In short: awesome. He was awesome.
And Lucy June stood in the middle of the room, holding onto one plastic toy, and watched him very critically. Lucy June who reaches for something contraband and typically at my first "UhOh" will straighten up, smile, and go somewhere else. Lucy June who watches her hands as she signs for "more" and carefully taps her little fingers together. Lucy June who has recently started nodding when I ask "night night?"
If I had Lucy June first, I would have thought I was a pretty kick ass parent. I would've been positively insufferable.
But I didn't have Lucy June first. I had Jake.
When Jake was a baby and a toddler, I didn't have a real sense of his uniqueness. People would ask about his personality, and I would say: "Baby personality??" I had no concept of what was Him Being a Baby vs. Him Being Him. Now that I've known him a few years and had a second baby, I've clued in.
And my kids are so different. From the very beginning they've been so different. I know he's a boy and she's a girl and their differences really fall on gendered sides of the fence, but still I find it so interesting.
Several of my friends have recommended Art Bennett's The Temperament God Gave Your Kids - these are of course Catholic friends, Protestants don't talk about temperaments - which explores the idea of responding to your children according to their personalities. This seems pretty intuitive, but also essential. My parents certainly seemed to adjust according to my and my siblings' tendencies growing up. For example, my little brothers had curfews, I never did. I actually broke a window trying to sneak back IN the house after my parents forgot I wasn't home and locked me out.
So this is the face off in Casa Rhodes with regard to blossoming, burgeoning behaviors.
Jake vs. Lucy June
Jake fought sleep as a baby. Boy he fought it. But once he was asleep you couldn't wake him up if you tried.
Lucy June learned to sleep much more easily. She was a baby you could swaddle and look away and she would be asleep. But man was she light: she would wake up if I was typing in the next room.
When Jake was little he just went: he would take off and never look back. I once tested how far he would walk away from me. He walked for a quarter mile along the beach before I caught up with him. He hadn't looked for me once.
Lucy June has this invisible tether. She always knows where I am. When we're in public, I can set her down and let her wander because she will always stay where she can see me.
Jake fell off the bed probably eight times. (I thought this was my fault until:)
Lucy June fell off once.
Lucy June fills the bins back up.
Lucy June would always rather be eating.
Lucy June will survey her food and, with eyebrows raised and chin tilted up, will carefully pick out that one exact bit.
Lucy June has already grasped the concept of hiding things from me. She tried to sneak away with more ornaments off the Christmas tree than I could count.
Jake and I will play the nice little game of mistake/consequence/meltdown/timeout, and as soon as timeout is over he will skip away unfazed to the next moment's play. Jake's never held a grudge. And he's literally never grumpy.
Lucy June will trip on her socks and look around for who to blame. Her poutface is positively masterful.
Lucy June is a kisser and a cuddler.
When Jake was around her age, he snuggled with me approximately once. And that's how I figured out he had Roseola.
And that's all she wrote. Top of the Sunday to you, my friends!