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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nature vs. Nurture

“Pink socks,” Minnie 1 requests.
“Honey, I don’t have any clean pink socks,” I reply.
“Me want pink socks!” she says.
“How ‘bout purple socks?”
“NO MAMA! Me want pink socks NOW!” she insists.

Minnie 1 is all about the pink these days. Not unlike her older sister, who was ALL about purple for quite a long time, and still shows a marked preference for grape-hued things, Minnie 1 has decided that if it’s pink, it’s got to be good.

Now Husband has proclaimed on more than one occasion that their girliness can be laid solely at my doorstep. I am, after all, a girly-girl myself. I admit this. I don’t like dirt, or getting hurt, or too much strenuous activity. As my sisters will attest, I never have. So Husband swears that Big Sis, who is admittedly even more of a princess than I am, would be a tree climbing, soccer playing, rough and tumble, I-can-burp-the-alphabet kinda’ gal if it weren’t for me. I think he’s wrong, but I could never prove it until the twins.

I like to believe I’ve treated all of my children equally. They’ve certainly all been raised with the same outside influences (read: tv, books and my sparkling personality) to shape them. And somehow, I’ve ended up with two princesses and one wood sprite. Big Sis and Minnie 1 do NOT like to be dirty. They cry at the drop of a hat. Their preferred uniform is a party dress. Minnie 1 is already standing up for her fashion sense, and as the sock conversation illustrates, the pinker and girlier the outfit, the happier she is. I think it’s in her nature. For Valentine’s Day this year, I got them all play shoes from the Disney Store; Big Sis and Minnie 1 got high-heeled ones with feathers on the toes—a la 1940’s boudoir shoes—and Minnie 2 got Pirates of the Caribbean brocade flats. They LOVE LOVE LOVE their shoes. Minnie 2 has barely taken hers off for the last week, flu and all.

Minnie 2 is the closest thing to a fairy changeling I’ve ever seen outside of a fairy tale. She’s impish and a daredevil. She only cries when really hurt, and spends most of her day climbing and tumbling and falling off of everything she can get into. She could care less what she wears, as long as it keeps her warm.

We were in temple recently when the Rabbi invoked the traditional blessing over children. Parents were requested to put their hands first on the tops of their daughters’ heads and recite the blessing for girls. Then they put their hands on their sons’ heads for the blessing for boys. What did my husband do? He placed his hand on Minnie 2’s head for the blessing for sons. I about smacked him. He jokes that he’s raising her as a boy, because he can’t have a WHOLE HOUSE of just women. And of the 3 kids, she’s the closest thing to a boy without being a boy that he’ll get. Which brings us back to the main question. How can you argue that my princesses are because of my nurturing, when my “boy” clearly is not?? It all has to do with inborn nature, if you ask me. Well, that, and pink socks.


MIQuilter said...

It can easily be explained. Minnie 2 is my child, not yours. Send her home. NOW.

Scribbit said...

I love her independence :) She's got a future in the fashion industry :)

stephanie said...

My dad was the youngest of 4 - all boys. His mom coped by teaching him how to cook, sew, etc. Even though he *says* he was traumatized, he ended up with some handy life skills.

Nicole said...

Grin, kids are awesome, I think I stated that before :)
Pink socks.
Up to a short time ago you could not get me to wear anything pink.
Being where I am now, I sometimes don't have much of a choice and hey, I start liking pink ;)
I think it all depends on their own nature.
Yes, parents have influence, but hey, who are we kidding.
Most two year olds know already exactly what they want and what not ;)

MommyTime said...

Stephanie, you are totally right. Not such a bad thing, necessarily.

Nicole, yes, isn't it true, they have such distinctive personalities and tastes so early.

MM, this is a great story. My favorite bit is the husband blessing part. :)

MultiplesMommy said...

Now, now, MIQ, she is NOT yours. She is MY fairy, and you know it. You have visiting rights. Extensive ones. So why don't you wander my way, and I'll let you play with the animals...

foolery said...

I love looking back at my girls' pre-talking days and seeing examples of their personalities peeking through that we didn't recognize at the time. It all looks so preordained in those moments.


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