Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Differences Between Kids

I know so many people with two kids - a boy and a girl. Often, I hear how different these two kids are, with the differences chalked up to the fact that the kids are two different species (if you consider boys and girls as different species, like I pretty much do).

I can see how that would make sense. Boys are different than girls because they are boys. And girls are different than boys, because they are girls.

But I have two kids, too. Both girls. And you know what? They are WAAAAY different from each other. As it turns out, when it comes to the difference of kids, sex of child has nothing to do with it. My girls have been different from the very first day, when they were nothing but little tadpoles inside me.

Gracie - made me sick as a dog in the 1st trimester/ Annelie - made me ten times sicker.

Gracie - never stopped kicking/ Annelie - never moved in my stomach.

Gracie - while pregnant, my body hurt too much to move/ Annelie - made me feel so refreshed that up until her delivery, I was hiking and mountain climbing (some would call it small-hill walking... I call it mountain climbing)

Gracie - never slept as a newborn/ Annelie - Didn't wake up until she was about 4 months old.

Now that Gracie and Annelie are 5 and 3 years old, the differences between them have only grown. Gracie lives in dreamland and doesn't interact with kids very much on the playground, preferring to pal around with her imaginary boyfriends, Harry Potter and Justin Bieber. Annelie only plays pretend when Gracie ropes her into it, preferring to run around with other kids at the park instead. And while they both love playing dress-up, Annelie is much more interested in running into the backyard and swinging for hours or catching bugs (and sticking them in her hair - but that's a story for another day).

And as to potty-training...

Gracie - potty-trained easily and without a hitch/ Annelie - a never-ending potty-training NIGHTMARE!

When it comes to learning, my girls are also VERY different. Gracie is able to memorize quickly, but doesn't find problem solving very easy and struggles to relay back what she's learned. Annelie doesn't memorize letters/numbers or words as easily, but excels at problem solving. Also, when she sees a movie, she can tell you everything about it in clear, concise sentences (she gets that from her dad... I'm too long-winded to have passed on that gene).

When Gracie sees the word STOP, she knows what it says because she's already memorized it. Annelie sees STOP and knows what it says because she knows that the 'S' sound combined with the 'T' 'O' and 'P' sounds can be smashed together to make the sound STOP. As much as we work on that concept with Gracie, it just doesn't make any sense to her.

Yesterday, I was playing Tic-Tac-Toe with my girls. 5 year old Gracie lost every time. She just didn't get it, no matter how much I explained the rules to her, and eventually gave up to play with her imaginary boyfriend. 3 year old Annelie understood the rules immediately and after only two games, was already kicking my butt.

Not to mention: Gracie - the sweet, sensitive kid/ Annelie - the temper-tantrum throwing hellion with a love for destruction and making her sister cry.

It never fails to amaze me how two kids - both girls, both coming from the same place and from the same two people - can be SO DIFFERENT in just about all aspects of their lives. When I hear other moms talking about their kids, how different their son is from their daughter, I can only smile and nod and say, "Yeah, I know what you mean. My daughter is WAAAY different than my daughter."

It's not just the gender that makes them different. It's the kids.



  1. I've come to accept the fact that having more than one kid means you will have two different personalities...PERIOD. Yes, I have one of each, but I rarely ever peg their differences to their gender. They are just two different souls with different interests and temperaments. Sure, I'd love to have two mellow kids, but in his own frustrating, stubborn way, Merrick is fun even without being mellow. I definitely see the difference in the way they learn and the way they react to life. By his age, Amelia could recite the entire alphabet over and over. Merrick can't, but if you point to a letter in any word, he can tell you what it is. He can count from to 10 when she couldn't at his age and actually recognize the written numbers, yet he still has trouble talking clearly.

  2. Oh I love this post! It's SO true! I have three boys and they are all different from each other, totally not a gender thing, it's a kid thing :)

  3. This makes me feel a little better. I only have one 3-yo girl, but I'm glad to know that even kids at 2 years apart can be so different, learning-wise. Your post a couple months ago about Annelie's little handmade book complete with storyline, illustration perspective, and backgrounds (!) sent me into a worried freak-out b/c my little girl is the same age and she's not anywhere near those accomplishments! But if kids can be that different, I guess I don't have too much to worry about.
    On the other hand, Carly and Annelie do have something in common- Potty training disasters! Off to check out your other post...

  4. My boys are exactly the same way. Where Brayden can be quiet and thoughtful, Gage is loud and abrupt. Funny how things work out, isn't it?

  5. So true. I have 2 girls 22 months apart. Completely night and day. Seporah's my Little Miss Sunshine rough and tumble tomboy and Felicity's my girly-girl Miss Priss Whinybutt.

  6. You say, "coming from the same two people" but can you really be sure? Maybe it was that time Will was out of town?

  7. so very true. and coming from a mama who has two girls who were carried in the same womb at the same time and have had the same teachers and the same, they couldn't be more different. so yes, even with twins! different. and wonderful because of it.

  8. I love this post. Not only is it so interesting to read about your different kids (it really is, I would love to get to know them someday and I love knowing you as their mother), but I also think a lot about gender differences with kids--mostly just cause my boy is so unconventional. He has never fit the mold, so I am always fighting the stereotype.

    I get stubborn that way.

  9. Even though I have a boy and a girl, i totally get what you mean. My son isn't so boy-ish. He likes painting pictures, picking flowers, and holding sleeping kittens. It kinda bugs me when I hear other mothers talk about their boys as if boys are supposed to be rough and tumble, or boys will be boys. I don't like lumping my son in to one category of boy...there are many different types of boys and he is his own person and he's just a great kid who happens to be a boy.


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