Monday, January 10, 2011

They Don't Smell Funny or: Why I Love My Daughters More Than My Sons

Howdy, neighbor! It's me. Brian. Tysdaddy to you Twittering types. Around these parts, I am sometimes known by my blog name, The Cheek of God. Or you may recognize my avatar. Affectionately known as Balding Old Man With Mustache.

Whatever. I'm the guy that used to write here quite a bit and then up and vanished like a fart in the wind. (And ten bucks to the one who gets that movie reference, without using Google . . . ) But it's a new year, and like Frankenstein's monster, "It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Or something like that.

To my Mars homeys . . . Word! And I must say that the Venus ladies are looking as lovely as ever.

Speaking of lovelies, have you ever noticed how much this lady . . .

. . . and our gracious and wonderful host . . .

. . . look so much alike?! I triple dog dare ya to watch one of those commercials and NOT think of Shelle. Just sayin's all!

But seriously . . .

I have four kids. Two boys and two girls. Their birth order is boy-girl-boy-girl. There are almost four years between the first and the second, and then only about eighteen months between the rest, so they are currently 17, 13, 11, and 10. Let's call my oldest son Ty, and my oldest daughter Aryn.

Because those are their names.

I gave up on Ty once he got a serious girlfriend. I couldn't compete, and knew this to be true the day he chose to go see Valentine's Day instead of Avatar in 3D. Her finger is covered with him, so to speak, and he's tuned me out.

Aryn still digs me. Just last night, we suffered through The Cape while snuggled up on the couch drinking iced tea together. Before she went to bed, we had a chat about her current favorite book. We are bookworms, and we get along swimmingly.

I oversimplify, of course. I could take things one step further and go all Freudian on you . . . he's afraid I'm gonna steal his girl and she wants to marry me. Or something like that. But I won't.

Instead, I'm gonna chalk it all up to the age thing. With Ty, we struck our relational apex right about age . . . 13. We were gaming together every weekend, I could still beat him at most video games, and he still needed me for a chauffeur. I knew a little something about anime, we still rocked out to music I liked, and he didn't need as much money for things like . . . presents for his girlfriend. As that lilliputian viridian guru would surely say, much more needed and cool I was. Back then. Now, I'm the guy who makes the ice cream and is mostly just annoying.

Aryn is 13. I mentioned that, right? We click on many levels. She's pensive. Has a very low key yet sharply honed sense of humor. And she's content to just hang with me. Doesn't much matter what we are doing, or where we end up, we enjoy one another's company. Her friends come over and she doesn't shoo me away.

It's starting to sound like I dig my kids most when they willingly and unabashedly . . . dig me.

Nothing Freudian there at all, eh?

So, what's your situation? Do you find yourself favoring the company of one child over another? If so, why? If not, then you're perfect. Go away . . .


UP said...

This is the most difficult thing for me. I love my kids equally and would do anything for them. The Girl, now a 25 year old young woman with her own place, career and Acura TL and obviously a better paycheck than her dad, needs me not at all. The Boy, age 22, working, 93 Volvo, auto mechanich, so it will run forever, video adict, which I hate, lives at home, needs me for shelter, and little else. Soooo, and sorry it took so long, when they talk to me it's really great. It's like talking to real people...but I miss them being little!!


yes, I'm mushy, I know.

tysdaddy said...

UP: Yeah, it's hard to have a conversation when they are finally able to reason for themselves and think clearly and express their opinions in ways that can't be shot down with a "Father Knows Best" kind of retort. How did they get so darn smart?!?!

Chris said...

My three boys -- 13, 11, and 5 -- are different, like all of our children are, and we all still enjoy one another. But as the two oldest are morphing into young adults, I struggle with a fear that this piece touched upon. What if one of my adult sons and I don't like one another? What if one of them becomes a jerk? As I seem glimmers of push-back and eye-rolls, I feel a rush of stressful adrenalin. Maybe it's panic. Maybe I'm a control freak.

And that commercial girl looks just like Shelle. [Whom I don't know, but the photo's are amazingly similar!]

UP said...

Shelle is much more beautiful than Flo!


tysdaddy said...

UP: I'll give you that one. It takes that poor actress in those commercials about two hours in the chair to look that good. Shelle does it in seconds . . . And aren't you supposed to be out shoveling?!?!

Chris: Good to see you here. And, yeah, the eye-rolling thing can be a bit tiring. I find that I'm much less of an instigator these days. I let him come to me when he's ready. And when I do engage, beyond the trivial, I come at him when he seems open and ready. There are clues as to when the time is best, it's learning to read them as they get older . . .

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I loved this post... just loved it, and not because I laughed for five minutes when being compared to the progressive girl! Love her, by the way.

I just loved that you expressed so well how it is with our children. It's not that you LOVE them more as much as it is phases in which you get along with one better than another. And that is just human right?

I mean... right now, I tend to laugh and talk easier with my son who is 8 than my daughter who is 5. But my daughter is the one always wanting my attention where my son knows when to ask for it and when to stay away from me. I have more patience with my son than my daughter, but personality wise, my daughter is so similar to me!

But the snuggling by my daughter is by far one of my favorite things--and I'm not a snuggle--er!!!

anyway. Loved the post Brian! I have missed your writing over here. And I have no idea what movie that quote is from but I recognize it!

