Being a boy mom is not for the tentative or faint of heart. Unequivocally, it takes a tough gut, a tough mind, a strong will and the flexibility of a yoga master. My oldest son was and is a saint. He was easy going as a baby, a child and remains easy going as an adult. He was definitely God’s way of tricking us into having more kids. Its not that he didn’t have the requisite trips to the urgent care or ER that come with raising kids, but they were in frequent. If we were at the doctor with Jake, it was because he picked up something at daycare.
My younger two are strong willed as Jake is easy going. Oh boy…. The thing about strong-willed children is that they can drive you absolutely mad. Strong-willed children can absolutely change the world, however, if you don’t try and tame their spirit as is often the case. It is tempting because it can be maddening. While Jake spent no time in the urgent care due to accidents or sport injuries, Goalielocks and the Mayor are on a first name basis with the local Urgent Care staff. You know you’re a hockey mom, when the Urgent Care practitioner knows you, your child and their hockey position. They even remember to ask how they did at their last tournament. The urgent care really should have a frequent flier program. I’m hoping now that the boys are older, our visits to the urgent care center decrease. Wish me luck on that one!
As a child, Goalielocks used to ask us deep philosophical questions while we drove. These were not easy questions either. No, Goalielocks wasn’t asking questions about Barnie and Friends. He was all about the meaning of life as a toddler. What’s worse is that he would call us out if our answers were inconsistent or changed. Who expects to be called out on the meaning of life and the origins of the universe by their preschooler?
Women, well at least I can speak for myself, tend not think in a linear fashion. Men tend to think more linearly. I try to think more globally. As a young mom, I assumed that my boys thought in a similar fashion. Oh boy, was I wrong. I didn’t realize that their thinking was quite singular and linear. For example, when I told my kids to take a shower, I didn’t realize I would have to specifically tell them to also shampoo their hair and wash their body. Lesson learned.
A more recent, and perfect example of this, occurred during Irmageddon. For some unknown reason, my hubby had brought in a work light from the garage. The light was unbalanced as it’s legs hadn’t been fully extended.. Goalielocks accidentally knocked into the light knocking it over sending glass shards everywhere. My hubby and I did our best to vacuum up all of the glass shards, but we clearly missed some of them. As I swept and vacuumed this weekend, I found more shards of glass.
I walked into my bathroom noting droplets of blood across the bathroom floor and into our hallway. As it happens, Goalielocks stepped on a shard of glass cutting his foot. He had tended to the cut by removing the class, cleaning the wound and covering it. I asked that he clean up the blood stains he had left in my bathroom. Goalielocks cleaned up the blood stains in the bathroom.
I took the picture above last night of a blood stain Goalielocks left the day he sliced his foot. It is important to know that the stain is in our master bedroom hallway about an inch outside of the master bathroom. As I was taking the pictured, annoyed that the stain was still there, I asked Goalielocks why he didn’t clean this stain up. After all, he had cleaned all of the others. His answer was simple. “Mom, you asked me to clean up the stains in the bathroom. This one isn’t in the bathroom.” I was incensed at myself and him all at once, myself because I should have known better and him because he should have known better.
I brought this picture out at work today. As it is truly a perfect example of how people that think differently perceive different situations. When you know that someone is a linear thinker, like my kids, you know you need to be very specific in your communication. In contrast, with a global thinker you wouldn’t have to be as specific. If you tell me to clean up the blood stains, I’m going to clean up the blood stains even those outside of the bathroom. On the other hand, a linear thinker speaking to a global thinker may want to be very specific in their communication leaving no room for misinterpretation or broadening of scope.
I love how this interaction with my teen turned into a lesson on interacting with different types of thinkers. Life has a funny way of teaching us when we least expect it. At first, I thought it was about a male and female brain, but it is not that simple. Not all women thinking globally and not all men think linearly. The important take away is that people think differently and we need to communicate accordingly.