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A study in contrasts

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published July 10, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

Little Guy’s a daredevil who’s going to wind up in traction before he’s old enough to drive. But he hates crowds, which he defines as a gathering of more than three people.

Big Guy’s so social that a trip to the grocery store could take hours by the time he gabs with other shoppers, checkout clerks, plants in the floral department. But his knees still knock a bit as he stands at the top of tall slides.

Seems I have two riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas. And I can’t figure out how on earth it happened.

Little Guy’s going through a particularly wild stage now.

He tries his dangedest to ride Big Guy’s tricycle, even though his feet can’t reach the pedals and he has no prayer of success. He keeps at it, yelling “Crash!” on the way down, dusting off his bubble butt and climbing on again.

He hasn’t figured out how to sit in a swing, but he knows it’s a blast to soar through the air on his belly , coming perilously close to bonking his head on the swing-set polls.

Meanwhile, Big Guy’s taking loquacious to the next level, learning to play it for the laughs. He’s strutted into school each morning for weeks like Tigger having a seizure, his face contorted in ways that would make Jim Carrey jealous. And he’ll keep doing it as long as kids giggle at his entrance.

He’s long been wary, though, of many things physical. It took him months last summer to learn to ride his tricycle, because he’d wreck, get frustrated and give up.

On the Little Guy front, the second anyone new comes along, he’ll yell, “Mommy, up!” Even if it’s someone he knows well. If it’s just the guys and me around, Little Guy will be the first to climb up for a cuddle.

I suppose there’s an up side to the contrasts, as each pushes the other into new territory. Big Guy is much more willing to try things now that Little Guy is creating havoc all over the county. Perhaps in time, Little Guy will learn from Big Guy that it’s safe to venture out socially, that the world isn’t going to swallow you up.

It all makes me wonder, though. Are the differences inborn? Preborn, even? Or was I such a dramatically different mother of one than I am mother of two that the guys are on wildly divergent paths.

Do I have it all wrong? Is the actor one really the shy one, hiding behind the performance? And is the quiet one really the confident one, ready to join the Green Berets as long as he can call Mom on his cell phone on the way down.

Talk about your mysteries wrapped in enigmas.

I’m just happy they agree on one thing: Carnival rides. Until recently, Big Guy cried because he didn’t want to get on. Little Guy cried because he couldn’t get on.

Oh, brothers!

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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