Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The same, but different

Physically, Matthew and Jonathan are almost indistinguishable. They are the same height, they have the same head circumference and their weights are always within a few ounces of each other. The only way we can tell them apart in photos is by a vein across their noses: Matthew's is narrow and Jonathan's is thick. Their personalities, however, couldn't be more different. It started ten days after birth, when they finally caught on to the whole concept of nursing. Matthew would latch instantly, suck furiously for five minutes and then quit. Jonathan could take up to ten minutes to latch. But I'd have to pull him off 40 minutes later. The differences only grew from there. Now, at nine months, Matthew easily pulls himself up on the coffee table, bridges the gap to the sofa, edges quickly along and grabs a stuffed animal he'd been eying. Then he drops his butt to the floor with the animal in his hands (and in his mouth). Jonathan sits in the center of the living room watching. In the stroller, as we go for walks or hurry through the grocery store, Matthew leans forward, yanking on the bar in front of him and trying to lift his body out. Jonathan leans back and rests his feet on the bar. He looks around with a quiet grin on his face. But don't underestimate Jonathan. He watched for months as Matthew struggled to roll to his side, then to his tummy and then back again. He was still not rolling at nearly seven months old and we were concerned. He was barely lifting his head off the floor. So we called the pediatrician. That day, he started rolling everywhere. He applied the same technique to crawling. He watched Matthew perfect the combat crawl, then the hands-and-knees crawl and then work his way from crawling to sitting. Once Matthew got it all figured out, Jonathan dove in. It took him about two days to accomplish what had taken Matthew several weeks. So, as I watch Matthew pull up once more with his eyes on a cup that his older sister had left on the table, I am not concerned. I know Jonathan is watching with me and that, one day soon, he will surprise his brother by beating to the object of his quest.

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