Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Order of Things

I was thinking about birth order today.  Specifically wondering if it actually plays any role in how our kids behave.  In reading about it here I think we may have some reverse syndrome going on.  In case you don't feel like clicking over, it's the bit about the younger child being spoiled and pampered and the older child being "dethroned" when the younger one comes along that interests me.  Because I think we have somehow done that backwards.

When the Wonderboy was a baby, and into his first years of toddler-hood we did the epic bedtimes.  The sitting in there until he was asleep.  Or doing the commando crawl across the floor, freezing at the slightest exhaled breath or body twitch like we were in the sites of a sniper.  And though we no longer have to endure that specifically - he is almost seven after all - his bedtime is still way more involved then the Pixie's.  Hers tops out at fifteen minutes.  His story/chat/bathroom/drink/need to tell you something/now I need to tell Daddy something/I just want that toy/book/music on/dog with me in my bed/cat in the room/no cat in the room/how do you spell light/connect/freezer/when are you checking on me? can last an hour and a half.  GAH!

I wonder if that is due to the fact that the Pixie just tends to be mellower?  Or did she become mellower because she was the second one and we were way more relaxed by the time she came along.  Putting her in her crib and letting her cry it out was a cinch.  Maybe that's because she was a better sleeper all along though?

He is drama, pure and simple.  Kid hasn't met a good melodramatic breakdown he didn't love.  She can pitch a fit - don't get me wrong - but it's over so much quicker then his storms. How did they get this way? Each of them born to us, but different in so many ways.  How much of their personalities are based on what they see and learn, and how much is inherited or innate? Does any of it come from which one of them was born first?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions, really.  Yet it plays in my head when I look at the two of them.  Not only as to what kind of little people they are now, but what they will be like as tweens, teenagers, adults.  So much unknown.

I do know one thing though.  If we have to deal with these bedtimes much longer?  He's going to have to find his own apartment a lot sooner then expected!

11 comments:

Zip n Tizzy said...

I think in theory all of these studies are pretty smart, but in reality kids just complex little people like us and one size does NOT fit all.
Our two are so different also, and since I think we're doing a pretty good job of raising them equally, I have to believe it's personality.

myfluffybunnies said...

We're the same way ... My little guy: cover him up, give him his mouse, sing a song, he's down for the count. My daughter: Needs water, to hold my hand, to touch my necklace, to know what I'm going to do after I leave her room, to get a new pair of socks, to find her yellow blanket, and on and on. Now you've got me pondering if it's because she's older or less mellow or something we started and are "reaping" the benefits of. Maybe yours and mine can get an apartment together. =>

Vodka Mom said...

I'm sending over a big bottle of vodka. YOu're gonna need it.

Logical Libby said...

I don't believe the birth order stuff. I think it's just one way for people to try and explain the craziness that is children -- and is currently taking over your house.

bernthis said...

I rarely whore out a link of mine but reading this, if you have not seen it, I think you really appreciate it.

here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08b-qi1SSso

Susan said...

I wonder about this, too. Especially what they will be like when they're older. They just seem to have arrived pre-wired.

Maybe our kids can get an apartment together?

Strange Voices in My Head said...

I don't think it's the order that one is born in matters beyond all other factors. Maybe just being born is what makes it tricky. We humans are a funny (weird?!?) bunch, but at least with kids it is of sort of charming.

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm fascinated with the whole birth order thing. Buried somewhere in a basket in my room is a book on the matter. I wonder how much the ease of a second 'go 'round with parenting has shaped our second child, too. He was easy from the very beginning, but we also were more laid back with our parenting. Got to vacuum? Well, hope you enjoy your nap while I clean right here under your crib, baby. I NEVER would do that with my oldest...and I think that's why he still wakes up and sits up in bed when I walk by his bedroom door on my way to bed almost every dang night!

It'll be interesting to see how they fit the mold as they age. I am a classic, desire to please, want to avoid confrontation first-born.

Captain Dumbass said...

I got a good laugh and the commando crawl and freezing at the slightest noise. Luckily the second one slept like a rock.

Laura said...

I'm convinced much of that is pre-programmed in! Nature PLUS nurture, I think.

Bedtime is hard, but your consistency will pay off...someday!

msprimadonna67 said...

I've thought about this a lot, actually--the whole birth order thing. The first two have night and day personalities, while the third is a bit of a blend. I wonder how much of that is inherent traits and how much of that is a function of birth order and whether we consciously or unconsciously raise them according to where they fall in the line-up.