Thursday, March 02, 2006

Who's in the mood for some sweentess? Some sugary, syrupy, tooth-melting sweetness? Me too. Look out, folks, 4 out of 5 dentists recommend skipping this blog post.

So, as you may recall, I spent the weekend in a condo in Lake Tahoe with my daughter, my wife, a friend, and her son. This was the first time our family had gone on a trip with their family.

The friend explained to us early on in the trip that her son, who we'll call Buster, wasn't quite as quiet as Daisy. He had what she referred to as "boy energy". We were somewhat familiar with the concept having heard other parents refer to this difference between the energy and behavior of boys vs girls.

It turned out to be an eye-opening weekend. Now, Buster certainly is a bright and loving child, but he was also definitely a bundle of "boy energy". He constantly sought to test limits and push boundaries. The difference between his behavior and Daisy's behavior was vast.

Now, Daisy sometimes errs on the side of being overly cautious. For example, when she and Buster were in ski school on Saturday they had lunch with the other kids in the cafeteria. I was discretely standing off to the side (watching her not eat peanuts). At one point during the lunch hour, a ski school employee turned on a video in the corner of the room. As soon as Buster finished his hot dog, he popped out of his chair and wandered over to the TV side of the room. Slowly, all the kids at Daisy's table made the same migration. Eventually, Daisy was the last person sitting there. Why did she remain seated? Because no one had told her she was excused.

Finally, she did go, but it took a while. So, Buster felt free to leave because no one had told him it he couldn't. Daisy, on the other hand, was reluctant to go without someone telling her it was ok.

Ok, in this example, clearly Buster had the right idea. But, after spending 3 days of watching him constantly test the limits of what he could get away with, I have to say that I am IMMENSELY grateful for a child like Daisy. During most of my interactions with Buster, he tried to get away with something.

We walked out of that condo at the end of the weekend and I immediately told Daisy what a great child she was. My love for this kid grew visibily over those 3 days. I've been holding myself back from piling on extra desserts and filling her room with new toys. I look at her anew now, and she seems miraculous to me. I've been overcome with appreciation for her enthusiasm, kindness, and her willingness to listen to her parents. I tell you, I've been staring at all gooey-eyed ever since the weekend. I think I'm beginning to creep her out.

She just came into my office just now and saw a big stack of Post-Its. Her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "Oooh! Post-Its!".

Just Post-Its. That's all it took. I'm a lucky man.


zelda1 said...

I am not sure that is a boy versus girl thing. My seven year old grandson is very cautious, because that is how we have raised him. He lived the first four years with me and now lives with his other grandparents. There was an ugly court battle that I lost because truly the battle was between their drunkard son and my drugaddicted daughter and the son won so the other grandparents are raising my older grandson, but they let me see him anytime I want and we call and write and I go to the birthdays and special dinners and when I take him fishing, I call his other grandfather when we catch fish so that he can come and take picutes and take the fish off the hook, unless of course my husband is there and he will take the fish off the hook. That was exhausting, but my point is that my sister has four granddaughters and they are all good kids except granddaughter number two, who has bright red hair, big beautiful frekles, and is about as big as a minute. She pushes the boundries even with her parents standing there shaking their head at her. I have never seen such an obstinate child. She is so sweet but at the same time she can be such a handful. VEry energy draining. So unlike the other children in our family. If there is a puddle of water, Miss Thing as I call her will jump right in the middle, even if she has on her frilley dress and shiny shoes. My grandson will go to the edge and look, but he doesn't want to get his shoes muddy, he might ask if he can take his shoes off and play in the water like his cousin, Ms. Redhaired terror, but he won't just go jump in. So caution, I think, can be in both genders. One thing about those border pushing children, they are their own free spirits, I was one, and look how good I turned out to be. Yes!

Mike said...

Zelda1, yeah I agree that the qualities that make Buster draining to raise as a child may end up suiting him VERY well as an adult and in his career.

Janelle Renee said...

I wonder if Daisy is highly independent.

I was the child that would've stayed, too, while thinking, "Great, now I have to join them because I'm sitting here all by myself."

Of course, you know her better than me, but I thought I'd offer my take on it. Either way, she sounds like a wonderful little person!

Mike said...

janelle renée, I wouldn't describe her as an independent child, but I'd totally agree with the wonderful part.

Tasty said...