Our first 3 kids are a nice, heterogeneous mixture of both Mark and me. But our 4th? So far, by all accounts, the 4th child is just like the parent of the same gender. Granted, the sample size for this particular research study is small. (Very small, actually.) And while I'm not publishing statistics, the following data are but a very small handful of idiosyncrasies that Mark is completely unwilling to attribute to himself. And that I have no way to disguise in my own life. They make Lydia and I who we are.
Here a few distinguishing characteristics about me.
- I like to make people laugh.
- I'm good at encouragement.
- I'm a rule follower.
- It takes me a long time to figure out people don't like me.
1. Having twin big brothers, has got to be tough for a little girl. They get a lot of attention, they make a lot of noise, they boss, and they're hard to tell apart. Like most small children, Lydia used to call both brothers, Luke. It was Luke and Luke. Actually, Duke and Duke before her 'L' sound came in. In an effort to not exclude Caleb, we often practice all the names in the family and have Lydia repeat them. The big kids all love the fun ways she says their names, "Dair, Duke, Bubub & Lilla" One day at lunch we were going around the table having Lydia repeat names.
Mommy: ClaireYes, she really is funny. And she knows it. And knows how to work a room with her charm!
Mommy: That's not Luke, that's Caleb! Say, Caleb.
Lydia: Duke.(giggle, giggle)Lilla funny!
2. Lydia could encourage the white off of rice. No matter how big or small the accomplishment I get a "Good Job!" with clapping and face-wide smiles. I could've just finished setting the table, "Good job, Mommy!" Or maybe I moved a bike out of the driveway so I wouldn't run over it, "Good job, Mommy!", claps, smiles. Or perhaps I sang on the stage during worship at church. When I return to my seat, the other 526 people in room stay pretty silent with maybe a nod of the head. But not Lydia. "Good job, Mommy!" Claps. Smiles.
3. A couple months ago, before Lydia turned 2, I was backing out of our 50 ft. driveway and had driven all of 10 feet when Lydia started hollering, "Dee bel! Dee bel! Mommy, dee bel!" After much angst trying to figure out what had Lydia completely freaked out, we finally caught on. She was telling me I hadn't yet put my seat belt on! She likes everyone to follow the rules. And if she has to abide by them, everyone else does, too.
4. Up until baby #4, I have never had one of those kids who waves at strangers. You know the kind. Like when you're at Target and you're trying to be incognito while shopping for tampons, but there's a cute chubby toddler in the cart in front of you. And to seemingly, purposely, try to foil your plans of under-radar product shopping, the the little tike says, "Hi" with a big grin on face and a nonstop wave. You smile and give an almost inaudible little chuckle. But that baby wants to be your best friend! It keeps waving and talking and smiling until you either feel guilty enough about blowing off a cute kid that you engage in a full-on conversation, or you get frustrated enough that you scoot on over to the shampoo isle until the mom and tot have spread their happy cheer into another part of the store.
I have that kid. If she's acting shy around you, it's because she thinks she's cute acting shy, not because she really is.
She waves or calls out to people walking their dogs and people in the tampon isle. The greeters at the grocery store and Walmart love her. People offer her stickers and suckers everywhere we go. Even if you came right out and told her you didn't like her, she'd probably think it's just because you don't really know her yet. Just like her mommy.
All of those and 999 other things make us realize we have finally created a Mini-Me. And as I've looked around at other families with 4+ kids, I'm seein' a pattern. So let me know if my theory holds true in your family. And if you haven't gotten to your 4th child yet, you better get busy. The 4th one is fun!