As much as I’ve been reluctant to stereotype my children’s behaviour based on their gender, I am beginning to understand what mothers of sons mean when they say, “He is such a BOY.”
Because Atticus is such a BOY.
Second week back at work, first week doing two jobs, Husband at the game in the freezing cold with house guest, children asleep for hours, me alone watching Bridget Jones’s Diary.
(Still makes me laugh and get the giggles. Still magic, after all these years. Guilty pleasure.)
Very satisfying end to the work week.
Our little girl turned 5 last Saturday.
That’s half a decade old. That is ridiculous.
I look at her, and she’s gorgeous and she makes my heart smile. But sometimes, there’s a particular kind of terror that grips my heart because she’s growing up so quickly. When it was just her and only her, we could note every little difference. We relished each new word learnt, each new concept grasped. But now that we are Four, there are days I feel I miss whole chunks, whole spaces of time where I can look at my firstborn and really see her. The missing of minute changes and whispers of growing. The realisation sometimes stops me in my tracks like a heart twinge.
Lately, I’ve been more self-conscious of how different my interactions with both children are; how I automatically give grace and room for mistakes with Atticus, and yet how much tougher I seem to be on Arddun because she is older “and therefore should know better”. And yes sometimes, she ought to know better.
But sometimes, she’s not even 5 yet. She’s not. She’s very tall for her age, her dresses are for six-year-olds, and she definitely knows her own mind on many things. But she’s not even 5 yet.
I know it’s never quite fair to compare your children, so I’m aware of my parenting phail when I say that Atticus is turning out a little different from Arddun. It seems like such a duh thing to be surprised by — seeing how they are two unique individuals and all — but Tony and I get caught out now and then when Atticus dares to go off the trajectory his older sister took.
Like climbing up on tables before he can walk. Arddun didn’t climb on coffee tables. She didn’t stand in the middle of one and clap her hands after the fact in glee either.