I often wonder if I parent my children based on their personalities, or if their personalities are a reflection of the way I treat them. I’m guessing it’s a bit of both, but I just find raising two children of the same gender who are relatively close in age so fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I had a sibling of the opposite sex who was almost four years younger than me, or perhaps it’s just because they are my boys and I’m into them.
My boys were born twenty-two months apart. Lil D is older. He was born in late October 2005 and Lil C was born in late August 2007.
About a month before Lil C was born, I remember feeling so sad that Lil D would never again have all of my love and attention. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to love them both equally, because how could I love another child as much as I loved Lil D?
Derek would remind me that I love my brother, and I would much rather have grown up with a sibling than without.
I’m happy to report that the minute Lil D was born, I knew there would be enough love to go around. But what I hadn’t anticipated, was the joy it would bring me to watch my two boys together.
N, our nanny, describes them as lion cubs. They wrestle, and sometimes fight, usually instigated by Lil C; and they cuddle on the couch while Lil C plays with Lil D’s hair and ears and sucks his thumb. On more than one occasion when one child has come home from an activity to find his brother out somewhere, there have been tears of disappointment.
They are so different, from their physical characteristics like hair and body type, to their personalities. Lil C has fair curly hair and olive skin. His muscles are more defined and he is aggressive and adventurous, with a mischievous “class clown” personality.
Lil D is intense and observant. His skin is lighter and his hair is darker. He was a rounder toddler than Lil C.
So, what do you think? Is it me? Or is it them?
My first child is cautious and doesn’t smile as easily as his younger brother. Baby photos prove that this has always been the case. Lil C is a cuddly mama’s boy and Lil D is a much less demanding (or willing) cuddler. His favourite parent is his dad.
Are we the reason, or are they?
One thing is for sure, these two are buddies for life and it’s so much fun to watch. Except when I’m pulling them off each other and get a broken nose (yes, it happened).
So here are my questions to you:
1. Do you treat each of your children differently and do you have a different set of expectations for each of them? I know I do, though I don’t mean to.
2. Were you/are you concerned about having enough love to go around?
3. Are your children (from the same set of parents) different physically and/or otherwise?
Looking forward to your insights.