When CM was born I went out of my way to make sure that toys and stimulation were gender neutral. I discovered pretty early on that toys designed for boys were far more fun than those aimed at girls.
When the boys were due, it probably just came down to survival. Anything and everything was ok if it made a happy home.
The boys fitted in with CM, missing out on tv programmes had CM loved because her tastes had changed. There was no ‘In the Night Garden’ it was all about ‘The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’.
When CM started playschool all of the gender neutral parenting went out the window, she came home demanding pink, dressing up costumes were all about Disney Princesses and fairies.
And the boys, well, the boys have started Reception and it seems they have set themselves out as ‘boys’ boys’, they are very physical and full of energy.
I hate the idea that the differences in gender are apparent, further than nurture, but it does seem that CM’s energy has always been contained within her, especially with B it is around him, all-encompassing.
E is a half way house, and I have often described B as ‘cheeky’ and E as ‘naughty’. E has some of CM’s inner energy but a lot of the physical.
One of the things that has always set E apart from his siblings is his interest in clothes. I can put the boys to bed in their pj’s and when I wake them the next day E will be fully dressed in his version of ‘smart’, which is actually, usually pretty smart.
I have lost my temper far too many times with clothes spewing out from their wardrobes and units, as both have gone to great efforts to dress themselves.
This Saturday saw this go one step further. For CM gifted E his favourite pair of trousers from her wardrobe. Which he wore all day.
And when we came to get ready on Saturday for an evening at Cardiff Bay, a joint celebration for Mum’s birthday, Mother’s Day and CM’s birthday, well the only alteration E was willing to make was to wear his favourite rugby shirt. The trousers were staying on.
We got a lot of looks, apart from my parents, the only person to say something was the waitress, who on asking where he got them, and finding out his sister had given them to him, nodded at him approvingly.
It seems the amount of glances E received didn’t go amiss.
Sunday morning saw B deciding not only would he ask E if he could wear said trousers, he’d also ask CM for a top to go with them.
Part of being a parent, to me, is deciding on which battles you need to win.
And on this one, not only did they win, but they taught me well.