Going through my son’s pockets today before putting his trousers in the washing machine I found three things; a small wooden Father Christmas, an even smaller plastic tyrannosaurus rex and a lip balm. I think this says a lot about him. Aged three he is aware of the importance of Christmas, history and luscious lips.
It is amazing having had three children under very similar circumstances and with the same man how very different they are. Olivia, for example, couldn’t care less about her lips, she is much more interested in perfecting her forehand and beating us all at, well, anything. Bea spends most of her time upside down doing handstands and cartwheels. I guess there is no reason at all they should be similar just because they come from the same gene pool and background but what is it that makes the difference?
Wherever they come from, the differences are there from the beginning. Bea was a breech baby, and has never stopped being the wrong way up. Olivia, even as a small baby, hated going to sleep. We would try the ten-minute rule time after time, my husband spent hours reading poetry to her in the hope that it might send her to sleep. It worked for me, but Olivia would stay awake, wide-eyed and listening. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say she’s tired. As I write it’s almost 10pm. Leonardo is fast asleep, clutching his lip balm. Having carried Bea to bed (upside down) she is dreaming happily about her next gymnastic feat. And I can hear Olivia fiddling about upstairs, probably plotting her next move for world domination.