Saturday, January 18, 2014

Opposites Attract

No mother (or father) worth their salt has a favorite child. Though you cannot fathom how you will love a 2nd, 3rd, 4th child as much as your first, you do. As soon as they lay that little angel in your arms, your heart doubles in size and you love them just as much as their older sibling. Amazingly, it happens every time you have a baby. It is one of the most amazing things about parenting to me. I remember being sick with worry when I was pregnant with Phillip that I wouldn't love him as much as Olivia. Olivia was our world. An only child for eight years, the sun rose and set on her whims (terrible, I know). We scheduled our lives around her and worshipped the ground her little pink clad feet walked on. I could not fathom loving the next baby as much, even though he was VERY wanted and highly anticipated. Then, they brought him over to me, fresh from his previous home, and he cracked his beautiful blue eyes open for the first time and starred right into mine. I was in love! I loved him every bit as much as his sister in that instant. The same thing happened with Matt. They brought his tiny, yelling, peeing self over and I just knew he was my heart, my baby, THE baby of the family. I loved him fiercely and wholly, even though I just "met" him. So, to have a favorite would be impossible. They are all delightful little combinations of me and the man I love most in the entire universe, perfect little beings with all of our good traits and none of our bad (yeah, right!). But, they are equally and completely loved and adored.

However, any parent that tells you they get along with all their kids the same is lying. About the time they start talking and walking (or sooner), their little personalities start shining through. In our house, Olivia and Matt are essentially the same person. Olivia has been fiercely independent, outspoken, loud, temperamental, slightly aloof, and a million other things since birth. Matt is a slightly MORE version of that. He's everything she was, but a little moreso. Both of them could give you this "drop dead" look long before they could talk. They don't meet a stranger and don't have a shy bone in their bodies. Both could get up in front of a huge crowd and not miss a beat. They were both delightful babies, troublesome toddlers (though Matt wins the prize for angriest) and great kids. Basically, they are physical and emotional replicas of me. I can also give that drop dead look. I am aloof until I get to know you, loud, temperamental, moody at times, determined, and outspoken. I forget to say please and thank you more often than not, despite being raised better. I love fiercely, but have a hard time telling you.  Basically, you love me or hate me, there's not a lot of middle ground. I have been this way since birth. Mike loves me anyway :)

Phillip is Mike. He was a perfect, cherubic baby who rarely cried, played quietly, cooed and giggled. He was the easiest toddler, learning manners quickly, always wanting a cuddle. He's a little emotional, quick to cry, quick to apologize. He tends to obsess over things like Mike does, instead of shrugging them off like I do. He is extremely stubborn like his daddy too. He wants his family to be happy. He loves the ladies, is a wonderful friend and brother, and is just a really mellow kid. He is his father made over. Looks like him, acts like him. The world adores Phillip. He is charming and sweet, always looking for a way to help his fellow man.

Guess which kid I get along with the best? Yep, Phillip. We mesh. He is yin to my yang, just like his daddy. My high powered personality suits his laid back personality perfectly. We rarely fuss. He adores me, I am his favorite human on earth. Guess which kid(s) Mike gets along with the best? Yep, Olivia and Matt. They adore him. Olivia will unashamedly tell anyone she loves her daddy the most. His laid back, sweet temperament, his innate ability to figure out why they are upset instead of just butting heads with them wins every time. When Matt just can't take me another second, he starts bellowing for Daddy. For the first year of Olivia and Matt's lives, they MUCH preferred Daddy's arms to Mommy's. Phillip would be happy if I could carry him in my arms until college. It's the craziest thing. Don't get me wrong, we are a very happy family and everyone loves everyone, but it tickles me to see how the children that are MOST like a parent gravitate to the other parent. What I saw in Mike that I liked all those years ago (and vice versa) are what the children most like us look for in their preferred parent.

This post really has no point, just something I have noticed more and more as the boys are growing into their personalities. Is the same true in your family? Which kid do you get along with the best or am I the only one with that situation :)

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