UP!!! Your check is in the mail! hehe

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

OH! And HI Chris!!! So good to see a new face around here! And I fear that unknown with teenagers and my kids turning to adults... but UP has always good things to say and it makes me a bit less frightened :)

I think TysDaddy is right in the fact that we just have to continually learn to read them, even though they change so much through those prominent personality developing years we call the "teen years"!

T said...

I have 5 kids. That alone makes me a saint.

The boys (15, 13 and 11) all have their own merits - and all will do things with me (not the same things mind you - but that's good) I can cook with one, play games with another, discuss books with... okay - they'll all do that still) and apparently I'm still needed (for now) to play the role of Taxi to get the eldest to band practice so that he can jam out some music that we don't connect on :)

The girls (8 and 6)? I'm still their favorite person in the world. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

tysdaddy said...

T: I think you've hinted at the secret to making it work, and that's being there for each child in the way that works for and connects with them. I am the same way to an extent. When Ty is ready to play some D&D, then I'm there to roll the bones. And when Aryn needs to talk about books or writing, or boys, then I'm there for her as well.

Interestingly, my wife gets along better/has more in common with my son than my daughter. Her and Ty can sit up all night and talk about anything, whereas she can't always communicate with Aryn. When it comes to disciplinary issues, I tend to ride Ty pretty hard and be more lenient with Aryn, whereas she's just the opposite.

Yes, we are messed up . . .

Jillybean said...

The child that I get along the best with at any given time is the one who has most recently brought me a diet Dr Pepper.

One Cluttered Brain said...

Hmm. You have a point. The Progressive gal does resemble Shelle. Except Shelle is prettier.

I like jillybean's answer. Any kid who gives me a Dr. Pepper is on my good side. Oh and if they do their homework without being asked...BONUS points...

3GirlKnight said...

My 3 girls are still young; 8, 6 & 4, so the dynamics are still developing. The 2 youngest are snugglers. I don't remember the eldest being much of a snuggler and she's the more independent one at the moment too. I wouldn't say that I'm very impatient with any one more than the other, but there are different things about each of them that I'm impatient with. My eldest has a hard time accepting constructive criticism about homework, the middle one talks back too much, and the youngest does this fake baby voice that drives me up the wall. But they all still seem to like talking with/at me. I hope they'll be 'Daddy's Little Girls' forever and ever.

Cool post tysdaddy.

How dare you compare Shelle to Flo! Shelle is way more attractive. :P

tysdaddy said...

Jillybean & OCB: See? It is about me. Or you. Or . . . oh, never mind.

3GK: Thanks for your input, and your compliment. I have no doubt my girls will always dig me, and that my boys will respect me as well. If I've managed to teach them anything, it's that we are all we have, and we make it work by working together . . .

wendy said...

Now you know, I'll never be able to watch that commercial again without thinking of our dear Shelle.
good post
I have 5 kids
I did a post here once about "mom and dad like you best" (or someething like that)
I do believe there are different TIMES when each child likes to hang with us
and we them
kinda like stages.........and of course we love it when they tune in to our "awesomeness"
so just because I have "gravitated" to one child or another at different times of our lives......doesn't set them above each other.
so on that note, thank ya

SurprisedMom said...

I have two girls, 19 and 16. When they were little the elder was a Daddy's girl and the younger, Mommy's girl. It seems to have switched around. I think I get along better with the younger, well because she's home and her sister is in college and I don't see her nine months out of the year.

Seriously, it seems I've gotten along better with one or the other in different stages of their lives and mine. It's hard to define why.

I love them the same, too, but differently, because they need different things from me.

But, both will probably write about me in their "Tell All" books one day. I'll be infamous.

Anjeny said...

I ♥ the post, Brian.

I like my daughters better because I can relate to them better but that doesn't mean I love them more though. But I'd have to honestly say that the youngest kid right now is my favorite...I love everything about her.

As for the comparison of the Progressive girl and Shelle...Shelle is a lot prettier! ☺

IWA (e - va) said...

It's funny because my kids always ask me and who i like better and i always tell them, I like you all the same ( I have all girls)..... Truth is i love love love love to hang with Kid 2 & Kid 3 so much more than Kid 1... she's difficult and has attitude (always has)!

I also always say that i love Girls much more than boys.. just because of the cleanliness factor! but i love to hang with my little nephews.. even with them all dirty!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

K seriously... you guys are all way way to nice to me. All the compliments went straight to my head and I was walking around all giddy and stupidly smiling.

Thanks so much.

And I loved the comments on this post dealing with our different relationships with our children. It eased my mind since I'm get along so much better with my son right now.

But I love my daughter to pieces and I realize that her time will come.

UP said...

@tysdaddy - homeslice don't shovel, four heart attacks, quad by-pass, and I have a 22 yr old son living here for FREE!


Snooty Primadona said...

Honestly, I do love both children equally, but I have to say I have more fun with our daughter most of the time. Although, when the kids were little, our son was the most fun to be with because he didn't stink yet and he didn't whine. (my bad?) They've both had their turns but I think we're still all pretty good friends. They're 25 & 27 now. I wish they were little again...