My sons started their lives out quite similarly. They were both close in size at birth (8lbs 15oz, and 8lbs 10oz), born in the same hospital, a bit jaundiced at first, and both nursed constantly for nearly the same number of months. That, my friends, is where the similarities end.
If my kids are an experiment of nature versus nurture…nature wins. Hands down, every time. They are polar opposites. Take a peek:
In many ways, my second child has taken everything I thought I knew about babies and toddlers and flipped it on its head. I had just finally adjusted to a gigantic child who wore clothing sizes a full year ahead of his chronological age (2T clothes at 12 months old!), didn’t walk until 15 months, only napped in the car when we were out and about, and who never, ever bolted off in public. Suddenly, I found myself with a peanut who still fits in 18 month clothes at 2 years old, started running just before he turned one, cannot function without a two-hour daily nap in his bed, and who regularly tries to flee from us in public.
I guess what I’ve learned from this is that, like many situations in life, the grass is always greener on the other side. I spent my firstborn’s baby and toddlerhood wishing for a nice, adaptable kid who would nap on a decent, predictable schedule in his bed and give me some downtime. I longed for a kid who wasn’t so clingy, who would be happy to go off with other people and give. me. a. BREAK!
Well, here I am now with a two year old who naps like a champ, but simply cannot take a decent nap unless he’s tucked into a bed. No car naps or hiking backpack naps on the go here…he wants his bed, white noise, and darkness. And I have my breaks, because he loves everyone. In fact, he’d probably be happy hanging out with the cashiers at the grocery store, his big brother’s teachers, his aunts and uncles…anyone who is friendly and willing to giggle at his two-year-old humor. And you know what? I find myself saying “I wish we could just go out for the day and do something! It’s so constricting having to be home for every nap! It breaks up everything!” and “For the LOVE, would you please just hold my hand in the store and stand still? I don’t want to lose you!” and “That man does not want you to feed him Goldfish…please leave him alone!”
The grass is always greener.
My kids balance each other out. I’d probably have lost my mind by now if I had two of either “type”, but they really do always keep me on my toes. It reminds me of one of my favorite parenting quotes:
“Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”