Greetings TiPSI Dad readers!
As I was pondering the different things I could write about in this weeks entry, I realized that perhaps this would be a good time to introduce the various members of our TPSI family! (Just in case you are wondering, I am trying to coin a term don't ya know....TPSI = Two Parent Single Income...I just put the "i" in the title of my blog to help people with the pronunciation)
One of the first things you learn when you are a parent of more than one child is that though they come from the same genetic make up as you do....they are all different!!! All of a sudden all those XXYY XxYy charts in first year Bio take on a whole new relevance. Still don't understand them though.
Anyway, the various members of this TPSI family are:
Gavin (12): He is the oldest of the bunch, and like all firstborns is the one who gets saddled with a lot of the responsibility, but he also gets to be the first to do things too. Being a firstborn myself I hold fast to the conviction that it is the God given right of all firstborns to make life as difficult as it can be for their younger siblings, which he manages to do from time to time. After all, it's payback for how easy it will be for the rest of them when the younger siblings are allowed to get away with everything.....
However let it also be said that Gavin has a great natural curiosity, natural leadership qualities and adapts well to change. One of our ah ha moments was when we came downstairs to find that he had made scrambled eggs and toast for two of his younger siblings, brought Keira, who was 1.5 at the time, down from her crib and fed her two handfuls of cereal.
Next in the line up is Aileen (10): She definitely showed us early on that she was a completely different person from her brother. She is strong willed and very determined, which means that she can definitely hold her own when it comes to dishing it back. She is actually pretty good at dishing it out as well.
Aileen is the artist of our clan, she has great attention to detail and is meticulous about getting things right. She is also the dancer in the family. She recently competed in the Fergus Highland Games in Highland Dancing (her second competition) and placed in the top ten in five of the six dances she danced in.
Matthias (7) is the third. He is the gentle prankster of the group. One of my favourite "atta boy" moments was when he decided to stand one inch inside Aileen's room only to tell her "I'm in here" over and over and over and over until the inevitable MOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!! (btw he was only three at the time)
He is also the scholar and the craftsman. Perhaps even the musician. He likes to sit and pick out tunes on the piano by ear. He also wears his heart on his sleeve as well and has a genuine heart of gold. He is the one who will divide his loot bag into equal parts to share with his brothers and sisters.
Keira (4) is by far the most outgoing in the group. She doesn't just walk into a room, she ENTERS the room. It is almost impossible to stay mad at her for any length of time. True story. While she was getting a stern lecture about I can't remember what now, she started to sing, "You Are My Sunshine" in her cute little three year old voice with a cute little innocent smile...awwwwwww.
She is also the boss. Not that she is bossy, she just has a knack for getting people to do what she wants to do. In fact it is uncanny how she can get her oldest brother to do things for her.......good thing I am immune to puppy eyes.
And then you have Nathan (3) the fearless, who has managed to break more things than the first four combined. Give him a roof and he will jump off it. He is the true test of so called "unbreakable" products....if it's Nathan proof, then you know it's good quality.
He is also the protector. He will defend whatever he is holding with tooth and nail right to the very end. Not even his oldest brother can get the ball from him if Nathan has decided that he doesn't want to part with it. He will also be the brother that will intimidate all the boys the girls will bring home.
Which brings us to Raphael (1.5) who like his namesake is angelic....for now. He also broke the pattern....if you noticed, the order of boys and girls so far has been boy girl boy girl boy. Lately he has taken to singing in church....whether the choir is singing or not.
And finally Bernadette (4 months) who is the youngest of the clan and is the centre of everyone's attention. She has just found her favourite fingers to suck on and is just starting to let her little voice be heard.
When I was in university I remember reading all sorts of articles and studies from so called "experts" regarding raising children, nature vs nurture etc. The thing is, a good number of these studies, were probably carried out by people who did not have kids!!!! Case in point, even though we deliberately did not do expose her to anything girly, Aileen started pretending to put on make up when she was two!!! The truth is, what I am finding out these days is that there is a whole lot more nature than the proponents of nurture would like you to believe.
Which brings me to this week's book recommendations (not that I am going to start recommending books on a weekly basis, it just sounded cool to say that)
However I have to totally recommend "Why Gender Matters" by Dr. Leonard Sax...it is in my books I recommend section. As Liz (aka TiPSI Mom) puts it " Every father with a daughter and every mother with a son has to read this book!" You can read the synopsis of the book yourself, but I have to say that it has really helped me to understand the kids on a totally different level than before.
The other book I would strongly recommend is called "the Temperament God Gave You" by Art and Larraine Bennet (also in my recommended books section) This book not only helped me to understand my kids better, but it has taken Liz's and my communication to a whole new level!!! What I like about this book is that it cuts through all the airy fairy stuff and really gives nuts and bolts strategies to effective communication....AND it is the only communication model that I know of that requires only ONE of the individuals involved to be on board.....which should catch the attention of anyone in the business of communication and negotiation...because as you guys know, most communication tools out there require both parties to buy into the system.
Well that's it for now folks! Next week: making your own tomato sauce and its connection to Japanese Ramen noodles.