I recently realized that, as a parent, I have some pretty major double standards.
For instance, my son pretty much dresses himself every day. And I pretty much never have anything to say about what he decides to wear. Sometimes his clothes don't match (ok, often his clothes don't match). Sometimes, his hair goes unbrushed. Most Sundays I coax him into some appropriate attire, but the other six days of the week are all his.
I gave him this freedom around 2 years old. I'll never forget some of the ensembles he picked when we started off. For a period of time, all his outfits included a black pair of soccer socks that, because of his tiny stature, went all the way up to his underwear. Friends would ask me to explain his clothing. I didn't have much to say. I considered making stickers for him to wear out in public ("I dressed myself today"), but decided that it was probably my ego worried about what people thought so I let it go.
He has the same free reign with his hair (much to the chagrin of all grandparents, I'm pretty sure). In fact, this week, we spiked his golden mop into a semi-mohawk-ish do for CLASS PICTURES! He was thrilled, and the rebel in me was kind of excited about it, too!
But, as some dear friends (and mothers of girls, to lend some credentials to their opinions) pointed out, I am definitely not (nor will I be in the future) that same kind of mom with my daughter.
In my mind, she will be my dress-up doll until maybe middle school. And she WILL wear hairbows!
Beyond their appearances, I have discovered another inconsistency in my expectations. With Drew, I constantly pushed him toward developmental milestones. Rolling, sitting, standing, walking, riding a bike, playing tball... for five years we have given this kid every incentive to live his life in the fast lane. And it's been a thrilling ride as a mom to watch him conquer these first five years of life. I've loved every minute of it.
But with Miss M, I just want her to be my rockabye baby for as long as I can hold on to her. I am saddened by her milestones as much as I'm proud of her for accomplishing them. I am in no hurry for this snuggly sweetheart to find some independence.
I reckon that my parenting problems aren't so uncommon, considering the circumstances.
He's a boy.
She's a girl.
He's my first.
She's my last... Of course I'm going to relate differently to them.
But there's no double standard in the love department. Just a double dose of crazy, abundant, all-out mommy love for these two kids.