Monday, March 18, 2013

Nature vs Nurture at 16.5 Months

I've been meaning to do another nature vs nurture post before now but there are so many different aspects to each child that it is hard to summarize.  So, this is long.  Sorry.  I decided to categorize it by some of our main activities.  It is really amazing how different they handle situations and the variety of reactions that we get to the same environment.

Reading a book
Anna:  more interested in pulling all the books off the shelf and showing them to you. She'll flip a page or to and then move on to another.  She loves to look at the covers say "book".
Irene:  Will sit and read books all day long.   Give that girl a book and her oversize chair and she is happy (until one of her sisters comes and steals it).  We put books in her bed and when she wakes up in the morning she will sit there and read for an hour sometimes.  She points and babbles as she carefully flips the pages. 
Brooks:  She likes her share of books, but seems more interested in stacking and building things.  She brings books to us to read but we only get a page or two before she takes it and throws it.

Anna:  Will not sit still in your lap for more than 2 seconds.  She likes to hop back and forth between our laps but she never stays for long.
Irene:  Best cuddler ever.  Seriously she is so sweet.  She just relaxes on you and is content to hang out.  I think I would be tempted to hold her all the time if I didn't have three.  She is the only one I will consider getting up early to lay in bed with me because she will actually lay there and not turn into a monkey.
Brooks:  She has way to much energy to cuddle, but in the right situation she will actively sit in your lap.  Usually if she is in a new situation or tired she wants to be with you.  Not exactly a cuddle but I'll take it.

* side note.  They all LOVE to give kisses, especially Brooks.  They kiss each other, us, and the dogs quite frequently.

Wiping hands and face
Anna:  She'll give you about two seconds to get the job done and then she loses it.
Irene:  Sticks her hands out and face up and just calmly lets you clean as much as needed.
Brooks:  Does everything she can to escape.  If she even sees you coming with a paper towel she tries to climb out of her high chair and quickly turns away so that you can't get to her.

Cutting Fingernails - exact same as above.  Sometimes I feel like I should get a medal after nail sessions.

Changing Diaper
Anna:  She'll comply, but is not happy laying still for long and loses her patience if it is a tough one.
Irene:  Sticks her feet up in the air to make it easy and just let's you take your time.
Brooks:  You can't even get her on the changing table before it turns into a wrestling match. 

Meeting New People
Anna:  Never met a stranger.  Usually the first to smile at a new person (IF she is not in one of her moods) and will go up to anyone.  Perfect example - we had her in the waiting room at a doctor's office in Memphis and instead of sitting with us she stood at a table looking down a hall saying "heeeeyyyyy" to anyone she could possibly get to look at her.  
Irene:  A little shy at first but really loves new people.  She will hold back for a few minutes and then will want to be part of the action.
Brooks:  Don't be offended if she freaks out on you.   She is so perceptive and does not miss anything.  You will end up getting lots of smiles, but only after you get the evil eye during her approval process.  And if you try to snatch her up before you are approved, you probably lost your chance.

Physical Activity
Anna:  No fear.  She loves to dive and jump around and seems to be a risk taker at this point in her life. 
Irene:  Very cautious.  She is so cute when she walks.  She takes little baby steps and looks out for all objects that might be in her way before she moves forward.  She "talks" all the time while she does everything - sounds like elaborate foreign sentences....must be all those books she's reading.
Brooks:  You just can't keep up.  She goes 100 miles an hour and gets really hyped up, which is usually pretty cute.  She will get going running around or dancing and laughing at the same time.  She loves to pick up heavy objects and move them around in the room.  Sometimes she is not aware of her own strength with her sisters, but she is learning. 

Getting in Trouble
Anna:  Oh dear Lord.  What am I going to do with this child.  She is so sweet and happy, but when she is mad - LOOK OUT.  Total drama.  We've already entered the tantrum stage and they are not short.  Her typically reaction to getting told "no" is a smile and then continuing to do whatever she is doing.  Sometimes she will smile, say "no", and still do it.  Then I will really get on to her and she gets upset. The other night she bit my knee and then got in trouble - first she had the typical reaction and cried.  Then she went to a corner of the room and laid on her side and just flipped pages of a book back and forth for 30 minutes with an attitude filled pout on her face.  She would not look up or acknowledge me or anyone else at all.  Two hours later she STILL would not acknowledge me and when I would talk to her she would just dive to Jack and smile at him.  
Irene:  Irene likes to tell other people "no".  I always know someone is throwing their food on the floor (Anna) or tearing something up (Brooks) when I hear Irene say "noooooooooo".  She pushes the limit herself occasionally, but usually she listens and learns pretty quickly.
Brooks:  I may have a perfectionist on my hands. She does not like to get in trouble.  It really hurts her feelings. That makes for an interesting combination because she is also extremely determined and hard headed.  She will know not to do something but her determination takes over and she'll do it anyway....and then there are tears.

After all those words, if you are still with me, here are a few pictures that depict those little personalities:

Irene trying to stay awake
Sweet Irene

Wild child Brooks


Anna mad at me
...and Anna two seconds after the prior pic (clearly not mad at her dad)


  1. Sage -- I just read this and laughed so hard! As an "Anna" -- I feel like there is also something in a name... Sounds so much like me! Hope you and Jack are doing well!

    Anna (Nelson) Cole ;)

  2. I love these posts! I'm so glad to know that someone else has one who HATES getting her diaper changed. Like Brooks, as soon as you pick her up and mention that dreaded word, it's a wrestling match. She only reserves that for Brian and I; anyone else can change her and she is a perfect little angel.