I really can't speak of gender differences here with much authority. I mean, I have no daughter yet to compare them to- so bare with me as I shoot from the hip here. I am an early childhood/middle school teacher... so I have debated my fair share of theory on the topic... no matter though, I plan on totally winging this post.
I love my boys. When they do things, they do them louder, harder, rougher, and messier than I do. I celebrate their gusto! Maybe that's just how boys roll. Don't get me wrong, I love it. They grip my cheeks when they kiss my lips. Loud audible smooches. No pecks. They like to squeeze me tight when they hug me. They love when I tell them how strong and handsome they are. I do love their enthusiasm and heft in loving me...
But gracious! Our little nest is noisy. And now they chase each other. Full.on.Chase... with pitter patter feet and high pitched squeals followed by the eventual smack, crash, boom. And the make believe! Everything is about SuperHeroes around here, lately. They tie towels, blankets, etc around their wastes and necks and legs and arms... layers of accessories and accoutrement. *I meant to make them both real capes for Christmas. Sparkly ones made from satin. There is still Easter, right? I've got to make that happen in order to bypass James' penchant for rigging belts around his arms, legs, and neck, oh my!
I remind them to slow down. I ask them to use their Inside Voices. I fuss and tell them to stop playing rough! I've learned just to gear up for the bumped heads and tears for when someone crosses the line plays too hard. But for the most part, I've learned to stay out of it. Let them play. Within reason, let them just do their brotherly thing. Oh, but it's hard! Especially when James and Jax in broken, toddler/preschool talk start ad libbing as they go:
"Aye! You killing me dead!"
"Oh, Bubba you deading me!"
"I dying you, Bad Guy!"
"You deading! I save da day!"
Call me crazy, but we don't do play guns, knives, swords, etc... not yet anyway. When I was little we had holsters and cap guns- true toy guns. Now, toy stores have suped up assault rifles and tricked out killing machines- so yeah, we don't play 'gangster.' Annnnd we don't do violent 'kid' movies... again, not yet. I'm protective of what they see with their little eyes. I can't stand the argument that 'boys will be boys' therefore parents choose not to censor what they overhear or see on TV. James was nearly 10lbs at birth. And when your 4 year old is the size of the average second grader, you get a little protective of managing 'aggressive' play behaviors. Invision a 'bull in a china cabinet.' So I tend to redirect those kinds of behavior to other physical forms of activity... sports, running, jumping. etc. Makes playdates with
However, no matter what I've done, we do a lot of super hero play... and 'deading' and 'kills you' and 'dying me.'
It does freak me out a little. As I stir dinner, holding my breath waiting for someone to burst out in tears, needing me to lift with my knees
Dear God, please don't let them grow up to be killers. Please let them learn English. And please don't let them knock their teeth out today, or anything that would require me to go to the Emergency Room. I haven't bathed today and I'm out of matching socks. Momma really just wants to ride this one out, Lord. And thank you for making both children equally huge and physically hardy... that way when they go at it, they won't break each other to pieces.
See what I mean? :)
Peace, Love, and damsels in distress.