I haven’t dusted off the blog in awhile. I’ve been talking with a lot of people lately about the obvious differences between my two daughter’s personalities already apparent at ages 7 months (Amy Elizabeth) and 2.5 years (Ruth Hazel). I’m finding this aspect of parenthood to being one of the most satisfying and interesting- having the opportunity to look back and see aspects of their personalities present even at very early ages. Ruth’s personality traits were almost present from the moment she was born. Amy it’s harder to tell only because she is younger and her “real personality” isn’t as clear yet. I’ll start this brief discussion with pictures of both girls at age 6 months. It’s important to realize that looking at the pictures side by side you can see some difference in their faces, but if you show us (me or Dorothy) a picture of one of the girls at any certain age we can probably only tell who it is by the outfit. Although as I thumbed through picture after picture of both girls as I was preparing for this blog post, I now think I have cracked the code. Here’s two pictures right around 6 months of life.
Both girls were exactly the same weight 13#7oz at their 6 months visit. Amy was 1.5 inches longer and was born heavier (that’s a different post on her poor rate of weight increase and the efforts we have gone through to improve that). They are both bald, same color and complexion, very similar eye color, very similar cheeks, similar eye brows, mouths the same (though not the shape they put them in- which we’ll talk about) and the main difference is a slight difference in nose structure.
But I chose these pictures because I think they effectively display what is now very obvious from the pictures- Ruthie has that same look in almost all pictures she has taken and Amy has that same smile in almost all pictures taken. To date those looks pretty well sum up the differences in personality.
We don’t know as much about Amy- she naps well, is generally happy when fed (which has been a slight problem in the afternoons when the milk supply just wasn’t keeping up), and smiles all the time. If fact it’s hard to find a picture of Amy not smiling because if you are looking at her that much to take a picture she’s probably going to smile at you. She’s very likeable. Which is a different word than you’d use to describe Ruthie, who’s also likeable, but there’s several other traits that describe Ruth better.
So what is that look in Ruth’s picture? Intensity! That would be the word that Dorothy and I would use to describe Ruthie. In fact that very same intensity could already be seen in the very first picture have of Ruthie seen here in the pictures at the bottom of this post. Both pictures have that look, even at 5 minutes of life she was looking around. In fact every picture we have with her is like that. She is smiling in almost none of her pictures before 1 year of life. We used to think of her as “social” because she loved being in a crowd and around other people. Now we know that Amy is actually social, she wants to be around people, make eye contact, smile, etc. Ruthie wanted to grab the name tag off your shirt, pull your glasses and investigate the pen in your pocket. Eye contact only with that intense look that you see in the picture above. People commented from day one about how alert she was.
Ruthie is now a lovely girl, social, engaging, and loves talking with people. But she is still incredibly intense. She is very emotional. Several people have commented about having “adult conversations” with her. When she is playing it’s like “get back Jack I got a job to do”. She will frequently just begin running laps around things. If Mommy and Daddy are not done having dinner at the table, she’ll begin to run laps around the table. If I’m lying on the floor she’ll begin to run laps around me. She’s 2.5 years old and can spell her name, she knows her birthday, and can do 50 piece puzzles. She’s intense. She didn’t nap during the day until she was 9 months old, she would cry for an hour in her bed. She has slept three times in public that we can remember- once on my beloved Aunt Liz’s (RIP) bosom, once recently when she inexplicably fell asleep while playing stickers on the airplane.
I look forward to getting to know Amy. I have a feeling that she will be much easier to get along with. It’s hard not to enjoy someone that smiles continually. She has some of the intense, focused features that Ruthie has and is actually louder in many ways. Ruthie is to focused on things to be really loud (unless she was bawling about being in the car seat, which she did every time as a baby), but Amy is often very loud because she has realized that it gets her more attention (and smiles).
We only have one mold to create kids in our house, but they have very different flavors.