Friday, February 13, 2009

Aggressive Girls and Sensitive Boys

When Amy found out the twins' teacher this year was going to be Bracha, a stern but loving grandmotherly type, I asked my friend Tricia what to expect, since her daughter Avery had Bracha the year prior.

"She likes aggressive girls," Tricia told me, "and sensitive boys."

Which basically sums up Aaron and Gretchen. It's gotten to the point where Gretchen now reprimands Aaron for excessive whining or neediness.

This theme definitely seems to run through our household.

Last week, Rhea was picking up the kids to drive to preschool, and while Declan was getting into the car, Sophia stage-whispered to him, "Go tell Hilary you don't like her!" Declan, the dutiful soldier, complied. When I reprimanded him for being mean to Hilary, he looked up at me in all earnestness and said, "But Sophia told me to say it!" Needless to say, I didn't let him off the hook.

But I do worry about Declan, as a sensitive boy. Don't get me wrong, he's often the agressor, but in the end it's always Declan who comes crying to me, crying that Ronan kicked him (even if Declan kicked Ronan first) or that Erika was mean to him (ditto). And despite the trouble they seem to get him into, Declan cannot stay away from the aggressive girls.

Declan's BFF at school has long been Brooke; they've been in the same class at school and camp since before they were two. I asked him the other day if Brooke was still his best friend. He smiled shyly.

"She told me she's my girlfriend," he said.

Part of me worries how Declan will fare as the sensitive guy as he continues to befriend and eventually date (gulp!) aggressive women.

But at least he'll have company from Aaron and Gretchen.

(That's Declan and Sophia in the photo above at our New Year's Eve party last year. I expect I'll see similar photos in years to come: Declan looking silly, with a girl looking not very amused.)

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