Gender Difference

Since we found out Michael was a boy (about 32 months ago now — what WHAT?) I have wondered how he would be different.

Not just different in his temperament and personality — my two girls are so different, it was hard to imagine how he would be different. We tend to hold Kate and Flora in contrast to each other. But of course there are millions of personalities in the world. I wondered what kind M would have. I was also curious to see if certain traits were “boyish” traits. I tend not to be a gender absolutist. Being the mother of two girls and one boy, I still hold that children are different because they are different, not because they are of one sex or the other.

That all being said, here are some Michael differences I have noticed:

1. He’s a terrible eater. It’s not that he’s picky, even, he just doesn’t want to bother. If everyone is sitting down eating, and there are not outside distractions, he will apply himself to food. Otherwise, he is not interested in food.

My girls would sit and eat when it was meal time, and they were good eaters who liked everything. M will taste everything, but not necessarily eat much. All three of my kids are grazers (I am too). Which is fine with me, and why I keep a lot of healthy snacks at home.

2. Constant noise. Now, all of my children do certain things to make noise almost all the time. I used to wonder how there could be any words left in the world when Flora was 3 and 4. She talked all. the. time. M is stunningly verbal for a 2-year-old. Kate was super quiet until after her ear tube surgery (at 27 months). Since M had tubes placed at about 14 months, he didn’t have the hearing barrier she had. He now talks all the time.

Flora whistles. Kate sings. M punctuates everything with car noises: “vroom” he says, “whoosh”. He’s not necessarily playing with cars. He’s playing in the bath, or I’m carrying him down the stairs. He started with car noises as early as 15 months. I’m pretty sure this is the most “boy” thing about him. It must be encoded on the Y chromosome, because he knew what to do and how to make these noises without any assistance at home.

3. As far as constant movement (this is the one I heard all the time: “Oh, boys are so much more active than girls!” To which I used to say, “Yes, but I have a Kate.”) M may be a touch more active than Kate was at 2. But it’s danged close. Plus, he started walking two or three months later than the girls (13 months to their 10).

Honestly, it’s a wonder I can think with all the noise and activity in my house most of the time. I am hoping that once they can all read, things will settle down a little bit!

4. M is temperamentally different from the girls, but I attribute this much more to him simply being a different child. He’s generally easy-going and cheerful, amazingly affectionate, fairly compliant (‘uh-kay!’). He’s starting to have his incredibly willful moments, and he wants what he wants RIGHT NOW, but those are hallmarks of toddlerhood. He’s a little sensitive — laughing at the wrong time or yelling too loudly can bring him to tears. Cuddling can cheer him up again, usually.

5. He is much more stubborn about getting dressed, and has a stronger opinion about what he wants to wear than the girls EVER were or did. He dislikes pajamas, so he either sleeps in his diaper or in whatever shirt he’s already wearing. He outright rejects certain items of clothing; I’ve noticed stiffer fabrics do not sit well with him. Some days it’s just easier to let him decide which shirt or pants to put on than wrestle him.

6. He’s been taking his diaper off at night sometimes, which the girls never did. He’s a side sleeper, too, which the girls weren’t at that age. They were stomach sleepers (butts in the air).

At this point, I simply don’t notice that M is particularly A BOY in many things. A unique personality in our family of five to be sure.

Life would be boring if we were all the same!

Do you notice things about your kids that you attribute to their sex?

5 thoughts on “Gender Difference

  1. I am SO interested to find out what our boy will be like. We also have two very different girls- with Audrey being the more intense, active, “wild” one. We like to say that she knew all along that she’d be the middle child & didn’t want to be overlooked ;) Curious how the boy will fit into the dynamics of the house!!

  2. II have the opposite of stereotypes in my house- Katie is the aggressive, active, independent pushier one. She is definitely the 1st born, if that even works with twins?…Ben is MUCH more sensitive, more apt to cry, more affectionate. Yet still a boy- all things Star Wars, Spider Man, and cars, all the time.

  3. Regarding Michael’s “vroom”ing and “whoosh”ing, it always has seemed to me that boys are naturally able to make sound effects that don’t come easily to girls. Car noises, blowing-things-up noises, stuff like that. I have no idea whether there’s any scientific basis for my opinion.

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