I always knew boys and girls were different but I didn't think I would see too many differences in behavior and preference to clothes and toys till they got much older. Nothing could be further from the truth for my kids. At a really young age I saw that they are as different as night and day, especially in the way they throw their tantrums.
Joey, as you all know, is no amateur at tantrums as I posted about here, here... and here. Yes, I've dedicated many a post to his meltdowns. I noticed that Joey's tantrums are extremely angry with shouting and crying, but wait a few seconds and he's over it. Seriously, he'll be screaming crying one second and then the next moment he'll be laughing and running around as if it never happened. I noticed when we spank or scold him, after it's over, he never holds it against us. He is very emotionally dexterous and thick-skinned. He'll shout and yell one moment and then he'll quickly feel bad, asking us for hugs and kisses the next. The other day I took Joey to the mall for some mom and son time. Joey ate all his chicken and salad and asked to get a cheese on a stick, seeing as he finished his food, I obliged. As he was about to eat his cheese on a stick, the unmentionable happened...
The cheese started to fall down the stick.
He started crying and wailing and having a total meltdown. Shouting for help "Mommmy!!!!!!! There's a hole in it!!!!!" .....Can you say first-world kid problems?
I then reminded him that he has hands, and he can hold it himself. He promptly stopped his frenzy and started enjoying his cheesy treat.
His tantrums can be difficult but before I know it, it's over.
My daughter on the other hand... is a total drama queen. She does a million things a day that warrant a spanking/ scolding, like always throwing her food on the floor when she eats, or rubbing the food in her hair, and constantly unplugging the router, the list is endless! But heaven forbid we spank or scold her. When we do, she lets out a shrieking cry, then she'll lay flat on the floor or she'll run into our room and slam the door, all the while wailing like the world is coming to an end. It's like she's saying "How could you do this to me??? What did I ever do to deserve this???" The other day we scolded her for pulling the chords and throwing puzzle pieces everywhere and she immediately started crying and laying flat the floor. Then she checks to make sure we are still looking at her. I took these 3 photos consecutively:
I really hope this is not a preview of the teenage years. I'm not looking forward to it. Yesterday, she was in our room and I was doing some reading on our bed. I hear a scratching sound and I look over to see that she had pulled out about 10 ft of dental floss. I yell "KAITLYN!!!" she immediately drops to the floor:
Or that time I wondered why she was quiet and saw that she crept into one of the desk drawers.
Of course she's daddy's little girl. When she acts out, she'll cry and wail and before she knows it, daddy is holding her an smothering her with kisses.
Sometimes she'll want us to hold her and she'll bury her face in our chest, whimpering like "I'm so upset I don't know what to do with myself." She takes things much more personally and when she cries it's as if memories of previous scoldings are conjured up in her mind. Because they throw tantrums differently we have to react differently. When we scold our daughter we have to be serious yet firm. With my son, it's immediate reaction and consequences.
But even in their tantrums I get very amused in seeing how unique they are. It's a special time knowing that the worst points in their day is when their snack time goes awry, or when they get scolded for pulling dental floss. Maybe one day they'll slam their doors and shut us out, listening to emo music, or they'll go out with their friends and gripe about us. Until that day comes, I'll gladly take the tears and shouts, while they are still looking to us for help, affirmation, and to wipe their tears.