One thing I hear from parents of older children is how you become an expert in a topic you never thought might be of interest to you. Parents of girls, for example, might get to know all the intimate details of every Disney princess tale, or the intricacies of the relationships between My Little Ponies, or not to be too horribly gender stereotyping, breeds of horses or I don't know, whatever interests them at the time.
Most mothers I know don't tend to complain about the typical "girl interests" possibly because they were once girls themselves. But I've heard more than one mother grimace when describing how she knows the name and function of every sort of motorized construction vehicle that exists, or arcane trivia about steam engine trains, or the entire taxonomic branch of every dinosaur species known to man. I cannot believe how much this post is embracing every gender stereotype. But the thing is, your kids are their own people no matter how you raise them. When Andrew was quite small, I looked for (because I thought it was interesting) any possible gender differences and noticed no obvious ones. No reaching for toys of one sort over the other, no preferences for dinosaurs over baby dolls.
And then he turned one. And it quickly became apparent what kind of boy we have, and it's very different that Elizabeth. Andrew is a ball guy. And they all pretty much interest him: football, soccer, baseball, basketball. Thus far, with the passing of each season, he's happily transitioned to the next sport and been just as interested. Rich and I are pleased. We can handle this interest while enjoying it ourselves. Whew.
Now, Elizabeth likes football, too, don't get me wrong. But she does not insist on carrying a ball with her at all times. Nor practicing pitching, catching, throwing, or kicking any of the various shaped sports balls that litter our house. Andrew really likes two things right now - kicking the football, and playing 'tackle.' Given the ongoing discussion of increasing violence in football, kicking is about the only position he'd ever be allowed to play, if this interest of his continues, and he's got a decent leg on him already, and loves both kicking it and being the holder.
The thing is, we don't have a no-throwing-the-ball in the house policy. Until recently, it's not like he could do much damage. But he acquired a real pro baseball this summer, and he's got some strength. And some of those footballs could do some damage, too, particularly to our thinly-paned original glass, historic windows, or yikes, our big screen TV, or our original built-in leaded glass-fronted cabinets. But, it is fun to play in the house, so we'll have to think through some house rules.
National Math Festival
2 days ago