My children, oh my children. They are as different as night and day not just in their genitals but also in their personalities right down to the food they eat.
Everyday it is like a psychotic warfare for me, swinging my mental self from point to point. Each child has his or her unique make up and I've to adjust myself accordingly.
When disciplining, it's no use talking sense to my son. All that talking will fly over his head, the moment he hears my normal tone, he shuts out and will drift off in his head. The way to go with him is to raise my voice up to a high notch, as high as I can possibly master. This way it will shake him out of his system. Sometimes, I've even have to get physical with him and use harsh words to get my point across. Otherwise, he will simply wait for the session to be over while sending his thoughts far away but with me. Despite receiving that many verbal abuse from me, he somehow has the full confidence, beyond any shadow of doubt that I still love him. He doesn't need me to remind or assure him.
Using that same tyrant methodology on my daughter would be like smashing a set of china. Her heart and soul will break into a million pieces if I ever raise my voice at her. For her, I've to talk sense to her, reason with her and assure her I love her still. Yes talking works well with her, my words will stab right through her heart and immediately I will get the corrected behaviour that I want. I rarely have to scream at her.
Their personalities are each at the extreme ends. My son is severely introverted. He prefers to zone out into his own world and space. Asking him to share his thoughts is like asking a miser to treat you to a meal. It actually pains me to have a chat with him. I've to be mentally charged and arm myself with a mental spade to dig out his thoughts. It's exhausting just having a 10 minutes chat with him. And his train of thoughts- oh man. It takes me to nowhere. Every thought brings me to another thought which brings me to another.
Unlike my son, my doll loves to share with me about anything and everything. She tells me about school, what she sees, what she thinks, what she likes, what she is curious about and yada yada yada. She's systematic, I know where her thoughts bring me to. It's structured and logical. While my son irritates me with his bare minimum conversation, my daughter irritates me with her non stop yakking. So you see what I mean by being in a psychotic warfare all the time?
And oh the food that they like- are from different continents. Sonshine is a true blue Asian man who prefers rice and sushi. While my daughter is a European girl preferring spaghetti and pizza. At times, the family have to split up for our meals just so to satisfy their individual cravings.
And their developmental abilities differ. My son is a mathematician, he is like a fish in the water when it comes to numbers. My daughter needs repetitive practise. But when it comes to language ability, the opposite is true.
My son is clearly an introvert who prefers to stay home, bury himself in his books & toys or simply lie on the bed and go on a whimsical journey in his head. He rejects anything that requires him to get out of shell and anything that demands his time away from home. That explains why I, unlike all the other parents out there, have not send my son for any enrichment classes like music, sports and what-nots. If you must know, that is not my choice.
My daughter on the other hand, is the social butterfly who wants to try everything and anything. Unlike my son, she has plenty of classes- all non academic, from piano to dance to art and she enjoys them all. I would rarely find her lying quietly on her bed. Even when she's playing by herself, her voice can be heard. She wants to try and experience new things. She always enjoys herself in any social situation she is in. Throw her in the playground and she will find a friend or friends in seconds.
Their differences tear me apart on a daily basis. I basically feel that I've to literally switch my personality when dealing with them. One moment I'm yelling and the next I'm using a calm voice, one moment I'm demanding a child to share more and on the other I'm telling the other to quieten down. I have no doubt they are confused by me- ironically.
Yet I sometimes seek refuge in their differences. When I need someone to perk me up, I spend girly time win my daughter. She's like my lamp who lights me up. But when I need to have some quiet company, my son is the way to go.
The other night, splitting up for dinner as usual, I had dinner with my son whilst the hub had dinner with my doll. That night, I wanted a downtime where I can find refuge in my book. I appreciated that my son was comfortable with the total silence at our table. I believe he was relieved himself that I didn't demand him to chat as he also wanted to withdraw into his own thoughts and make quiet observations. I am certain that if I had paired up with my daughter that night, she would have pierced the silence with her incessant chatting throughout the entire meal and I would have to forgo my downtime.
I suppose I can't blame anyone else except myself. I've a bit of a split personality myself. My personality test results showed that I am both an introvert AND extrovert with only one point difference between the two. This is why I can understand both introverts and extroverts. I completely understand my son's need to have his downtime, his preference for home rather than social outings. I can also understand my daughter's need to get out and let her social skills let loose. My extrovert side gets annoyed with my introvert son and my introvert side gets annoyed with my daughter's extrovert side. But at the same time the introvert in me appreciates the introvert in the boy and the loud me appreciates my bubbly daughter.
It's psychotic in my house, I tell you.