When I was expecting my son, my husband and I decided that we would not find out if we were having a boy or girl. We had undergone fertility treatments and there was not much of a surprise about the pregnancy itself, so we decided to save the big reveal for the delivery room.
I didn’t have any preconceived notions about whether I wanted a son or a daughter. After all of the years I spent trying to get pregnant, I truly did not care what sex the child was, I felt truly blessed to finally have the chance to be a mother.
Female friendships have always come easily to me — I have one sister who is truly my best friend, a very close relationship with my mom and lots of really wonderful girlfriends. I have never had many friendships with guys.
Growing up, we lived in a neighborhood with lots of girls and very few boys around the same age — in fact, all of the neighborhood girls played “house” nearly every day one summer, and the only neighborhood boy was invariably cast in the roll of “Scruffy” the dog! Now fast forward to me, parenting a three year old boy!
Chase is the first (and currently only) boy on my side of the family. When he was born my mom, sister and I didn’t really know what to expect, and sometimes, we still don’t.
My husband sometimes laughs at me and says I need a male-mind manual! As my son started getting older, I was sometimes reminded of the old American nursery rhyme that notes little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” while little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails”.
I first started noticing the difference in behavior between boys and girls when Chase began nursery school — just watching the class line up before school tells it all! The girls generally stand in a line and wait for the teacher to greet them as the boys do vertical leaps in the hall while singing silly songs and squealing with delight!
After school, the boys run to the playground for an hour to expend some extra energy before going home. Of course, this post would not be complete without mentioning little boys’ unending fascination with bathroom words! The perpetual motion aside, the Y chromosome seems to govern more aggressive imaginative play, as well.
I often wonder whether to step in while he plays “bad guys” or shoots a laser at a character in his pretend play to send him to a fiery end. I always have my character explain why that hurts and ask him to not blow up any other characters. After all, my main job as mom is to work on the emerging super ego, right?
My husband, on the other hand, does not intervene and lets the violent imaginary game play out, so long as it is not actual violence. I do not disagree with this tactic, however, I am more comfortable raising an objection than not.
These are just a few observations gathered over the first three years as a mom raising a boy. I’m sure there will be many more as the years go by but in the meantime, I’m making sure to enjoy my time with the emerging little man in my life.
How have you adapted in your role as mother to a boy or a girl? How has that changed as your kids have grown older?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Alison Charleston, an attorney gone stay-at-home mom in New York City.
Photo credit to epSos.de. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.