I don’t believe there is a day that goes by without the following thought: How is it possible that two kids with the same parents, raised in the same home, could be so completely different? I have two girls that are less than three years apart. They look almost exactly the same; in fact, I have people ask all the time if they are twins, though they are very different in size. Though they look the same, they couldn’t be more different in every other way. I have treated them the same from the beginning and expected them to both be independent. From the beginning, though, I could see huge differences in their personalities.
My older daughter is the very description always given of a first born child. She is serious, smart, a hard-worker, and she listens well. She is eager to please, not just me, but her teachers as well. She is very organized and neat. She is also a perfectionist. Her smile is very demure with no teeth showing. Looking back, I see me. I call her my Mini-Me. She even looks just like me at her age.
My younger daughter also fits the description of a family baby I will be somewhat shocked if this girl doesn’t grow up to be a comedienne. A few weeks ago, she told me she wanted to perform on stage. She is four. She was smiling at 1 week old, but only at something that was funny. It wasn’t gas. She was laughing out loud by the time she was 3 weeks old. She knows funny and likes to go for the laugh and usually gets it. She will say something and then give this Cheshire Cat grin that you can’t help but laugh at.
She is also a slob. Getting her to clean up after herself is quite a chore on my part. She is not worried about pleasing anybody but herself. At 15 months old, I remember more than once her walking by her older sister who was carrying a bowl of dry cereal and knocking it out of her hand, then just keep walking like nothing had happened. Her smile is a wide open mouth smile showing all of her teeth.
I know there is the whole nature vs. nurture debate and I have to think that people are definitely born with the personalities that they have. I think that experiences can change that somewhat, but I do believe that you are born who you are. These two girls are the perfect example. They have lived the same live, have the same parents and yet couldn’t be more different. Sometimes, it makes things difficult because I constantly have to learn how to deal with my little one. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. How boring would the world be if everyone were exactly the same?