One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

I hadn’t planned to post anything for a few weeks as we are moving house and I thought I would be too busy with packing and unpacking to get to the blog, however I hadn’t taken into consideration the effect a nice warm relaxing bath has on my thoughts.

This particular bath got me thinking about how many people have views on the make-up of a family; concerning gender and numbers. One day, before I had even met my husband, I was with friends and we were discussing when we have children how many we would have, I said I would like a boy and a girl and that was all, I know now that that’s what is called a “pigeon pair”.Family-Neigh-Partner-PAGE-HEADER

Some parents may be perfectly happy having just 1 child, a “pigeon pair” or they may be happy with multiple children of the same gender. It really isn’t anyone’s place to make anything of it – especially if they haven’t a close relationship with the parents. Over the years I’ve read many posts online that have mentioned the comments people have received when other people find out that are having another of the same gender when they already have 2 or more of that gender.

After losing Zoë and finding out I was again pregnant – I really wanted another girl and I was quite upset when I found out we were having a boy and was almost in tears at the ultrasound. On the one hand I was happy he was healthy and that there were no concerns, on the other I wanted a girl.

When I was pregnant with Alex, it wasn’t such a big deal about the gender; if baby was a boy then I already had all the clothes and if baby was a girl then that would have been even more special.

About 2 ½ years after Alex was born I was pregnant again and this time it was a bit of a surprise. We knew that this pregnancy would be our last and so was hoping to finally have a baby girl that we could parent. Along came our happy baby girl Rylee and I couldn’t have been happier. Then came the first nappy change and I felt flummoxed – “what do I do, where do I clean”. I was so used to changing my boys’ nappies that it felt alien to change my daughter’s. How could I not know what to do, after all she was the same gender as myself yet I still felt at a loss. If she had been another boy I would have known what to do and just got on with it and not feel like a new mum.

Now when she is almost 15 months old I feel a lot more confident yet I’m not sure what she’ll be like when she is 2 years old. As a baby she’s pretty easy-going and I’m hoping she’ll stay like that as she gets older. As I feel more confident with my boys I’m grateful for those with multiple daughters as they have more experience in dealing with the different ages and possible scenarios relating to girls.

When it comes to the boys, Rob has got a great relationship with them, but I think its our youngest son that he’s closer to. Alex is the one Rob bonded with instantly and is like him in his attitude to try anything whereas Jason is a lot like Rob when it comes to sense of humour; however he seems to have inherited the empathy that’s a strong part of my personality.

It’s a good thing that we had another boy as Alex is the one Rob understands more and Alex is definitely closer to his Dad than he is to me. It actually looks like Rylee may be a Daddy’s girlJ. So even if we hadn’t of had Rylee, Rob and I still would have had a child each that we understood better than the other.

It doesn’t matter the make-up of a family unit, how many children they have or the gender of the children. What does matter is that the children are loved and are never told or felt that they are disappointments. Some children may take it to heart if they are told or overhear that they were not wanted as they were the wrong gender. Even though at first I was disappointed Jason was Jason and not a girl. He and I have a strong bond and I wouldn’t want him to be anyone but himself. I’m happy I have a girl I get to parent; however I still would not trade my boys for her and vice versa.

me and my family families are all different

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The Reader & The Artist: A Tale Of Two Brothers

The Reader & The Artist: A Tale Of Two Brothers

One of the many things I enjoy about being a mother is appreciating not just the similarities but also the differences in my children especially as they get older. Especially seeing how my 2 sons are growing, my baby girl has only just had her first birthday so her interests seem to be chewing on things, making a mess and following her brothers around.

Jason reading

Jason is very empathetic, sensitive and annoyingly enough has his dad’s sense of humor. He also seems to have inherited my love for books. He is an avid reader and though he’s only had his sixth birthday a few months ago is capable of reading at about an 8 year old level. Because of his reading capabilities I have trouble finding appropriate books for his age and skill level, as some books that are written for children at least 8 years old have content that is not suitable for a 6 year old.

A few months ago now I asked him if he wanted to read Cory Jane’s book “Winging It” not expecting anything – however he read it with only a little bit of difficulty. The books I have found best for to test his reading limits are non-fiction books about some of his favorite topics – especially books that are rugby related as Jason does not only love reading he also loves rugby and can retain simple player stats that I find difficult. When it comes to specific information his mind is like a steel trap; yet when it comes to instruction from his dad or I, it seems that his mind is like a sieve.

alex-2

 

Alex likes to copy his big brother and often will show an interest in what Jason likes, yet there are some things that he doesn’t like to the same extent. Alex enjoys doing puzzles and is quite good at them; he’s not so good at looking after the pieces. At 18 months old Alex was able to complete puzzles that 2 year olds would find difficult. Alex is also the type of boy who likes to try new things and when he was around 3 years old accompanied his Uncle on a hunt, he sometimes seems to have no fear. Alex can also be very strong-willed (aka stubborn) and if he doesn’t want to do something then sometimes as parents we need to have a stronger will and not back down.

