I know that I used to think having kids of any gender was going to be kind of the same either way, at least when they were babies. Like, aside from the obvious, how different could having a baby boy be from having a baby girl? As babies, they kind of do the same things, right? Eat, sleep, poop, scream, repeat. Most of my family had only had one or the other (boys OR girls), and so no one disabused me of this notion.
I Was Wrong. So Very Wrong.
I try to raise the kids in a pretty gender-neutral fashion. We all cook, we all clean, we all go to the zoo and the aquarium and play with ninja swords and be princesses and dress like pirates at the Renaissance Faire and I don't care if my boys wear dresses or my girl plays football (although I'd be bored to tears, so I hope that she doesn't). That kind of stuff just doesn't matter to me. I'd like Stenni to learn to change her own tires and kick some ass and I'd like Cua to learn to bake bread and someday clean his own toilet. But I was not prepared for how the day-to-day operations and mechanics of having only boys in the house all day differed from having a girl in the house, especially now that she is in school all day long. The boys...they just don't like the same things. I pretty much just run around after them and try to stop them from destroying everything they touch, and then collapse into bed at night.
I look back at this blog and the posts from when Stenni was a baby and a lot has changed. But most glaringly different is the fact that I can't beg, bargain, badger or otherwise convince Cua to do a craft with me, bake with me, or pretty much do anything besides run around throwing rocks and smashing things (ah, boys). And the baby? Well, he's a baby, what can I really expect from him besides cuddles and cuteness? Stenni could always be persuaded to paint or draw or craft or cook with me but the boys are just not interested.
This means a few things. For starters, I have to find different ways to keep my creative juices flowing, probably on my own. It hasn't happened yet, but I know it has to. Also it means that we spend a lot more time outside enjoying nature (and by enjoying nature I mean throwing rocks and mooing at my neighbor cows).
I mean, there are still things that we can do that we always did. We can:
- play in the yard
- go to the zoo
- hit the library
- go for a hike
- watch a movie
- read books
- mall walk
- go to the playground
But aside from that? I'm kind of at a loss. It's different having a baby and an almost-3-year-old too, because the attention span just isn't there and I do have to keep constant watch on the littler guy, who is just starting to crawl so he isn't always where I put him anymore.
I have to say that I miss having Stenni at home but she likes her school, and I like that she likes it. She needs things of her own to enjoy, without me and the boys. But I do enjoy more outdoor active time.
So that's where I'm at today. What do you guys think? Those of you with both, what differences are there for you and how do you overcome them?