Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Yin to Each Other's Yin

Last Saturday marked exactly two months since our new little guy was born.

Much like his older brother, our new arrival is growing up — and out — before our eyes. He's big, he's got chubby cheeks. He's loud. He can lift his head up, turn it from side to side and he's got a smile that stops you dead in your tracks.

Did I say he's big?

Yeah, this kid is already wearing clothes meant for kids who are six months old. I tried to put him into a onesie recommended for a 3-6 month old last week and he looked like a light-blue sausage.

His eyes are blue, like his brother's, though that can change as late as the 12-month mark.

He loves, loves, loves to have nothing on his lower half. On more occasions than I can count, the boy's crying has ceased merely by being taken out of his onesie so that his little legs may breathe.

When we set him on the ground he puts those chunky little legs to work by trying to crawl. Though he hasn't figured out how dig in with his toes, or use his arms, so progress arrives in small increments.

And as he tries to squirm, slither and slide his way across his baby blanket, he growls.

In fact, he grunts and growls frequently. You can imagine when he might make these noises and, yes, it most definitely happens then. But there are other times too. This boy has no problem announcing his state of mind or the state of his diaper.

If he's angry, you know about it. If he's frustrated, you know about it. If he wants some attention, by God, you know about it.

For anyone who knows our older son, this will sound familiar.

And, while I know it's amongst parenting's cardinal sins to compare one's kids, I can't help but acknowledge the plain reality that my two boys share, many, many personality traits.

My mother had three boys and we are very much our own people. Mom is fond of saying that having me, her quiet, pliant, laid-back second son, gave her the strength to take the leap and have a third child.

So, my brothers and I are different and, really, that's what one expects with kids. Siblings are often the yin to one another's yang.
The boy's swim instructors learned firsthand
last weekend that he has his own way
of doing things. 

But, not with my boys. While he's only two months old, our second boy looks like the yin to his brother's yin.

There are the outward exhibitions of personality that I've outlined above, yes, but underlying those is a common thread of stubbornness and, underlying that, a strong will that they both share.

We noticed this early in Master Blackwell and it's something that's become evermore pronounced as he's grown.

He's a happy, go-lucky, little dude who loves to laugh and get along with people, but he likes things his way.

From telling his mother and I that he won't eat his dinner, to insisting on not wearing certain kinds of pajamas, this kid has made it known that he's got opinions and, one way or another, you're going to hear about them.

He's smart and, in his own way, a pretty solid little manipulator of his mom and dad. (Though, is it really manipulation if we're willing participants?)

These traits bring with them their own pluses and minuses and we'll take those as they arise but, for now, I have to marvel at the fact that these two little dudes are so very much alike.

As they grow, they'll no doubt acquire attributes and traits that will distinguish them from one another. They'll become their own men, each with their own way of making their way through life.

Who knows what these two will look like when they're grown?

Anyone who's met me in the last 15 years probably wouldn't use the words "laid-back" to describe me. People do change.

But for now, I'm enjoying the present. Two, little strong-willed humans who, when push comes to shove, still have to do exactly what their mom and dad tell them.

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