My son, Buddy, will be five in a few months. My daughter, Sissy, is about 18 months. As I was the first of two girls I guess I always thought I’d have two girls myself, but I ended up having one of each. What interests with having one of each is the question of their differences. How much is personality? My sister and I are complete 180s and we were both girls. How much of it is the fact that Buddy is mildly autistic while Sissy does not appear to be autistic? How much is gender?
Buddy does have some very traditional masculine traits, and Sissy some very feminine ones. Yet what is masculine about Buddy he gets from me, and feminine about Sissy she gets from my husband.
Andy and I are rather open minded. We both want to encourage whatever interests they have, even if those interests aren’t gender typical. Buddy once really wanted a My Little Pony doll and it was no skin off our nose. Sissy loves playing with cars and is fascinated with books on them.
This morning I took them shopping, and Buddy saw some “Star Wars” balls. He really wanted one, so I grabbed it. Sissy saw this and wanted one of her own, and ever eager to indulge them in all thing Geek, I got her one. Buddy saw that she had one and decided he wanted a second one, and even the most devoted of Geek moms have to draw the line somewhere. Overall Sissy is mostly interested in the toys she sees Buddy playing with. She’s not paid too much attention to the sole doll she has, granted it may change as she grows older (I used to brag about how not all boys like cars because Buddy couldn’t be bothered with them, and then BOOM, Hot Wheels were suddenly the best thing ever according to him).
All the same, Sissy really gets into having her hair done and choosing which hair bow she gets to wear. Obviously Buddy does not wear bows. Well, when she was an infant he would take them off of her and put them on him, but eventually he got bothered with how they felt and stopped. So while she really wants to play with the toys that Buddy does, she doesn’t want to dress like him.
I dropped Buddy off at school and went home with Sissy, and she started kicking the ball to me. Later she hung up a dress on a hanger and walked to the closet and tried to put it up (she was obviously too short for this). I keep saying that in a few years her room will be immaculate and his will be a disaster area. Yet this is one of those cases where like her kicking me the soccer ball (Buddy would not have done that at her age, he just hoarded toys he didn’t actually play with them) I’m not sure if it’s gender or autism.
When you have one of each, it seems as if it would be so easy to caulk up every behavioral difference as gender related. Sissy is good at cleaning because she’s a girl. Buddy loves hiking because he’s a boy. But there are so many other factors it’s really hard to say. And, when dealing with such a small sample size, really hard to draw sweeping conclusions either way.
And at the end of the day, as long as they grow up strong in the ways of the Geek, then it really doesn’t matter.