By Heather O.
Yesterday I babysat a friend’s little girl. She’s 4, and she and Jacob are friends at church. She came to Jacob’s Superhero Party dressed as Violet (her mother MADE her a great costume, complete with boots), and Jacob has referred to her as “The Girl Who Came To My Party Dressed Up Like Violet” ever since. Since she was so enthusiastic about the party, he automatically assumes she likes the same things he does.
During lunchtime, he kept getting in her face and saying things like, “Let’s play lightsabers!”
Friend: “No, I don’t want to.”
Jacob: “Let’s play ‘Fight’!”
Friend: “No, Jacob, I don’t want to fight.”
Jacob: “Want to see my city of trains and blocks? Let’s go!”
Friend: “No, I just want to sit here and eat my watermelon.”
Jacob was frustrated at her lack of enthusiasm for his violent intentions, and showed it by pretending to shoot at her with his “lightsaber” (a stick that he found in the woods that he insists is a lightsaber). She was not amused, and informed him more emphatically that she didn’t want to play, that she just wanted to eat her watermelon!
They finally settled on a rousing came of hide-n-seek. Later, we went to the pool, and I sat them down at a table, told them to sit still while I went and checked on something. When I got back, minutes later, the girl was sitting dutifully on the bench. Jacob was literally (I am not making this up) climbing the flagpole next to the bench. When he saw me, he let go and jumped down about 5 feet. He came up grinning.
Those are just 2 examples of how the rest of our day went. The contrast between these two kids was just startling, and they’re not that far apart in age. Is it a gender gap? Are all boys more violent and aggressive than girls, or is my kid just crazy?
We’ll be watching this little girl again, I’m sure. Maybe I’ll tell her to being her lightsaber next time, just so she can defend herself against the beast!
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