Posted by: heartfull | July 22, 2008

Boys and Girls

How do you know if your generalizations are accurate? If I say my boy is just so different than his sisters were, how do I know that it isn’t because of his particular personality? Or the fact that he is the youngest? It is hard to do sociological study when your sample size is three children.

And yet, stop the presses, call the journals because this business major sociologist mom has confirmed a theory. I’m sure that my sample size is large enough to say that boys are different from girls. Emphatically.

Plus, the fact that everyone and their brother (and sister) told me that my boy would be different, and the ways they told me he would be different are exactly the way he is different. That must count for something in the scientific world, right?

So a mother to only girls might ask me what, exactly, makes his so different? Well, off the top of my head:

Chip likes weapons. He likes to pick up toy brooms and swing them around. He turns pool noodles into AK-37s. Sticks are his friends.

Chip loves tractors, cars, trucks, construction equipment and motorcycles. And it is more than just mentioning their existence. He wants to know about them. Their names. What they do. Why we don’t have one.

Chip thinks bodily functions are hilarious. He likes to talk about poop and pee. He giggles when he toots. When he is using the restroom, he’ll yell out for no one to come in because “it’s stinky in here.”

Chip is physical. When he gets angry or knows someone is upset with him, his first inclination is to hurt them (presumably before they can hurt him?).

It truly amazes me every day.


So, beyond the boy-girl differences, we are going through a less-than-charming stage with Chip. It is a stage seemingly filled with hitting, scratching and throwing. It is frustrating and I don’t like it. One bit.

Obviously that isn’t the whole picture. Most times, Chip is a sweet little boy who loves to read books, is ecstatic when his sisters play with him, and has a wonderful sense of humor. He loves for his mama to baby him and wraps his arms and legs around me with a fierce grip. His bear hugs are to die for.

And yet, the hitting, scratching and throwing when he gets frustrated are driving me insane. My older two never did this (girls!) and I don’t know if I’m handling it correctly. I want it to stop because (surprise!) I don’t want him to be an overly aggressive (boy!) child.

Saturday I had to go to the fabric store and I took Chip with me. When Bird and Mare were his age I took them on all my errands because I like to have my babies/toddlers near me as much as possible. In my mind even errands are time with mama and I truly believe that quantity is more important than quality. But, get ready for some new math: Chip + fabric store = DISASTER.

This weekend I had to pull away. After being chased by him so that he could pummel my rear end, having him scratch me because I wouldn’t stop telling him “no”, after yelling at him because he had again drawn mare’s blood with his fingernails, I began handing him off to his dad. A lot. This resulted in gushes of tears on Chip’s part. But I can only take so much before I worry about what I might do or say in retaliation. Because I’m mature that way.

After yelling for John to come and take him, I listened from the other room as John tried to have a conversation with Chip about how he has been treating me.

Chip, you have to be nice to your mom. Little boys must treat their moms with love


Because they are your moms and they love you and you love them and you don’t treat people you love that way. You don’t want to be mean to your mom, do you?

Yes! Ha ha ha ha (he really did laugh.)

No, Chip, you love your mom. You don’t want to hurt her.

Yes I do!

Such a lovely father-son moment, don’t you think?

So I have been thinking that what I actually need to do is be around him more (not less which is my natural inclination), on his terms. He is not a child that can go with me on errands, but he still needs to be with his mama. Apparently, I need to shoot for quality as well as quantity, God-help-me-I-don’t-know-where-the-time-is-going-to-come-from.

I am going to talk to the girls and let them know that I need to spend more time with him and they can join us, but we need to do more thing that are good for Chip. Then I am going to focus on doing more reading with him, more game playing. I think I need to bite the bullet and sign him up for a mommy and me class. And I’m going to learn that I need to avoid situations – like shopping – with him.

I’ll report back in a month.



  1. As a mom of 3 boys and 3 girls, I can support your conclusion that they ARE different!
    How old is Chip?
    My almost 3 yo likes to play more physically (running, throwing a ball, etc) but we’ve had to work at drawing the line at wrestling with mom. :)

  2. He is two, turning 3 in August.

    Yesterday was a much better day until about 8:45 pm which is way past his bedtime. He started pummeling me because I took his toy away because he hit me with it. Then again, it was 45 minutes past his bedtime. He was tired. After I got mad and overreacted, we both went to bed and cuddled until he fell asleep and it was very sweet.

    I need to pay more attention to when his hitting episodes happen. I suspect that tiredness plays more of a factor than I had previously acknowledged.

  3. If it makes you feel any better, my son went through an aggressive phase around this age. All kids are different, and rest assured it’s just a phase. I had a time out spot and he spend plenty of time there-and when he didn’t, I praised the hell out of him. But the main thing that worked for me, was staying calm and not engaging-this is not easy. I would matter-of-factly put him in time out (2 minutes top) and I would keep putting him there for as long as it took-all the while cool as a cucumber. Drinking at night helped too.

  4. That actually makes me feel a lot better.

    After a particularly difficult day with Chip I have been known to have a beer (or, um, two.) Personally, I think it works better than a time out…

  5. IFYP.

    FWIW, our school psychologist suggested something that has been helpful – give an active boy manual labor as much as possible. They do need running around time, but they also need to do purposeful, physically demanding work that is useful to the family. It’s hard to find appropriate tasks when they’re small, but certain yard chores (mulching, watering with a heavy watering can) can work. Digging and carrying tasks are good – got any areas of dirt that you need rocks removed from?
    Braxton might have more ideas about this – farms are great that way.

  6. My older son just turned 3 and he is going through the same very aggressive and sometimes violent behavior. Hitting, scratching, spitting, pinching….. fun isn’t it? Let me know if you figure soemthing out! Braeden’s therapist thinks he is sleep deprived. And that part of his behavior issues comes from that. Good luck.

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