Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is it birth order, or simply personality?

Children never cease to amaze me.  Especially watching them grow from teeny, tiny infants who can’t do anything but lay there and cry to giant children who have definite wants and desires.

Nathaniel and Aaron are pretty similar in their temperaments.  They are both pretty easy going kids who are fairly happy most of the time.  Of course, that there is where their similarities end, and I LOVE it.

Take Nathaniel, for example:

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(Riding a camel at the zoo)

Nathaniel is timid.  He has always been timid (and that is perfectly okay).  In a new situation, he is more likely to stand off to the side and watch.  He has come quite a ways from last year however.  Last year at this time, a new situation brought Nathaniel to tears.  It wasn’t that he was fearful, he was just cautious.  He was (and still is) unafraid of attempting physical challenges, it’s just social situations that cause him to stop.  Now, he will join a group and begin playing near them if he doesn’t know them (this is HUGE!).  He will also speak to someone when he is spoken to (most of the time).

However, Aaron is a completely different child:

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(At Crystal Cove Beach)

This child is completely fearless in nearly all situations.

He is the kid who waves at everyone while walking down the street and says “Hi!!” and “Bye!!!”  He climbs to the top of the playground equipment without even thinking that he could possibly fall.  He has a sense of things being “fair”, which is really hard because he is not quite 18 months old and not 4 like his brother. 

Aaron is a climber.  Today alone I had to pull him down from the top of the monkey bars at church, pull him off of the top of the kitchen table, and pull him down off of the bathroom counter.  Ugh!  Also, he knows what he wants and refuses to compromise. 

Aaron desperately wants to be big.  He sees his brother doing things, and really wants to do it too.  Every day he throws a fit when I try to diaper him.  Which is great, because if I leave his diaper off he will go in his potty.  But, he doesn’t have the words to tell me he has to go, so he can’t go diaper-less in public.  Today, however, he saw Nathaniel pee standing up and was completely enthralled.  About 20 minutes later I saw Aaron standing in front of his little potty trying to pee.  He threw a fit when I made him sit down. 


One more cute story of Aaron’s bravado (and a comparison to how Nathaniel reacted).

This past week we took part in Cypress Church’s VBS.  It was “High Seas Adventure” which meant there were pirates involved.  One of the main actors in the skit was ‘Captain Curly Beard’.  Kellan (the guy playing the part) was completely decked out in his costume.  One morning we walked into the church and Captain Curly Beard was there with an Air Cannon.  Aaron got a blast in the face, took one look at the pirate and burst into tears.  He clung to me tighter than he ever has before and just cried and cried.  I felt bad for him, but secretly relished the fact that he still needs his mommy.  The next day I was watching Aaron during worship time.  I saw him standing on his tip toes trying to see the dancers on stage.  Then, he looked over his shoulder and came walking over to me.  It was this weird combination of hugging me and looking at the door and waving uncertainly. 

I looked over my shoulder and saw Captain Curly Beard standing by the door.  So, I asked Aaron if he wanted to go say hi to the pirate.  He gripped my arm but nodded.  So, we went over to where Kellan was standing and Aaron faced him and waved.  He still freaked when the hat was removed, but he was brave enough to wave.

By Friday he had hugs and kisses for the scary Pirate.

Nathaniel, on the other hand, would cry every morning that the pirate was scary and he wanted to stay with me.

I love my kids.  I love how different they are.  I pray that we can always encourage them to be the young men that God has created them to be.

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Nathaniel sunbathing with his friend Kaatje.