The hardest thing for Alex is when he wants a book that Jason has yet is nowhere the reading capability of Jason and I’m not keen on reading a chapter book to Alex.

Another way in which my boys are different is that Jason likes to write and Alex likes to draw; Alex also likes to be read to and a lot of the time it’s his big brother that reads to him.

The boys can sit through a whole movie if it’s something they want to watch. Alex however finds certain movies not as scary as Jason finds them. They love being outdoors riding their bikes and scooters though it seems that Jason does enjoy it more, though is hesitant about trying new things.

The boys are 20 months apart and come from the same gene pool yet their personalities and interest can be vastly different which is why my hope for Alex when he starts school is that he will not be compared to his big brother and there be a expectation that his abilities be at the same level as Jason’s were when he started school.

I am sure that whatever my children do in their life they will excel at different things and that is okay. If my boys had the same personalities and interest there would be little opportunity to grow as parent. As it is in their differences where some of the growth comes.

Children are children – Let It Go

Children are children – Let It Go

My eldest boy had an anti-bullying awareness day at his school and was asked to wear either a pink OR loud shirt, I ended up buying him a bright orange shirt as there was little chance he would wear pink.

I have tried to explain to my boys that there are no “boy” or “girl” colours – they are just colours; however Jason has a very set idea on what is ok for him to wear, he won’t even wear the dark purple jeans he has. He said that the other kids would laugh if he wore them.

In my opinion we should let our kids wear what they want without parental judgment, especially towards boys. There seems to still be a bit of double standards going on when it comes to what our children wear, their favourite colour or how they play.

It seems to be more acceptable for girls to play with trucks, cars and so on yet not so acceptable if our boys want to play with dolls or pretend to be a disney princess. Its like when our girls play with car, trucks and the sort they are being toughened, however if our boys play with what is deemed “girls toys” then they are sometimes labelled “sissies”.

Children are just children and why should we put on them expectations that they don’t understand. In doing a bit of surfing on the net I found that pink didn’t become a “girls colour until after the 1920’s, before that it was more popular as a “boys colour”.

I remember as a child one of my favourite toys was a yellow dump truck whereas my little sister preferred to play with dolls – I didn’t mind playing dolls with her as to me it was more about just playing with my sister.

I can’t remember the last time Jason played with a doll, mind you he loves to carry his baby sister around. He’s very sensitive and very empathetic, he’s not a boy that likes to try new things straight off the bat and is cautious. My youngest son who’s 4 doesn’t mind what he wears and is a boy who will give anything a go, seems to have no fear and has no problem playing with dolls or dressing up.

What a child likes has more to do with their personality than their gender, as adults I believe that we should let them keep their innocence as long as possible we should try our best not to allow our own preferences to affect their choices. If a boy wants to dress like “Elsa” then let them and try not to analyse their reasoning – after all children are children they don’t reason like we do, they just want to have fun.

 

“He’s a Mummy’s Boy” – not a bad thing

“He’s a Mummy’s Boy” – not a bad thing

Jason and Mummy

Jason has been called a “Mummy’s boy” by various people and because of the stigma attached to it its come across as a negative thing – but you know what – he comes across that way because he has a big heart so is sensitive when it comes to feelings. He’s not the type of boy who is adventurous. He’s very caring towards those younger than him especially his little cousin, his sister and even his friends sisters.

Here in New Zealand it seems that boys are only meant to be the rough and tumble adventurous type, he does like rough play but only to a certain degree. He also is a great reader and sometimes prefers to just sit and read. He likes to play sport but isn’t a fan of heights or is very cautious about trying new things.

Some people think that he’s “soft” because when he was little out of necessity we co-slept. Honestly though it was what he needed at the time. Jason isn’t 6 for a few more months but he can ride a two-wheeler by himself, he has had sleepovers at a friends place and was quite happy about it and didn’t want to come home.

I think what makes it harder on him is that his little brother is very adventurous and throws caution out the window; Alex never needed to co-sleep and just goes with the flow when it comes to change, he’s willing to try anything. However he doesn’t have the empathy that Jason has – and that’s okay as well. I’ve never had to worry too much about Alex but he does do my head in a bit as he is very determined and teaching him to apologise has been a huge task.

Jason loves cuddles and if I had to say what his love language was I would say its probably physical touch and quality time. Jason seems to prefer small but close friendship circles, he’s a friendly boy but when he was at kindy he pretty much just played with the same few boys whereas Alex’s friendships are more vast.

Some might say that Alex isn’t as emphatic as Jason because he’s younger but I disagree. The brothers just have different personalities and thats a good thing. If this world was made up of people that were exactly the same it would be pretty boring.

Just because someone may not fit the label we give them doesn’t give us a right to make assumptions. Yes Jason may be a “mummy’s boy” because of his empathy, his sensitivity and his closeness to me – he’s also a lot like his dad in his sense of humor and love of sports. Its fine if boys are sensitive it’ll mean they’ll grow up to be great Dads.

Jason and Rylee