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Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Baby Goes Boom

My son is 15 months old and he's not quite walking yet. He's cruising, which means he holds on to things to watch, and he crawls like a fiend. I'm not particularly worried about it. My oldest child didn't walk until he was 15 months and apparently my husband didn't walk until he was 16 months old. I didn't walk until I was 14 months old. So, with the exception of my middle son, who walked when he was 12 months old, we're all relatively slow walkers. (For the record, some kids don't walk until they're 18 months old.)

He takes little steps, he tries things and he goes BOOM onto the floor. I gasp. My husband laughs and picks him up. We couldn't have two more different reactions to what the children do.

My younger brother likes to tell a story about what he calls 'ski families.' We were not a sky family when I was growing up. My parents took us out west to teach us to ski but I was already twelve years old and as I'm not all that athletic, I didn't take to the sport as well as others did. My brother, however, was 6 years old and these days he is a fantastic snowboarder.

In any case, he loves to tell this story of sitting on a ski-lift behind a ski family. The mother and father are talking as they look down at the ski slope looking for their teenage children. They spot their daughter but it takes a few years to notice their son. Finally, they spot him. He's going up in the air on a jump. The mother gasps as the father cheers when the son lands his jump.

I think there is just something different about how men and women handle the children's antics--whether it is the baby hitting the ground or the teenage son jumping on a ski slope.

But what happens when we reverse this? Right now, in the story I'm writing, the woman is much tougher about things than the man. He's what we would refer to as an EMO. He's much more likely to cry than she is. He's much more likely to freak out. I think if they were on a ski lift, he would gasp and she would cheer.

How do you feel about this? Good or Bad to trade emotional rolls?

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