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For a long time, I didn't notice huge differences between C and O. There were differences between them, such as O favors his passey more than C, C wants you to help him stand or "walk" more than O, and the noises each baby makes are different-- O tends to make rumbly car sounding noises while C prefers screeching like a joyful banshee. All of our boys were so similar. When D was a baby he would make a noise and see who was watching him, which C and O both do, always waiting for the laugh. Absolutely everything goes in their mouths; even now at three I will catch D chewing on things. They all love their blankets; these Little Giraffe blankets we have for all three of them that have become known as "Batcho blankets," or just "Batcho" in our house. If someone is crying or tired or feeling cuddly, Batcho is always needed. And all of them are just busy. They want to see what happens if they drop a toy. Now D wants to why something happens the way it does. They are very interested in how the world around them works, very much like their father. So when people would ask me, "What are their different personalities?", it was hard to answer. Not only do all three boys look exactly like each other-- C and O look like little copies of D-- but C and O constantly remind me of D as an infant. Sometimes it is unsettling how much C and O look and act like D, especially when they are dressed in D's hand me downs. My husband and I joke that we have a "baby mold," making baby boys that all look and act like each other.
Now that C and O are one-year olds and very interested in being active, I've noticed some differences. C reminds me the most of D. He is always, always, always doing something. If you have him seated and strapped in a highchair, he will use his hands to make silly sounds with his mouth, "Oo, oo, oo, oo!" When I set him down, he hits the ground crawling, usually to somewhere he knows he shouldn't be, like if I left the garage door open, or a baby gate isn't latched all the way. We bought the boys a little Fisher Price slide for their first birthday. C dedicates his time trying to figure out how to climb up the slide. And exactly like D, C knows how to walk, he just doesn't believe it yet. He marches all around the house pushing his little Chicco walker, standing independently to stand it back up if he knocks it over, or lifting it up to go through a baby gate. As soon as he notices he is standing on his own, he will carefully lower himself to the floor. Just like D, he is hot or cold, all or nothing. He is either dedicating his time to figuring out how to open my purse or he completely ignores it. He is either tired or he wants to play, no in between. There is no little fussing with him; he is either happy or crying. Unlike D, C will jump headfirst into a situation. He wants to know what you are doing, where you are going, and he's going to be in the middle of it. At the kids' play areas, I set him down and he's off! Crawling right into the middle of the kids and climbing up the side of the pirate ship.
And of course, the original boy, D man. He has always been busy. He always wants to be in the middle of the action, but watching, not part of the action. He loves his Batcho blanket. When we go to the doctor for shots, he keeps Batcho close in his adorable D way. He is not very graceful, often tripping over his own feet, though he tries very hard to be Kung Fu Panda or Hercules. He asks me a million questions, "What are the words to this song? Do you need more gas in your van? Why is my brother crying again?" After I teach him a song, he'll change the lyrics to what he's doing, "Sweet home Alabama, where my brothers are too, sweet home Alabama, there are sippy cups for you!" I'm always impressed that a child of mine can have rhythm. I'll see him at AWANAS, tapping his foot away to the beat of the song. He's very involved in his brothers' well-being. When they are having a fussy nap time or teething troubles, he'll carry around the baby monitor and tell me when they are crying, bursting in tears if I say I'm going to let them fuss for a minute, "But they are sad and want their momma!" He can be very bossy with his brothers, insisting they only play with certain toys or stay in the play room. D is very literal. If I tell him not to jump off the stair, he will jump off his stool, saying, "But I didn't jump off the stair!" He has certain ways he wants to do things and sometimes has trouble listening the first time, instead preferring to copy what he saw you doing (like typing on a computer or opening a cupboard he's not allowed to be in). He is extremely observant and will remember things weeks after you said or did them, "But, Momma, Daddy puts his head phones in this drawer!"
So, yes, I have my hands full. Sometimes we are trying to check out at the register with a whiny three-year old and screaming one-year olds. Those days are exhausting and I start watching the clock, counting down the hours until bedtime. Other days I have three little boys, climbing into my lap to give me snuggles. D tells me that I am the best momma in the whole wide world, while C and O cuddle close, giggling every time we make eye contact. Their precious little faces, looking at me with love and adoration are totally worth all the horrible times at the check out counter, all the nights I spend comforting a baby who is throwing up down my back, all the days when I can't leave the house on time. My heart bursts with pride when I see D run ahead of me to open the door for someone with a stroller, politely saying, "Have a good day!" as she gratefully passes through an open door. I have to hide my smile when I see D wrangling his brothers at the soft play area, firmly telling other little kids to "watch out for the babies!" And my favorite way to end the day will always be on the nursery floor, reading silly stories that rhyme for three little men who think I am the best, simply because I am their momma.