Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nature? I think not...

When Punky was born, I rushed to her side every time she made a whimper.  I was terrified of her not breathing during the night.  I changed her bib every time she spit up (which was a LOT, let me just tell you.).  I changed her diaper when she passed gas.  After all, something must have come out with that, right?  Crying it out was out of the question (and still is), because she gets so upset she throws up.  I was tough with discipline and was so consistent, I scared myself (or impressed I'm not sure which).  She got exactly 8 ounces of whole milk precisely at 7, 11, 3 and 7.  She slept from 7 pm to 7 am.  Bedtime has never, is never and will never be up for discussion with any of my kids.

Punky is my most demanding child but the easiest to mold.

When Chicken was born, he got thrown in the swing while Punky had toddled off to get into mischief (after all, she was only 13 months old when he was born).  I checked on him during the night when I got up to pee to make sure he was still breathing.  I change his diaper only when it's sagging between his knees.  I had three kids in diapers earlier this year, I know the value of a dollar these days.  He gets to cry it out (within reason) when he's going to bed or being left in Bible class.  The discipline was dropped to only the worst offenses and only if I wasn't feeding Cupcake (but I'm getting better and so is he).  When he decides he's ready to do something he does it (like potty training, he's doing great!) He gets approximately 8 ounces of milk 3 or 4 times a day.  He sleeps from 7 pm to 8 am.

Chicken gets his feelings hurt easily but is my most independent child.

When Cupcake was born, I hit the ground running.  She gets thrown in the bouncy seat to entertain herself because the swing no longer works.  I slept like a rock after she was born - I don't even get up to pee.  I change her diaper MAYBE 4 times a day and usually only if she's poopy.  She has been left to cry it out when there has been no other option, but has proven to me that she's more stubborn than I am in this regard.  She's a thumbsucker and usually doesn't require much soothing unless she's overtired.  She gets a 6 ounce bottle at 8, 12, 4 and 7.  She might or might not drink it all.  She sleeps from 7 pm to 8 am.

Cupcake is my most content baby but also my most vocal.

Every day I realized more and more how every decision I make molds my children into the adults they will one day become.  God has bestowed a huge responsibility and blessing on me to give me that opportunity.  Raising my voice to get my kids attention will ultimately teach them to be bossy and yell (Punky is a mini-me and we're both having to work through this).  Saying NO, CHICKEN all the time results in Chicken's first sentence of "No Pobby!"  (No potty) after telling him he couldn't go potty for the 103rd time in an hour.  EVERYTHING affects our children.  I'm not saying there isn't nature.  Disposition is nature but that doesn't mean it's not our responsibility to mold their disposition once they're here.  It's scary yet exhilarating all at the same time.  I look forward to seeing who my children are in 20 years.

You do the math...do you think it's nature or nurture?  


Krystyn said...

I definitely think it's a combination of both.

And, I'm with you...except, my #1, was sort of like your #2 and my #2 is like your #3....but I've got to get her on a schedule before I go back to work:(

Anonymous said...

I think it is a lot of nurture. They do as they see and hear. Tyler is a neat freak already, like me, and it is my fault. Everything has a place and it belongs there. I fear I am going to make him OCD, but let's face it, between Marc and my OCD tendencies, he was doomed from the beginning. Maybe it is partially genes, but a great deal of example.

Stephanie said...

I really liked reading how different your children were. That was a great post. I am anxious to see how my future children are compared to Karys. She was on a strict time schedule and bedtime and still is. We love it! I definitely think it's a bit of nature and nuture alike.

hubby said...

It's most definately a bit of nature and a LOT of nurture. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Considering that I'm not a parent yet, but do have a degree in psychology and worked many a job with children.... I think there is a huge role for each.

Twins run in my family, and my first cousins are identical twins. They have many of the same interests and several same mannerisms. But are they the same person? NO.

I loved hearing about your children were different from one another. :)

Mandy said...

Good post Steph. I would love to have the strictness of a schedule like you have.

I don't think that it's possible with the age difference between my kiddos though. There are alot of activities that we have to be apart of later than the little one would be able to maintain a strict schedule.

You have it going on, for a a lack of better words!!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

A little bit of both, I think, too.