Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Oxymoron in the Living Room

Yesterday, as I was pushing the kids on the swings, listening to them belt out their favorite songs (I'd been banned from singing along, thank you), I noticed a couple of kids on the other side of the park giggling. They were boys, and a few years older than Ryan, and so were probably laughing at the choice of songs, from "Best of Both Worlds" t o "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", to "Edelweiss".

Practically speaking, the songs weren't the "coolest" of tunes, but even as the kids were smirking, all I could think was, "I wonder if they realize that both of these nerdy-song-singing kids could kick their asses?" What? It's true. Just because Jax clings and Ryan's a girl, doesn't mean they can't also hold their own. Believe me, they can. I've got scars to prove it.

It's amazing to me how clingy and babyish Jax can be one minute, when the next it's likely he'll start kicking, biting, hitting or scratching. He can (and frequently has) bring a grown person to their knees. I've been fretful over this behavior for a while now (you may have heard) but I read an article yesterday that made me feel a little better. My favorite mention was that boys at Jax's age may not have their impulse control fully mastered, and so have trouble controlling their knee-jerk reactions. It makes it easier to breathe knowing that truly, one day this, too shall pass:

This is what Jax does during Time-Out or Naps. Rage and Lack of Impulse Control at its best.

And then there's Ryan, who is just as tough, if not tougher than her brother, but also much much more sensitive. We're very much in the throes of the "That's Not Fair" game, and it doesn't look like there will be a winner anytime soon.

Isn't it funny how wide-spread children's personality traits can be? Why do we insist on boxing them in? If my son wants to be a Hannah Montana singing, binky sucking NFL linebacker, who am I to stop him? Or if Ryan wants to go camping, perform in a musical, and karate-chop her dolls all once, why not let her have her cake and eat it, too? Maybe if I'd known that it was okay to put yourself in more than one box when I was younger, I wouldn't have been the depressive, angry, sorry-for-myself teenager I often was. Or maybe, that was just another box to check off and feel okay about.

Either way, as long as both kids can properly defend themselves (aka:kick ass), I don't care what songs they sing, what toys they play with, or how many pairs of my shoes they traipse around in all day.

Tease them. I dare you.

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