The Grass is Always Greener: When Your Children are Opposites



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.”

–John Wilmot

"Just take the picture, Mom." "I'm so excited I might explode!!!!!"
“Just take the picture, Mom.”
“I’m so excited I might explode!!!!!”

21 comments on “The Grass is Always Greener: When Your Children are Opposites”

  1. Since I have a boy and a girl I was expecting them to be different in many ways and I got carbon copies in many ways! They do have some big differences, but deep down they are just 2 big goofballs!

  2. I suppose you’re right about the car naps…I could look at this as a positive…I can drive to wherever I want to go while she naps, and when she wakes, BAM we’re already there. It is very easy to go places and do stuff.

    I love hearing about the differences between your boys! They are too cute.

    1. I spent 2.5 years cursing those car naps…but they got me out of the house and doing something every single day! Josh keeps me housebound and it drives me NUTS sometimes. πŸ™‚ Car naps certainly have their benefits!

  3. My two are complete and total opposites right down to what they eat and their bathroom habits!!! It goes to show that personality counts for a lot more than people realize!!!

  4. Are you sure that man doesn’t want you to feed him Goldfish? Just sayin’…Love this post and good for you-you still seem somewhat sane with balancing out the yin and yang brothers!

    1. Hahahahahahah if he does, we’re outta there even FASTER!! πŸ™‚ I’m sane some days…and somedays I wish they’d just both agree on something…like watching a movie quietly together haha

  5. This post was perfect for me to read today – my son sounds just like your oldest and after taking him to the zoo yesterday I had a lot of thoughts of ‘why can’t he just be laid back and less clingy?’ Your post was a good reminder to appreciate all of his wonderful qualities too πŸ™‚

    1. It is SO hard to appreciate things that aren’t always easy to take…but yes- there are certainly downsides to every personality (and everything in life!) but upsides, as well!! πŸ™‚ Clingy kids are exhausting…I hear you on that one!! πŸ™‚

  6. Love this! My boys are very different from each other, too. I think your youngest and my little one are long-lost brothers, though. Little naps in his bed for 2.5 hours every day and is constantly running off and not once looking back! He’s also a peanut.

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