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I know that every parent says it, but seriously!  How can two kids from the same parents be so different?  And are they hardwired for certain behavior characteristics, is it environmental—NATURE?  NURTURE?  Basically, who can I blame?  The worst part about it is that all the things that drive me nuts about one, are character traits that the other doesn’t possess—in fact they are so far at the other end of the spectrum that THAT makes me crazy!

Mikey, first born, revered, encouraged and 30 years old by the age of three.  We could reason with him about so many things from a very early on, until he got to his afraid-of-all –things-noisy stage.  As new parents, it was important for us to rush him through the list of baby benchmarks to prove to ourselves that we had a smart one.  But man!  He was busy and wanted an audience for everything he did.  Then the age of 2 hit, and being contrary was the strongest of his personality traits.  It made for great relations…  The thing he rarely (if ever) did was throw tantrums in stores.  He would get mad and cry and then want hugs, soon to recover.  I remember him being ugly in Albertsons when he was about 18 months old.  I found this “Flarp machine” for your key chain that made all the marvelous sounds effects of that special bodily function that boys seem to be required to enjoy–it even had names for them like “juicy,””squeaky,” “explosive,” etc.  He giggled and descended into hysterics that I can still hear in my head today.  It changed the store experience from awful to hilarious!  To this day, he can be ornery as hell but he’s scare-able if not distractible until his mood swings back.  He’s is also persistent, asking the same questions repeatedly in staccato-like intervals until we stop what we are doing (talking, ignoring, whatever) and answer him.  Again…making for great relations.  He’s a worry wart with an endless need for the day’s itinerary including the weather when there is a possibility of rain.  Combine this neuroses with persistence—well, you probably know by now—great relations!  He’s still busy in situations he isn’t familiar with and gets overstimulated, but on the flip side, he is responsible and logical about daily activities.  He can be a huge help around the house—or a huge hindrance depending on the day or the mood.’

Pierce.  Along comes the second boy three years after the first.  We thought Mikey was an easy baby after the first couple months adjusting to nightly feedings, but jeez!  Pierce was a piece of cake!  He slept 5 hours the first night in the recliner with me as I recovered from a C-section.  By the 17th night he slept 7 hours, and at 30 days he was sleeping through the night.  God I loved him.  He was mellow and quiet, and sweet and endearing as he grew.  In no hurry to see him hit baby benchmarks because he would be my last baby, I just sat back and enjoyed the process, plus, unlike his brother, he liked to snuggle.  I had my very own stuffed animal!  But like everything wonderful, there is a dark side a-lurking.  Turns out Pierce has a fierce temper, and requires a lot of irrational kicking and screaming to get over being mad.  I won’t lie to you—it’s pretty terrifying!  (Mostly because of the impending embarrassment I am sure to suffer if there are other people around.)  He gets totally irrational.  I think his eyes maybe even cast a red glow, but frankly, I am too afraid to look at him.  He’s also very stubborn.  VERY!  You know that saying “Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face?” Well, Pierce thinks it’s “Bite off your nose to spite your face!”  It seems to be his M.O.   If he gets mad because he wants something and then we give it to him, he will throw the once coveted item on the floor just to make the point that he is so very angry, and then scream and cry for a while.  It’s delightful especially when we are driving in the car.  Unlike his brother, though, he isn’t scared of much, and he can play by himself for a while. 

Mikey, who had his clothes ironed for him daily and still does; had the most marvelous little boy shoes, and looks like a JCrew model in his clothing; Pierce is proportioned a little differently.  Shorter legs, rounder tummy, and a flatter bum make his pants want to fall down.  Add to this clumsy formula for fashion, the absolute love affair he has with the outdoors, and we have a very dirty little street urchin in our midst with no need for pressed clothing, Hell!  He doesn’t even wear clothes from the waist down 80% of the time.  Shoes are over-rated.  He loves dirt, and water, and especially the muddy marriage of the two, but thank god he also loves baths.  There is still a dark side to this, though…I can’t take a soak in the tub without hearing him at the door saying “My feet are stinky and nasty!  I need a bath.”  I’m nasty mommy, let me in!”

Michael could blow his nose by the time he was 18 months old, Pierce still can’t figure this one out.  You’d think he would, considering how much he hates having his nose wiped and the revolving 6 week colds he gets.  At least that way he wouldn’t need it wiped as often.

Although Mikey is getting a bit pickier now about food, he used to try everything.  He’s been a fantastic eater!  Then there is Pierce.  He likes peanut butter sandwiches, vegetarian chicken nuggets, real chicken nuggets, pizza, and several fruits.  He won’t even try anything green.  He doesn’t do Mac and Cheese, hotdogs, hamburgers, or several of the usual favorites among his kind.  His idea of great fare would be Suckers and Smarties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

My perfect baby that slept through the night at a month old turned into a newborn at 2 and would awake screaming for mommy in the middle of the night.  He is wayyyyy worse than his big brother ever was about sleeping through the night. 

Some of the differences are as a simple as Mikey having my eyes only blue-green and Pierce has his daddy’s almond shaped eyes only greener (brownish-olive). 

It is strange raising two miniature crazy people and not putting them in strait jackets. ..

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