... I think I've nailed it! The difference between boys and girls and their mommmas. Old wives will tell us that boys love their mommas, leading you to think that girls and their mommas are always at odds. However, I don't think that has to be the case. Boys and girls are just worlds different in how they relate to their momma. And here it is in a nutshell:
Ethan is just happy with my mere presence. He needs to know I am nearby and loves to be as physically close to me as possible.
Emory is most happy when she knows I approve of her. She needs to know that I think she is great, that I want no other little girl, that she is worth something.
At least in our household, that is how it plays out. I have a feeling Ethan won't need to be told his block tower it the tallest and that I am proud of him for building it all by himself, as long as he can sit in my lap to do it.
Emory would rather be alone to create her block tower, but when she comes to get me to show me, I'd better drop what I'm doing to look at her creation. And, she needs to know that I think it's pretty cool that she was able to do it all by herself.