Gone Coastal

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Like peas in a pod?

There's absolutely no mistaking the physical resemblance between my two offspring. Blue eyes, blonde hair, a certain twinkle in their eyes. When I look at baby pictures of them at the same ages, they look very much alike.
My sister and I, too, look very much alike in pictures. But we're two very different people. In my first year of university, my sister was studying at the same school, and if I found myself near one of the buildings she spent most of her time around, I'd sometimes get a nod or a wave from someone I'd never met before. I'd wave back and carry on, with a bit of a smile to myself 'cause I knew I'd just been taken for my sister by someone who clearly (in my mind, anyway) didn't know her very well.

Well, Trin's a month shy of her third birthday coming up on three and ahalf, and Eli's a couple of months past his first almost 20 months, but they are already very different creatures.
Trin has always been rather tentative in her approach to new skills. She seems to want to be sure she can do it right before she begins. When she was learning to walk, she took those first steps beyond the 'step-dive' maneouvre at 12 months, taking 3, 5 and 7 steps in the space of an hour. Then she went back to crawling and cruising till 15 months, in the airport on the way to Hawaii, at which point she took off and never looked back.
Eli is very much a jump in with both feet kinda guy. He's always pushing the limits of what he can do. He started walking on his own by about 11 months, and as soon as he figured that out, he seemed to switch gears to focus on trying to talk. He's quick - quick to learn and quick to move. A couple of months ago, I went to the mall with the kids to get my cell phone sorted out. I let go of his hand for maybe 30 seconds in the store while I fished stuff out for the clerk. Did the semiautomatic headcount scan and he was gone. A family friend happened to be in the mall and bumped into him (almost literally from what I hear) at the other end of the mall within a few minutes. (and yes, I scoured Zeller's for a harness for him before leaving the mall that same day).
Trin has always been pretty content and complacent. When she started daycare it took her some time (probably upwards of half a year) to learn that she didn't have to let all the other kids walk away with her toys. Eli has always known exactly what he wants and been good at making it known. And that, of course, has been a major motivator for stretching those skills boundaries: "How do I get to that, and if I can't get there myself, how can I get someone else to get it for me?"

In an odd way, though, these differences are starting to make them more alike. Trin has had some significant developmental delays in a number of areas, due to some underlying strength and stamina issues that we're still working to diagnose. With Eli being rather ahead of the curve, they wind up pretty close to the same point. Eli's already got better coordination, strength and stamina than his big sister, though he's lacking some finesse in the fine motor areas yet. And there are days where he's as understandable as Trin, though what he says may be simpler in form.

They learn from each other, adapt to each other, and look out for each other. And I can see them becoming a really neat pair as they grow. Not so much peas in a pod, more like strawberry and rhubarb. Different but quite complimentary.


Post a Comment

<< Home