When you have children of both genders, there are those who say to you "Aren't girls so much easier!" And then there are those who say, "Aren't boys so much easier!" Generally, my opinion is that on the whole, neither gender is easier or harder, though certainly individual children tend to be more challenging than others. And we each know which of our children is that more challenging one for us. For some its a our daughter, for other's a son.
But last week I lived the inherent challenges in raising a daughter AND a son - but for very completely, different reasons.
Sweet Pea sent a blast e-mail telling half of the people in her address book (which is limited to a select few) that I hated her, yelled at her, shut the TV off, and did I mention, hated her. Had it gone just to perhaps just one or two people on her list I probably would have laughed it off as Sweet Pea once again expressing herself with all the drama we have come to expect from her. But there were some, one, on the list who I knew would not see this for what it was.....an on-line temper tantrum. And I was right. I spent the rest of the night explaining to Sweet Pea about on-line etiquette, as well the very important lesson of the permanency of typing something on-line, or e-mail for everyone to see (even if they think they are not sending it to everyone) and the possible consequences of that, especially when you have said something you know not to be true. And then I spent time explaining to others that my daughter is really not hostile or pathologically angry, just expressive and very dramatic. Could be worse, right?
I think to myself, "Thanks goodness for JJ. I'll never have to deal with this with him."
The following day, JJ went next door to ask his buddy if he wanted to play outside. Off they went riding bikes between our houses. About 15 minutes later he came back. As he was taking off his shoes I asked him what happened. It was clearly odd he just decided to come home without being summons after such a short time. He looked up at me and said, You're gonna be mad."
"What did you do?" I asked, already knowing this was not good.
"I don't want to tell you." He said.
"Well then I am just going to go next door and will find out so you might as well tell me."
"Buddy (not his really name of course) got hurt."
"What did you do?" I repeated.
"I didn't do anything." He said as he hung his head and slumped his shoulders.
"Tell me." I demanded.
"Well, buddy climbed on top of the car and so I climbed on top of the car. And then we jumped off and Buddy got hurt.
And this car, was an SUV - not low to ground like one might hope if they were to find out their kid was parachuting off a car, without a parachute that is.
I told JJ to get his shoes on. I wanted to go next door and make sure Buddy was okay. Turns out Buddy did a nose dive into the pavement. I know, painful to even think about. He was fine, but for a lump and scratch on his forehead. But the mere thought of the possibilities of what could have happened was truly beyond comprehension.
JJ and I had a discussion about how we don't need to do EVERYTHING our friends do and perhaps we need to give more though to our actions, before we act, taking our safety into account.
So there you have it, two truly trying events, each gender appropriate for the respective child, yet nevertheless equally as challenging for me to have to deal with. I guess at least I have variety!