Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mars and Venus since birth

I'm convinced John Gray was on to something when titling his work Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. While, according to Wikipedia, his book offers "many suggestions for improving husband-wife relationships by understanding the communication style and emotional needs of the opposite gender, I'm here to tell you these differences are innate from birth.

In just shy of 11 months, I can attest to the fact that the male species and the female species come into this world with their own distinct characteristics, and I'm not just talking "down there." How the two genders' minds work is dissimilar from the get go. So it goes without saying that by the time adults find themselves in relationships, they need to understand the differences between themselves.

These little drama queens we've got have all gone through pretty much the same type of play progression. On the whole, they've played with similar toys; graduated from one type of play to the next; and like to play together (SOME TIMES) all in the same fashion. While each, at one time or another, has taken her own interest in a unique toy or game (ie, the Pixie and her puzzles), I've watched the similarities between their play and interests, and am sure it isn't just coincidence.

The little cowboy, on the other hand, is quite different. And let me make it perfectly clear, I'm not advocating that one type of play is better, more productive or superior over the other. But, he simply has different interests and methods of interacting with objects and the world around him.

Balls are an excellent example. All three of the girls have been exposed to rolling, bouncing and playing with a ball. Each of them would take an interest in a ball for a few minutes and then, as if shrugging their shoulders and giving it a "eh," leave it behind as they made off toward something else. Trace on the other hand LOVES them. He'll bang them together; roll one and crawl after it only to roll it again; and is in seventh heaven if you roll a ball on the top of the coffee table with him. He'll stay engaged in most any type of ball play for a much longer period of time.

Trucks, trains and tractors are another instance when I clearly see their differences. Alena, Alivia and Alysse, might have a fleeting interest in a truck or tractor (most of that time spent seeing if it's big enough to carry a stuffed bunny or frog), but Trace actually brings them to life. He revels in pushing the John Deere around, and Jason has even heard him making engine sounds. Yeah, in three years, I've yet to hear Alena imitate a motor sound of any sort.

He also looks at toys in a completely different light than what each of the others see through their "girl" eyes. It's as though he's trying to figure out the "why it works the way it does," rather than the "let's see what this can do" approach the girls take.

These variations can't be explained away with suggestions that the girls didn't have "boy" toys to play with, because they did. We had a Hot Wheels track and the tire carrying case to store the cars in before Trace came on the scene. And the very John Deere tractor Trace enjoys the most was a birthday gift for Alivia on her first birthday.

I'm convinced there are just innate differences between us. So the next time you wonder why your husband would enjoy going to play a softball game at 10 o'clock on a Thursday night when it's 39 degrees, just remember he can't help himself, he's most likely been that way from the start.

1 comment:

melissious said...

Love it. I love the video. He's all boy for sure. I really have nothing to compare my brood to. They've all been "vroom, vrooming" from birth, it seems! Now my baby is obsessed with the football. Too much fun! :)