My parents came to visit a few days ago. I love my parents. For three days, all the dishes in my kitchen were clean, all the laundry was folded and there was no cat throw up anywhere. Life was good. I commented on this to my mother, and she said that once she went back to work (when I was about 13-ish), she realized how much she really wanted to have a wife, too -- someone to cook and clean and help out with the kids because it was pretty damn apparent that she didn't have enough time to do all of that anymore. And despite being generally decent kids, my brothers and I weren't all that helpful in the household-duties department. I mean, we did the dishes after dinner, and even cooked occasionally, but we pretty much only cleaned our rooms at gunpoint.
Mom and Dad also kept the kids occupied and happy, a thing I mention only because both of them have just started to scream. Darling Daughter has just taken Darling Son's toys again. She's smaller, but always seems to win these fights. She takes what she wants, and shrieks with unholy volume when anyone tries to take it back. Her usual target is DS, who usually comes to us, weeping, instead of grabbing back or hitting. Sometimes he even tries to reason with her, but as she's three, it usually doesn't work. As his daycare teacher says -- DS is a lover, not a fighter. DD, on the other hand, would punch and shriek her way through a crowd of kitten-holding nuns to get a toy she wanted, and that's just the way she's built.
Now, we do strive to impress upon DD that violence isn't acceptable, and eventually it will sink in, I'm sure. (really. any day now. she's going to figure it out. really.) But honestly, I can't say with any certainty which way of approaching life is the better one. So other than trying to mold aggressiveness into assertiveness in DD, and helping DS hone his negotiation skills, I think it's probably best just to let them be who they are.
I think this was also my parents' philosophy, and I'm rather grateful for it. For that, and for folding all the laundry. Come back and visit anytime. (The clean clothes are piling up again.)
*iTunes - Music - Open Lines & Signals by Bernice Lewis