Mmmm yep. Things are just a tad different with the boychild. Pictured above: the only way we can now manage to change his diapers without him corkscrewing himself into the neighboring county, and/or giving one of us a nervous breakdown (either diaper-er, or diaper-ee).
I’m an unreconstructed, dyed-in-the-wool social constructionist, which is to say that if human behavior were explained away with a scissors-paper-rock game, to me nurture is the scissors, which cuts nature which is the paper. The rock stands in for The Fates. Our kids are my 24hr/day laboratory, in which the social construction of gender identity dukes it out with the biological determination of it, all before my very eyes. And as The Fates would have it, if early observations bear out, I find I’ve got me two pitch-perfect gender conformists: a taciturn, meditative, bookworm for a daughter, and a future Cirque du Soleil strongman/contortionist for a son. Sugar and spice and everything nice on the one hand, snips and snails on the other. Okay so maybe it’s not that extreme, and thank heavens it’s all early yet. But still. Would it really have been too hard for it to go the other way around? Was that really asking too much?
I brandish my fist at the unfeeling, capricious gods! Or smile and nod, thanking them for the well-deserved object lesson. To the extent that nature is at work here, at least I can console myself with the fact that the chips didn’t fall in an utterly clichÃ© pattern. That is, the girlchild got her quiet, contemplative nature from our donor chum (she’s a lot of him, plus estrogen), and the boychild got his gonzo-buff nature from the beloved (he’s a lot of her, plus testosterone).
I think I’ll call it a draw.