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My boys

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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.

When D was a toddler, I noticed that he was a watcher. Before he would climb in the sandbox, he would watch the other kids to see what they were doing. That way, he would know exactly what to do once he decided to get in. As busy as he was (and still is), he always does this look back to make sure that his momma is still nearby. O is very much like that. He loves to sit back and see what everyone is doing, surveying the whole situation, before he moves in on what he wants to do. I will come in the play room to find him doing his own O thing, pushing a car across the floor while making "car noises" as his brothers wrestle over the Fisher Price lawn mower. After his brothers have both abandoned the toy for something more interesting, he crawls over to investigate what all the fuss was about. He gets very fixated on one thing, playing with the same toy all day for a couple weeks. Being a one-year old, C's interest will get peaked when he sees O having so much fun with a toy. Of course he crawls over to investigate, which highly offends O. He is very happy with his one toy and doesn't want anything else, or his brothers taking it away from him. I see him quietly running his own experiments, finding out how things work without the wildness of his older brothers. Unlike both D and C, O has a lot of middle ground. If he's tired, he'll crawl over to rest his head in my lap or sleepily seek out his passey to sit quietly in the corner of the play room. His brothers, on the other hand, play, play, play and will burst out in tears as soon as it is past nap time, falling asleep immediately in their beds. O reminds me a lot of my sister, my middle sister, who was always caught in between the extremes of her older and younger sisters.

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!"

All of them love their granny, my grandmother, their great-grandmother. They always have big smiles and lots of cuddles for her, especially D man. D and Granny have a special bond, a funny way of doing things together that I can't help but find adorable. The three of them love laughing. They love when D does something silly and will start cracking up. I do hear them in the play room fighting over toys, more often I hear them in here laughing hysterically or making silly sounds to each other. C and O have reached the age where the pull to sit on the floor with them and watch them play is so strong that often we end the day with a sink full of dirty dishes. I can teach them all sorts of things in one afternoon, how to kiss, waving, clapping, peek-a-boo, how to push a car, or different sounds that they will repeat. D loves to teach them how to leave his toys alone... how to bring him toys he dropped... how to share their toys with him... I love their dynamic right now. As D will say, "We are three boys on an adventure!" D leads the charge, running out of the room, pirate sword drawn, with C and O hot on his tail, crawling after him around the house.

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.


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