Friday, May 31, 2013

Let the Comparisons Begin...

One of my biggest worries about having a second boy was the inevitable comparisons.  When you have kids of different genders, it's a little easier to not assume that your kids will be similar.  But when you have two of the same, I think the default assumption is that things may progress the same.  For example, I can't imagine that Carter won't be obsessed with sports after spending his first few years idolizing his sports-crazed big brother.  I know that every child is different, but genes are funny things so it wouldn't surprise me if the boys end up with either a lot of similarities or that they're polar opposites.  Already everyone wonders if the boys look alike.  For the record, they make certain faces that look similar but I don't think that they look as much alike as I expected. 
The other day I was looking through pictures of Jacob at the age Carter is now.  I was surprised to notice that Jacob was fully pushing himself up on his arms when he was on his belly.  
While Carter's head and neck control are way better than they used to be, tummy time still isn't his favorite thing.  He can barely lift up his head or get his arms under him.  He does kick his legs like crazy, though, and tries to get them under himself, almost like he's trying to crawl.  I'll definitely give Carter an extra week and a half since he was a week and a half earlier than Jacob was, but I was really surprised at the difference.  Carter is certainly strong and I don't think there should be any concern about him physically, but it's hard not to think about where Jacob was at this point and wonder if there's any significance.  Sometimes I think Carter is way chattier than Jacob was at this age, because I feel like I was always concerned about how many noises Jacob was making in comparison to what the articles I read were saying he should be doing.  But maybe I was just way more neurotic about things back then, and perhaps I am totally wrong about who "talked" more.  But it wouldn't surprise me if I was right and it was just an early sign of the differences between the boys.   

I guess this is why it is so fascinating to have a second (or third or fourth) child, because you never really know what you're going to get.  That can also be super scary, but it is fascinating to watch your kids grow up, and I'm finding it much more interesting this time around, now that I have some perspective on the experience.  Being able to look back at pictures and then look at the big boy we have now, it's amazing to see the progression and realize a) how fast it all happens; b) how much he's changed; and c) how the baby version of Jacob has little hints of the big boy that was to come.  I can't wait to see how Carter goes through that same progression, but then again, I am really enjoying this stage right now.  I am savoring having a child that doesn't talk back, doesn't disobey, and willingly gives me giant smiles on a regular basis.  But I know how fun it is to watch your child grow, change, and learn.  I can't wait for Carter to play with toys, sit up, and experience his first Christmas.  I look forward to watching him learn to crawl, smash his first birthday cake, take his first steps, and to finally hear what's running through that mind of his.  The older he gets, the more eager I am to get to know him better.  Of course, I also know that the sweet little baby in Jacob's old pictures can turn into a difficult, frustrating child five years later, so I'm not rushing things, but I guess that's the beauty of having a second child: the chance to do it better the second time around.

How that goes remains to be seen, but I definitely find this blog and my treasure trove of photos to be an interesting reference, and--for better of for worse--fodder for comparisons for years to come.  Sorry, Carter.  But it's going to be an interesting ride.

In the meantime, check out these pictures of Jacob from right around the same period as the picture above.  He's maybe a week older than Carter is now.  I just love the sweet smirk on Jacob's face in the first picture, and I adore the second one where it looks like Craig and Jacob are having an intense conversation...   

Amazing, isn't it?  How is that baby turning five in three weeks?  Sigh.

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