The differences between the sexes grows more and more obvious to me as time goes by. There is a distinct and fascinating difference between Isaac and (as we call them) "The Girls". The outlook on the world and the way they all deal with it is just, well, different. Take Isaac's deep seated need (and I do mean need) to throw things. Just the other day we were purchasing yarn at a local craft store. (I'm doing some felting and boy is it fun!) I picked out three skeins of yarn, just right, one for each child to carry. We get up to the counter and I ask the kids to place their yarn on the counter. Elie takes two steps up, puts the yarn down and steps back. Talia takes two steps up, puts the yarn down and steps back. Isaac takes two steps BACKWARDS and throws his yarn like a QB throwing a hail mary. The yarn flies over the counter and lands at the feet of the bemused cashier. ARGHGHGHGHGH Why does he need to THROW things? I truly believe there is some sort of constant physics experiment going on, that only he is aware of. Well, the rest of us are aware of it, but only because random, non-throwing objects are being heaved around. He's also different in those stereotypical ways. He has a harder time just sitting still, he views conflict so much differently than The Girls, and of course, there are the physical difference that he is becoming more and more, concretely aware of. In our family we have a story that if you can kiss your elbow, right on the tip (which is, of course, impossible), you'll turn into the opposite gender. This story comes from my mother's father, who told it to my mother when she was a kid. So it's been passed down. The other day I was using the restroom and he came in and sighed, "Why do I always have to point down when I pee?" "Well," I responded "what happens if you don't?" "I spray pee pee all over the place." (he sighs again) The he announces, "When I kiss my elbow and turn into a girl I will not have to point down anymore." Oh poor Isaac, so aware that he is not the same. I wanted to wax poetic about the positives of being able to stand up and take care of business, I wanted to tell him that he could do all sorts of fascinating things that girls, one day, will be in awe of, I wanted him to know that being a boy is a good and cool thing. I did say, "Well, don't you like being a boy?" And he did respond in the affirmative. But I sure hope that being in a family of girls doesn't totally emasculate him.
And on the other side, Elie has been demonstrating some very stereotypical girl behaviors as of late. She was having the worst behavior, talking back, bossing EXCESSIVELY, and crying at the drop of a hat about EVERYTHING. I was seriously about to pull out my hair. The worst part was, even she didn't like the way she was acting, it had a compulsive quality to it. Finally we had a really terrible day and I started talking to her about school. We laid down on the bed, while Leila was nursing and Adam was taking care of the other two, and just chatted about what school (and riding the bus) were going to be like. Magically her behavior cleared up! She had lots of good questions and I realized how much she was going to be experiencing that was completely new! So everyday since then we have "talk about school" time. She asks questions and makes statements about what school will be. "We'll do computers everyday." "I'll probably make friends with the girls first." "I will sit all the way in the back of the school bus." She is much more comfortable and a much happier kid. Thank goodness! I am sure, now, that she is really excited to go. We meet her teacher and see her classroom on Friday and she cannot wait. We've answered all the questions we know answers to and now we just need to get started experiencing!
Talia has also been noticing differences. She's mostly just interested in peeing standing up because she idolizes Isaac. "When I am a big boy, I will pee standing up." It is interesting to see her interactions with the other two. Whatever they are doing, she wants to do. But if Elie is not paying her any attention, she will go and find something else to do. If Isaac isn't paying her any attention, then she torments him until he chases her or fusses at her. She is also convinced that she will be going to school this year, as a panda. Problem is, even if I was sending her, she wouldn't be a panda because that is a three year old class. I'm not sending her to school, for a variety of reasons and we'll see if it turns out to be a good thing or not! Regardless of what happens this year, I think she'll be ready to go next year for sure.
The other day the kids were sitting at the table eating lunch. Elie was sitting next to Isaac, but from where I was, she was blocking my view of his plate. He was supposed to be finishing his macaroni and cheese so that he could get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was turned away from them and he said "Mom, I'm done with my mac and cheese." I was looking and assumed that he was telling me the truth and I said "Okay, what did you want?" And I started talking through the options for his next course. All of a sudden I hear Elie, she's saying "Moooooommmmy, I'm leaning forward so you can see. Moooom, I'm leaning forward. Do you see?" And I turn around and see her leaning forward, so that I can see that Isaac is NOT finished with is mac and cheese. She wanted me to be aware that he was not done, but she knew that I wouldn't want her to tattle. Then I asked Isaac what was still on his plate, if he was finished with his mac and cheese and he said "kitty litter?"