I think that anyone that really wants to know and understand their first child should have a second child.
While Elizabeth and Charlotte both have the two exact same parents, it is funny and bewildering sometimes how different they can be from each other. With just Elizabeth we took a lot of the little quirks of her personality for granted. Now I realize that a lot of those things really are quirks of her personality and not just the way that every kid is. And it is Charlotte that has taught me that.
Elizabeth is verbal. Charlotte is physical. Elizabeth is a morning person. Charlotte is a night person. Elizabeth is a visual learner. Charlotte is a tactile learner. Elizabeth likes to organize. Charlotte likes to be messy. Elizabeth is a lot like me. Charlotte is a lot like my sister. It’s pretty cool.
I’ll give you an example. I ran across this website that is full of creative ways to provide your kids with imaginative play at home. It’s really a great resource for me because we do a lot of stuff at home. One of the things she suggests is playing with shaving cream and food coloring. Fun, right? I thought so. I got it all set up one afternoon to keep the girls busy while I cooked dinner. This was Charlotte after five, wait no, three minutes.
She loved it. Elbows deep loved it. She used all of the spatulas and whisks and cups and scooped and swirled and mixed and splatted. Just in case that one picture doesn’t give you a good enough idea here is another.
Yes, she is using a spatula to smear shaving cream on her leg. She had a blast!
Now, for the sake of comparison I will show you the one picture that I got of Elizabeth.
You see she has no shaving cream on her at all. Oh wait, one little spot on her side which, as I remember, was a source of great hurry to the roll of paper towels so that she could wipe it off soon after this picture was taken. She spent most of her time wiping with paper towels. You will notice that she has her foot lifted to step into the bucket. It was my suggestions and she only got that far. Then she was done with the whole activity. She would much rather sit at the table and color.
Isn’t it amazing how much you can learn from your kids? As mothers, we carried them inside of us for 9 months (or 10 months if you’re me) – shouldn’t we know everything about them? Yet every day I see a little more personality unfold as I wipe, answer questions, teach and correct. I understand a little more of how unique and individual we all are. And it makes me wonder again at God, who never makes any two things exactly the same.