I know it isn’t simple. You aren’t supposed to compare your children. They’re each unique, and all have different strengths and weaknesses. And… blah blah blah. Who doesn’t compare their children? Who doesn’t notice and see each difference, whether it’s the speed at which they develop various skills, the way they act around friends, or their quirks?
It isn’t necessarily judging them, just acknowledging their differences and yes, sometimes using it as a basis for “What is normal anyway?” Little Miss and Mister Man are so different in so many ways. Lucky for them, most of the time I giggle about their differences. Like… last night.
As I was finishing up some work in the kitchen, I herded them to bed. At 7 and 9, they can get themselves ready for bed – changing into pjs, a last bathrooms run, brushing their teeth, etc. As I heard the last stirrings upstairs, I called from the first floor, “Anyone going to say goodnight to me?”
Little Miss came flying down the stairs. “Me! Me! I say goodnight to you! I say goodnight!” in her not so cute little baby voice she’s adopted ever since we read the Gregor the Overlander books. She ran over to me with her arms outstretched, jumped into my arms and covered me with hugs and kisses as she told me good night before she trotted back upstairs.
Not so much with Mister Man. “Good night, Mom,” he called from his bedroom, annoyance evident in his tone as he’d been hoping to sneak in a few more pages of reading before I forced him to go to sleep. “That’s it?” I asked. And I never got another answer. I simply shook my head at the two opposites, knowing that it isn’t that one child loves me more or less than the other. It’s simply that they’re wired differently.
Tonight though? I think I may head upstairs to say goodnight. So far – knock on wood – I’m still able to get a hug and an “I love you, too” from Mister Man when I say goodnight in his room. And I’m treasuring those hugs, hoarding them – from both the wee ones – for the years when Mom just isn’t cool enough and I the cold shoulder instead of open arms.