It never ceases to amaze me how two individuals (children) who come from the same place (your body), can be so absolutely different from each other. Which shouldn’t really surprise me because they do say it takes all kinds to make up the world. In my universe, my two children are as different as night and day.
But I should have had a pretty early clue that their personalities would have been different. My eldest, the boy, was the most easy-going baby you could find. My sister-in-law always complains about the fact that he was easily comforted by any one or two stuffed animals that he was given. This didn’t sit well with her, as she fought to keep her young ones from fidgeting during a too-long church service.
He would eat anything. He didn’t mind peppery foods and was a lover of olive tapenade. But he was also the child who my husband and I took with us when we went to restaurants, so his palate was well developed before he left his high chair. Maybe that’s why he claims that he wants to be a skateboarder and a chef.
It’s not that we didn’t want to expose our daughter to different culinary experiences too, but by the time she came along, it became apparent that everything costs more for a family of four than it does for a family of three. So she’s the one who is less willing to try foods that she isn’t familiar with – and inexplicably, she doesn’t like corn. Who doesn’t like corn?
This unwillingness to try things new, however, relates only to food. She will be the one wanting to go on the roller coaster ride even though she’s nowhere near the required height. She’ll be the one to go into the store to buy the newspaper on her own. She wasn’t one of the kids crying when I left on the first day of pre-school. And I had to sign her up for lessons early because she was adamant that she already knew how to swim.
Her brother will hem and haw, and say that he’ll need a week to wrap his mind around doing something new. Then he’ll say he’s too shy and could we ask him again next year. He’s grown even more reticent as he’s gotten older, and we have to tell him that the word “can’t”, shouldn’t ever be a part of his vocabulary. But he’s developing a kind of wit that may serve him well if he decides to be a comedian too.
When she was a baby, my youngest reminded me of a cat. She could really take you or leave you. She’d accept a cuddle if you gave it, but if you didn’t give one, that was fine too. Sometimes her expression seemed to say that she really didn’t know what all the fuss was about. And isn’t it your job to carry her around?
She’s a little young to know what she wants to do for a living, but her choices so far are influenced by whatever her father and I are doing, so I won’t take her word for it, yet. But her fearless nature tells me that I may have my hands full when she gets to the teenage years.
I’ll keep you posted.