Children are Like Furbies

TRC and DC got Furbies for Christmas. You all know what Furbies are, right? Those little mechanical pets that talk gibberish and sometimes need to be locked in cabinets because they won’t be quiet? Yeah. Those Furbies.

Children are like that.

Now before you call Protective Services on me, I don’t mean to say that kids talk gibberish and need to be locked in cabinets. Uncle Vernon I’m not. No–it’s just something that occurred to me as I was helping take care of MC the other day.

New Furbies are different than old Furbies, for one thing. With these new ones, they have personalities that change depending on what they encounter. One minute they might be mild-mannered little critters. The next, they suddenly become these zany creatures that like to do screwy things. And later they’re just plain grouchy.

Kids are like that. And I don’t just mean that they have mood swings.

Maybe I should just say what I mean, huh?

At first we just had one child. TRC. And our experience with raising children was limited to that one child. Other babies who behaved differently were strange. Odd. Their parents must have been doing something wrong. TRC didn’t do that. We never had a problem with _______ with TRC, so by extension, the only children who did have a problem were the victims of poor parenting. (Yes. I judged parents. I was also 9 years younger. Cut me some slack.)

Then we had DC four years later.

We now had a girl version and a boy version, and we discovered they were very different. Right off the  bat. TRC had been a fountain of vomit for the first six months. You couldn’t set him down without plenty of towels close by, because he was bound to erupt at any moment. He was a fairly light sleeper. He hated loud noises. DC? Hardly any vomit. Slept much better. Didn’t mind the noise as much.

And the differences only became more clear the older the kids got. DC just adores cooking and cleaning and doing art projects. She could be set for hours with a single thing of watercolors. TRC loves taking things apart and finding out new things.

Denisa and I attributed these differences to the differences in gender. TRC was the boy model. DC was the girl model. Case closed.

Now we have MC.

And already, I can see that MC is very different from DC, despite the fact that they’re both girls. I know that for parents of 6 kids or whatever, this is stating the obvious. But it’s one thing to know something in theory–very different to see it in practice.

Case in point: we took MC to an activity at church on Sunday. With TRC and DC, this would have been kind of an ordeal. Both of them would wake up pretty easily, and once awake, they’d stay awake. MC was asleep when it was time to go. I picked her up, moved her to her car seat, got her buckled, drove to church, took her out.

Still asleep.

The girl likes to sleep way more than either of my other kids. She’s gaining weight (more than a pound so far), and eating enough, but she sleeps sleeps sleeps. Last night she ate at 9pm, then again at 2am, and then at 7am. Five hour stretches? That’s just crazy for a two week old. I keep waiting for her to just be way less fond of sleep. Maybe that’s still coming.

But in the meantime, I’m just surprised at how different each child is. And if they’re that different at birth, how different are they by the time they’re in school? By the time they’re adults?

I think it’s easy to make assumptions about people. Assume that they think like you do, want the same things you do. That sort of thing. Looking at my three children?

I don’t think you can make those kind of assumptions. And that’s before you take different cultures, different religions, different races–all that other stuff into account.

Maybe children aren’t the only Furbies running around.

Just a thought on this fine Wednesday . . .

2 thoughts on “Children are Like Furbies”

  1. I cannot tell you how much I wish I could attribute my daughter’s angelic temperament to my parenting . . . because then I could do it again!

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