Monday, February 28, 2011

Opposites Are Attractive

I look at my boys and wonder how they possibly came from the same mine AND the same father (just to clarify.) One set of genes for one, and the next time, let's just use what we didn't last time. They are salt and pepper, ebony and ivory, honey and vinegar. Complete opposites.

Kaiden was born two weeks premature on the 26th of May. My first child, he seemed so incredibly tiny, at just a little over 5 lbs. He was kind of a strange color, with big hands and feet with just a shock of black hair. He was beautiful to me.
Those are his daddy's hands.
My parents drove the 5 1/2 hours to be there when he was born. He was their first grandchild and my mom had been waiting (not so patiently) to be a 'grammie.' She was also the first to laugh at me when I brought him home and changed his diaper, getting baby poop all over me and him. He was a demanding little guy, up nearly every two hours, needing me almost as much as I needed sleep. He was colicky. We rocked, we walked, we ran the vacuum and turn the radio on for white noise.  Nothing worked. Frazzled and sleep deprived (and haven't ever regained those lost hours), we finally cleared that stage.

With Kamrin, my water didn't really break, more like started leaking, exactly on his due date. I was in labor forever, and nothing was happening. To save you the details, the doctor broke my water and Kamrin and the umbilical cord decided to make a race for the exit at the same time. Suddenly, everything was a bad scene from "ER". Shawn is bewildered, and I'm telling him to call my mom. The gurney is being raced down hallways where an emergency C-section can be performed. I remember looking at the anesthesiologist as the bright fluorescent lights flashed, woosh, woosh, behind his head. He must have seen the panic in my eyes because he kept telling me everything was going to be okay.  I can't tell you how exactly aligned the stars must have been for us that day, the fact the doctor checked on me when he did, that I had already had an epidural, and the operating room had been cleared only minutes before it all happened. I didn't get to see Kamrin for over 5 hours. He was in the neo-natal care for monitoring. My heart ached. I longed to hold him, see him. A sweet nurse took pity on me and took a picture with her phone and brought it to me. She nearly had to pry it from my hands. It was the 25th of August.

(Blue=Kaiden and Red=Kamrin)

Was always the talker. From coos and baby giggles to "dada," "mama," and later, "no." To this day, you barely get a word in edgewise. I was able to put him in one spot, and he'd be content to sit and play with the toys within his reach.

Was too busy figuring out how to get around to bother with talking. That kid was never happy to be left where he was, and at an early age, started exploring his surroundings with gusto. He was a climber, not interested in toys so much, but more into electrical sockets, light switches and anything with buttons.

As their personalities mature, the differences become more and more obvious.

Introverted, shy, and a bit apprehensive. He is the ultimate in sensitivity, a harsh look will cause him to flee, crying to his room. I've often heard, "everyone is mean to me," when I know very well that he is giving what he's getting.

A social butterfly, I have to curb his enthusiasm for meeting new people (strangers), or petting stray dogs. He never just "walks" anywhere, he bobs, jumps, skips, or does a little 4-year-old jig. He continuously hums or sings no matter what he is doing. He hugs all the other kids when I drop him off at daycare, and they greet him with enthusiastic "Little Man!" chants. 

Loves cars, action figures, dinosaurs and crashing things.

Would rather have paints, crayons, music and stuffed animals.

If anything needs to be split between the boys, he scrutinizes each piece from every angle, top and bottom, before claiming the largest or "best" piece his. Last Saturday, he was invited to a birthday party at the skating rink. He sat among his little "prizes" and as I struggled to get his skates off, he begged for just one more dollar, "to get Kamrin something." I thought that was sweet that he would want to be so nice to his brother, so I caved and gave him one. He blushes a bit as he puts the dollar on the concession stand and bought a monster cookie for 75 cents. He held it in the cellophane paper and carefully carried it to the car. Five minutes later, the face I saw in the rearview mirror had cookie crumbs around his mouth and a ball of cellophane in his lap. "I thought that was for Kam?" "I forgot." We got home, and he promptly deposited the remaining quarter into his own piggy bank!

Always gets 2 stickers from the doctor or 2 prizes from the dentist's prize box and actually DOES give it to his brother. He is quick to share, not just with Kaiden but with everyone within arm's length. It took a lot of convincing to get him to leave his Halloween candy at home and not to share it at daycare. He's quick to hug, snuggle and kiss, loves to be held and pushes his way into every available lap.

Is always hot.

Is always cold.

Eats his food and whatever Kamrin will give him (which is usually whatever he wants.)

Eats like a bird...several times a day.

Does not want to expend his energy getting himself dressed, and has told me it is MY job to do that, along with remember everything that needs to be put in his backpack for school. Needs constant positive feedback on any accomplishment no matter how minor.

Will create a ladder out of Legos if he has to, to pick out his own clothes and put them on himself. IF I try to help him, he constantly tells me, "My do it, my do it!"

Is able to empathise with others, often being moved to tears during a sad movie.

Will comfort you if you are obviously sad, but is more interested in if a story contains, "blood."

Thick dark hair.
Lighter, baby-fine hair.

Looks exactly like his dad.
We had no idea where his features came from until a cousin of my mother's posted a young photo of my mom's deceased brother, Fred.
Uncle Fred on the left. Uncanny.

He likes milk.

Wants Kool-Aid or soda.
Hamburgers and fries.

Spaghetti, hands down.

Could care less.


Future video game addict.

Roughly shaken into consciousness, is usually in a good mood, interacts with those around him, and doesn't put up too much of a fight at bedtime.

Complete night owl. Never quite awake in the morning. Needs a blanket in the car. Refuses to go to bed before 10 at which point I must relinquish half of my bed space to him, where he will blow air through his lips, twirl my hair, pull the covers over his head and tell you "night" over and over again. I have to ignore him, it's the only way he will give up.

Both can not contain their laughter when you even pretend you're going to say the word, "fart." Neither has any clue what an "indoor voice" is. They may complain that they don't have this, or they don't have that, but both know the importance of family, love and look forward to movies on family night.

From way back when.

And now. (Note the kool-aid moustache) And blurry because they don't sit still!

Yep, complete opposites. I have the best of both worlds. What more could I ask for?


  1. It is so weird how different they can be but yet, you can tell they are related. My three are all so different! I love watching it all develop....

  2. Kristen,
    It's weird too that Kaiden is born on the 26th, Kam the 25th, me the 22nd and their dad the 21st. All near major holidays.