From time to time I notice large scale differences between my son and my daughters. They are not always magnificent, spectacular differences in nature, but they are always widely and significantly different in terms of conduct.
One such example happened this afternoon. We spent a long afternoon at Ikea , one that included lunch, playing, dreaming and a butt load of walking. We went there right after church so there was no rest time in between church and the store. Throw in the fact that ever floor we hit was a little cooler than the floor above it and you can quickly gather that our entire family was tired, hot then cold then colder, irritable and generally of a cranky nature.
In the past I have become somewhat accustomed to my daughters crankiness and fits of rage. But having a son has shed some light on the different ways in which boys and girls handle that stage of melting down that necessarily happens when the day has gone on too long for them and no one is catering to their every whim. Let me explain…
As we left the store we walked toward our truck as a family. Rebekah and Adriannah decided they were going to race to the truck. Alaynah, being the big girl that she is, took off after them. My son, being the big man that he is, followed suit. Rebekah hit the truck first, not surprisingly, followed by Annah, Alaynah and Aaron. Oh yeah, and Aaron’s scream. See, he had it in his mind that he was supposed to win. And when he didn’t win, he got upset.
If this was one of my daughters I would be able to tell you that she would have probably gotten quiet, maybe telling you that she didn’t want to be your friend or didn’t want to talk to you anymore, maybe cross her arms. Very emotional, very heart felt. My son… well, he went in a different direction.
After screaming, well yelling really, very loudly, he screamed directly at Alaynah, telling her, in effect, that he wanted to win and the she was supposed to let him win. Then he screamed again. Then he put both hands on the truck as if he was going to push it out of the parking spot it was in. And when it didn’t move, he reached under the rear quarter panel and tried to pick it up and throw it. Yes, my son wanted to pick the truck up and throw it. It was only when he couldn’t get it off the ground that the tears came.
Broken, frustrated and thwarted as a mighty man of truck throwing strength, my son became a little boy once again. And I had no choice but to pick him up, hold him, tell him I love him and then tell him that next time, if he wants to win, he needs to earn it because there is nothing at all the he will ever do in which a win will be given to him. Of course, I told him this in terms a three year old might understand some day. But he had to hear it. More importantly though was that he had to hear that I loved him. Right then, in the middle of his meltdown.
Which takes me to a place where my kids aren’t really all that different. When they are broken, frustrated and thwarted what all they really need is a little love. But then, isn’t that something we all need when we go through all that stuff, too?