If you ever need to study sociology, have kids. If you ever want a masters, have twins.
It amazes me that after having 7 kids, I still cannot delineate between what is nature and what is nurture. One child I look at and say it’s nurture- ALL nurture. Then I promptly pat myself on the back and start blogging about my awesome parenting ability.
But that’s the nice thing about having children- they humble you. I look at our other kids and find that I don’t know where they come up with their behaviors or reasoning ability. Stephen’s parents say he was a good kid. My parents say I was a good kid. So it must be nature. Sin nature.
And I have had chill babies, high strung babies, smart babies, willful babies, chatty babies, quiet babies. Quite the study.
But then came the twins.
No, they are not alike. Not in appearance, not in size, and not in temperament. Owen is pretty chill with a little OCD and whining just to make it interesting. He’s more than happy to sit and play with cars or read a book. He will even put them away! He’s a great sleeper. Nurture. (Yeah, right!)
But Laney. That girl is like a character in a tall tale. Except, every word of this account is true. And she is the shortest child I have.
Laney is observant. She is watching these giant girls I have and says to herself, “I could probably do that.” And then she does it.
She hates sitting for any length of time, unless you are wearing a screen printed shirt. Then she will rub your clothes forever. This is her one weakness. Half the family T-shirts are in her bed. No joke.
She has an indomitable spirit. (That’s positive speak for a stubborn streak.)
Laney climbed stairs well before a year. At a year and a half, she walks down them. Walks.
She started leaving her crib independently several months back. And now, returning her to bed takes a good hour of consistent repartee. I finally started having her sleep with her sister, and she seems happiest there.
Baby gates are like rock climbing walls- just have to find the slightest ledge and you can scale it. Don’t ask how many baby gates we have gone through. Also, don’t ask how many marshmallows we go through.
The climbing doesn’t end there- just ask nursery workers at my church. Tables, shelving units, pianos, and all other manner of furniture are her Mt. Everest. Does she fall sometimes? Yes. Does she care? No.
And then, there are the door knobs. She works like a master lock-picker, shimmying that knob until it clicks open. Bathrooms, the basement, our bedroom…. nothing is out of her domain. Before I get messages about trying to baby proof the knobs, save your breath. She has those figured out as well.
Stephen is wondering if there is a baby strongman contest, because he is certain Laney would win that handily. She pushes heavy doors open at the shop and church with ease. Doors my 4 year old has problems with.
In the end, I look at my littlest girl and am puzzled. Where did she come from?
My grandma raised a few strong willed kids in her day. I’m a byproduct of one of them. She always says to me, “Leah, I just prayed that their stubbornness would help them serve the Lord.” And I find myself praying the same thing.
Can you imagine what a rock climbing, lock picking, weightlifting Laney could do for Christ? I can’t even fathom….
Now excuse me. She may be working on figuring out her high chair belt and then there will be no safe space.