December 20, 2012


Before we had Owen and our parental experience was limited solely to Mia, I put a lot of stock in the whole nurture part of the nature versus nurture argument. Nearly five years into being a parent to two, I'm not so sure. The differences between girls and boys are striking. Despite all our best efforts, for example, Mia became enamored with princesses (though thankfully that fascination is on its way out) and Owen learned how to turn anything (a paper towel roll, a pencil, a piece of cake) into a gun.

But that's not my point.

(And the point might be hard to stumble upon since I spent half the night in a twin bed with a boy who has some sort of chronic sinus problem and an ENT appointment tomorrow whilst his sister again showed off her fever-getting prowess in the next room over.)

My point is this.

(See, I'm getting to it.)

I wonder where the tipping point is in that nature versus nurture argument when it comes to the quirks my kids seem to have in abundance. For example, from the stairs, there are two hallways that connect to the living room. Owen has decided that one is totally off limits unless it necessary to shut the bathroom door in the other hallway. And it is required that all doors remain shut at all times. For her part, Mia - a very precise, organized and tidy person normally - seems to believe that she must sleep with everything she owns for her bed is piled with stuff. I asked her how she could possibly sleep with half of her room on her bed and she told me when I'm forced to sleep in a little ball it makes me feel all cozy. Mkay.

Anyway, I naturally wonder how much of these and the many other examples of kid quirkiness were preprogrammed and how much of it Beth and I influenced. And if these were at least partially influenced by us, what did it take to push that button? Some pattern of behavior on our part or a simple sentence over dinner?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make another cup of coffee and make sure that Mia hasn't been crushed under the weight of the crap on her bed.

Posted by Chris at December 20, 2012 8:37 AM

There are pictures of me doing the EXACT same thing as Mia does now. Now, I just have a weighted blanket. I sleep like a baby, but one that sleeps through the night. So, not like a baby at all.

Posted by: alektra at December 20, 2012 2:49 PM

I remember watching my daughter at playcare at our local gym when she was just under three and shaking my head. She was pretending to be stuck in the ball pit and demanded that she be pulled to safety by the only boy in the room named Jackson who happened to be five. She is a fashion queen wearing bright loud colors, earrings, and she spends a lot of time going through her closet designing outfits to wear to second grade. This is not from me, I am usually in gym attire and for dress up I wear jeans. My color of choice is black. I decided a long time ago there were certain things about her that was just her make-up. I can teach her to say please and thank you and all that, but she has a unique blue print to which I have no control.

Posted by: Shannon at December 21, 2012 9:16 AM

my son is the same about his bed! he look ridiculous sleeping with all of this babies, cars, books, flashlights, ETC every night. we call him mullsalina jolie, baby hoarder.

and i totally agree about the nurture/nature debate. my old neighbor, the strict feminist, used to tell me that there is only .0000000001% difference in genetics or something like that. well, that must be the one bizillionth of a gene that takes care of princesses and guns because it's there, no matter how much i try to squelch it :)

Posted by: kati at December 21, 2012 3:53 PM