rounded individuals.