For only sharing half of their genetic makeup, my children are remarkably similar. They look the same, especially as babies. They react in much the same way to frustrations. They both have picked up my facial expressions, which is hilarious and horrifying. They both ate anything in a soy sauce marinade before any other adult flavor. They have the oddest sense of fashion I have ever encountered.
They’re both, of course, perfect.
There is one way in which the genetics totally tells, though. My daughter is brilliant, outgoing, and would join a hiking group through the Himalayas because she just loves to be with people all the time! Doing things!
My son is brilliant, outgoing, and would be content cuddling with me on the couch doing nothing with no one for the next thirty years.
My daughter resembles all the stories I’ve heard about her biological mother- fun and people-loving and always interested in a fun activity.
My son resembles me, who sometimes thinks about when I used to think I was going to die alone and wonders what was so bad about that?
I really, really don’t like doing things. I love my friends. I love getting together with them. I really do. But if you ask me for an example of a perfect day, it will involve my book and my coffee and maaaaybe my husband but that is definitely it. I’m totally happy being by myself and doing things at home.
I was like that as a kid too. I really loved things I could do myself- horseback riding and gymnastics and reading. I really hated things I had to do in a group- 4H and Girl Scouts and…conventional education.
Buddy is a lot like that. For instance, we’ve gone to a few homeschooling groups. Squeaks runs away from me to join the crowd and learn stuff and make glittery crap I’m going to have to throw away after she goes to bed.
Buddy is either flat on the floor in political prisoner mode refusing to move, or throwing the biggest most embarrassing fit ever.
(Have you ever seen a group of homeschoolers? THEY’RE PERFECTLY BEHAVED.)
It’s gotten to a point where I’ve had to stop threatening him with going home when he’s misbehaving because he immediately beams and says, “OKAY!”
So I signed him up for toddler gymnastics with some trepidation. I figured it would be 30 minutes of me cajoling him into the gym, assuring him that running around like a crazy person was in fact a super fun way to spend the afternoon, and then barricading the door so he couldn’t get out and run for home.
We got there yesterday a few minutes early. I watched him carefully for signs of clinginess, half wanting them, figuring at least then I could go home and get dinner going. (I’m still not a joiner.)
Instead he puffed up his chest and said, “Me not scared. Me brave.” Okay then.
And then he proceeded to run after the teacher and do everything he was supposed to and generally act like a normal kid who was happy to be doing something other than watching Pocoyo while sitting on my head to get as close to me as possible.