A Tale of Two Siblings

Fairness is the word of the day.  I have two kids that could not be more different.  Taking the gender difference out of it: their personalities, interests, and even their food preferences are exact opposites.  The older they are getting, the more my daughter is pointing out how I treat them differently.

Brooke is so social, and Ricky is, well, not.  He is a homebody and doesn’t care to call a friend, or set up some sort of hang-out.  I often feel so proud of the way he doesn’t give a fuck.  However, it’s an odd place to be as a parent because I want him to be unapologetically himself, while at the same time, I want him to conform a little to fit in, so he isn’t teased or left out.  He will literally go an entire week without showering unless I remind him.  He would wear the same pair of shorts, so each morning, I have to ask, “did you wear those yesterday?” He will look at me like I’m the asshole for asking those questions. I’m trying to make sure you’re not the smelly kid in class!  Cut me some slack!

This week, I asked Ricky to take a walk with me behind our house.  When we started walking Ricky saw two boys from his school.  He has not seen or hung out with anyone from school since COVID, and it had me so worried.  So the minute he pointed them out, I said, “Why don’t you go say hi?” He looked at me a little nervously and mumbled okay, and slowly walked over.  Like a total freak, I hurried away so his friends wouldn’t see him with his mom.  I turned a corner and whipped out my phone and called Rick to tell him about this impromptu social gathering.  I hid behind some hedges where I could see through some thinner parts so I could see Ricky with his classmates. I was practically in tears of relief that he was having fun with friends!

Ricky was laid back since birth

I realize I was being a complete weirdo, but I am sure we have all found ourselves in situations we didn’t expect out of love and concern for our kids.  And, I honestly diluted myself into thinking this would get easier as they got older, but I couldn’t be more wrong.

With my son, I feel like I am always encouraging him to put himself out there, while my daughter, the minute I texted her something was going on, ran out to find me and just strutted around the event, looking on her snap chat to see how many of her friends she could say hi to.  Not only that, but she actually was looking out for people she didn’t want to see.  What?  She already has frenemies?  

I know what I am in for with Brooke; call me a psychic, but I know Brooke will 100% wear one outfit out the door and have her sneaky inappropriate one in her backpack to change into once she is out of my eyesight. 

Brooke has been ALL ATTITUDE!

Because of their different natures, I know I am in for a complete shit show of a high school experience.  They are only a year apart in school, and I will tell you I will trust Ricky to handle himself way more than I will trust Brooke.  I love both of my children, but knowing one is cautious and does exactly what he wants to do and won’t lie to a fault, and the other is concerned what everyone else thinks, already practices her makeup every day, wears crop tops, and will lie about breaking a cup when she does it right in front of me tells me their curfews will not be created equal.

So what’s my point here? Well, my point is this is a hard concept for me.  I always thought fairness would be an easy concept for me.  I have two children, and I would be consistent with the rules and expectations.  Is this something you struggle with too? Do you find your children are total opposites with different sets of boundaries?

If you have any suggestions, let me know; otherwise, I’m still hosting meetings for parents of emotional terrorists.  We do have to social distance at our meeting, but the Franzia is flowing and the Entenmann’s is delicious!


Colleen Lieberstein

Colleen Lieberstein, Executive Administrative Assistant, is the heartbeat at two award winning and fastest growing companies in the Chicagoland area. She lives in New Lenox with her two energetic kids, and her supportive husband. Colleen loves to read, play with her children, and go on adventures with her family. Exploring new places and eating new foods is the best.