Tom and Sam : the same yet not the same

This post is more for my own benefit (and perhaps theirs, if this blog survives until they are grown up and can read english). So ignore it if you are interested in technical things, I promise I’ll write some more technical posts here the coming months.

Tom is now 5 years old and Sam is nearly 2. Time for a short look at both. They are both considerable alike in many ways, doing some things exactly the same way, looking at something the same way, and yet in other things they are 2 completely different beings.

Tom at 5 years old has changed from a chubby baby to a very lean and tall child. Lots of brown-gold hair and deep-brown big eyes make him a natural attraction for other children. The school teacher told me that everybody wants to sits next to Tom, and it sometimes devolves into an argument.

[This is something in which he differs from me – I wasn’t one from the popular kids, and it concerns me that I won’t be able to help him how to deal with this. How do you explain to your kid that it’s a privilege that children want to sit next to you and that you should treat them correctly ?]

He’s also very sensitive, sometimes too much so. I remember myself as being as sensitive as him, and it makes me afraid for him that he will be picked on, yet I mustn’t think that his experiences will be the same as mine. Tom is also a very bright and intelligent child, who asks lots of questions that we always try to answer honestly. If it is too complex, we’ll tell him so and promise to explain it to him later.

Sam has grown into an inquisitive and precocious child : not yet 2 years old, he emulates the things his brother does as much as possible. Already he no longer wants a bottle; he drinks from a proper (plastic) cup, just like his brother. He dearly, DEARLY loves soup – any soup you give him he will eat. Foodwise he likes to eat his favourite things (chocolate !!) and has a very distinct and round tummy. If he likes what he eats, he gobbles it up, often filling his mouth to capacity instead of taking bites. It isn’t surprising that he weighs more than Tom did at his age !

Because he has a brother, he learns things much faster than Tom did.

Tom is his idol, he adores him and follows him around. We noticed this recently when he went crazy after not seeing Tom for a few days. He can also be a real pest to him, taking his favorite toy and running off with it; Tom usually stands there crying; lately he’s going on active chase behind him (we encourage him to come up for his own rights). We try too intervene not too much, although I have a really hard time seeing them push and pull like that (no blows allowed upon dire punishment by dad or mom).

Sam still wakes up from time to time at night, which is taxing, but at least it is less and less. He is very sensitive to respiratory infection though, during the winter we sat him at the inhalator every evening. Even now he sometimes wakes up coughing…

While Tom is very cautious and will ask us for permission before exploring, Sam loves to explore, to the point where we need to keep an eye on him – he doesn’t care if we are following or not, he’s off to explore as much as he can. He’s also less affected by pain; he falls and gets up without crying most of the time. I hope that Tom and Sam will cross-pollinate : that Tom will learn to explore without fear and that Sam will learn cautioness.

It’s been a wonderful experience so far for both Dolores and me. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that is us that have gotten these 2 delightful children and the privilege to educate them in the way of living…