Gender Differences

The Boy is four. He is sweet, and smart and very coordinated. The Girl is two, and really is the cutest girl you’ve ever seen. The Boy likes to play fighting games that involve wrestling and swords and shooting pretend guns. He likes to run and jump and climb and make loud noises and pee on trees and run around naked, everything a boy is like. The Girl likes to put on clothes and take her dolls for stroller walks with a purse hanging off of her arm and a hat or collection of hats on her head. She also likes to run and jump and climb and tries her best to keep up with big brother. Who do you think is braver when it comes to real pain?

Yesterday the Boy came limping into the house. “I have an owwee mommy.”
We sit him down and look at his foot and sure enough there is a big thorn stuck into it, not deeply, I could have grabbed it with my fingers and pulled it out in a second. When I tried he screamed and cried and fought and pulled and yelled in terror at the approach of my fingers, or tweezers, or anything touching this little puncture in his foot. We eventually had to hold him down and hold the foot still so I could pull it out.
Later that afternoon the Girl grabbed a Teddy Bear Cactus with both hands. (For those of you wondering what a Teddy Bear Cactus is, especially you northern friends who’s brains are doing somersaults at the idea of having a cactus growing in the back yard in a planter near the office, they are typical shaped cacti only they are fuzzy. When you try to pet it hundreds of tiny little hair like spines get embedded in your skin and sting until you pull them out.) The Girl had prickles in between her fingers all over the back and palms of her hands and on her wrists. Of course she cried and screamed. She then sat quietly for half an hour as three people plucked her hands clean with tweezers and tape and fingers and anything else we could think of to try and fix her poor hands.

Guys don’t like it when women laugh together about what whiners they are when it comes to sickness and pain but we’ve observed it over and over again. Mothers will take care of house, home, work, and sick children all the while battling the same illness ourselves only to watch our husbands when they catch it a day or two later drag themselves to bed and expect to be taken care of, completely unaware that we have the exact same symptoms that they are whining about. We just keep going because there is work to be done. I didn’t know this difference was observable at such a young age until watching my kids.

Incidentally, about the thorn, the day before the Girl walked around with three stuck in her foot until after bath that night when she casually told me “Mommy, my foots hurts.”

One more word about my brave little girl. Tonight she somehow fell against a bed frame and cut a deep gash right next to her eye-lid. I didn’t realize it was bleeding because I was kissing her and thought the wet I felt was tears. I thought she would need stitches it was so deep. Instead we tried to tape it together first. She sat still in Beema’s arms (my mother in law) while daddy closed the wound and taped it, but the blood was still flowing so the tape didn’t work. Enter grandpa His Grace (family joke, I’ll tell you another time), the only time she cried was when he pulled off the tape so we could try again. After that she needed to come to mommy and nurse while he squeezed the skin back together and taped it shut. It looks like it will heal just fine.

The Boy may be a wimp when it comes to tweezers and scrapes but he is a compassionate big brother. He talked to her soothingly and stroked her arm and told her it was okay. My favorite moment was when he turned to me and announced “I’m going to pray to God to make her better, he is fixing her eye.”

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