Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Incredible Differences

The differences between my two children amaze me every day. We have this plastic Little Tikes slide (you can see it in the background in the photo above) that I got last spring for $15 at a garage sale (best $15 I ever spent), and before the snow began last Saturday we brought it inside to the playroom for the winter. (Yes, you heard me. A big, bright orange, outdoor toy, inside our house. In the "playroom", which is actually a multi-purpose room that also serves as our office. I use the term "multi-purpose" to make it sound all fancy and like we wanted it that way. In reality we now have, well, a giant plastic climbing toy in the same room as our Crate and Barrel desk and bookcases. Yep, I know who runs the show around here, and they are small and cute.)

Anyway! This slide does not have a ladder; instead, you crawl in a little door and hoist yourself up onto a little platform to go down the mini slide. For Genevieve, that platform is waist-high. Even so, since we brought the slide in the house four days ago, she has handily taught herself to do the slide completely by herself, start to finish. Goes in the door, climbs up onto the platform, sits herself down on her bottom (even mastering that tricky maneuver where you have to get your back leg out and around to the front to slide down), and rides down the slide. Gets up, toddles back, and does it again. All day long. You can sit at that Crate and Barrel desk reading the blogs (or, more nobly, sit nearby and play elaborate make-believe games with your more high-maintenance three-year-old) and Genevieve just plays on that slide on her own.

Of course, that whole dynamic is probably the very reason it only took Genevieve a day to learn to do the slide by herself. Right?

Back to the point of this post. At 15-1/2 months old, Julia wasn't yet walking by herself. She didn't learn how to go down a slide by herself--climbing up, sitting down properly, etc.--until she was two. When we got this slide last May, it still took her quite awhile to figure out how to climb up onto the platform. And yet here's baby Vivi, scrambling around like an intrepid monkey.

But here's the kicker: at 15-1/2 months, Julia had 35 words. (I just looked it up in her toddler journal, where I wrote them all down at the time.) Thirty-five! It's unimaginable, now, when my current 15-1/2-month-old says only five things on a regular basis: Mama, Dada, Boo-wah (Julia), uh-oh, and mmm-hmmm (for yes).

So: one non-physical, nonstop talker; one on-the-go, non-wordy climber. It was inevitable, wasn't it?

I love having two children.

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