Before I start this post, I just have to document something I overheard Owen say today as he was talking into his play phone: "A new baby is coming. I will have to learn him a lot of things because I'm a BIG BROTHER!" He said that last part quite excitedly. It makes me excited to see the kind of big brother he will be. On that note, both of the kids have really been into making little things for the baby. They will cut something or tape something and bring it to me and tell me it's for the baby. They also ask to save things, like toys or crayons or whatever, so the baby will have one. I'm glad they are thinking outside of themselves and their little "twin club" before the baby even gets here...it certainly gives me hope that once there is an actual baby, they will be all the more into it!
Now, onto my original reason for this post...
As a mom of identical twins, who are not only very similar in looks, but also in personality, it's hard to always remember (or recognize) the subtle differences in the things they do. For example, who is the more artistic one? Well, this is a hard question because they both love it. And if one goes to the art table, or draws something particular on a kids menu, the other copies. So it's hard to always remember if the same kid is the one initiating the art, or the soccer game, or the whatever. And a lot of the time it's just me trying to remember who did what. But because we are staying with my parents in Austin until we find a new home (and there are more people around the kids on a daily basis) my mom has been helpful in picking up on some of these subtle differences. Here are some things we have noticed:
Owen is very competitive, just like his mommy and daddy!. He likes to play games and make up the rules to tip it in his favor. He won't cheat, but he will middle-rule. It's usually him who determines the path for the race, and if Mason is winning, he will tell everyone that the right path was whichever way he went. We also hear him saying things like "the one wearing red gets to...(go first, be the leader, etc). One day he needed a little Aquaphor on his cheek. I put some on and off he went to play. A few minutes later I heard him tell Mason "the one with the Aquaphor gets to..." Mason doesn't seem to mind (most of the time) but he will certainly take the lead or press to go first when he feels like it. Owen isn't a fan of this all the time, but I do hear him tell Mason "sure!" when Mason makes a point to ask if he can be first or be the leader. Don't get me wrong, not all the time does Mason ask, and not all the time does Owen respond with "sure!" when he does ask. There are a lot of squabbles over who washes their hands first or who is in front when driving their little cars around (and around and around) the sectional at my parents house! Another place we notice Owen's competitive spirit is when playing games. One of their favorite card games is Go Fish. Mason likes to take a more laid back approach and if he happens to win, yay! But Owen listens very carefully to each person as they ask someone for a card. He remembers until it's his turn and then gets his match. And if he doesn't win, he asks to play again so he can try harder. The good news is that 99% of the time he is a good sport when he doesn't win. We tell everyone "good game" and give high-fives at the end. And we constantly remind everyone that "it's just a game!"
Owen also likes to do what Mason does. How this works out with the above "competitive" nature mentioned above (you know, making up the rules to fit his plan), I'm not sure. But if Mason got to carry his book from the bookshelf to the couch, by golly Owen wants to carry his book from the same exact spot. Or if Mason gets to the table for supper before Owen, Owen will get upset because he wanted Mason to wait for him. Same with getting dressed for bed...if Mason is a little ahead of Owen in the process, Owen wants him to slow down and wait. (ah ha, it's the competitive spirit coming in to play). A lot of the time it goes unnoticed by Owen or isn't a big deal for Owen to retrace his steps and start where Mason did, but sometimes it really gets Owen upset! And when that happens, Mommy and Daddy have to put their foot down. No, we do not let him throw a fit and get his way!
Mason has been very full of thought lately. He has been asking some interesting and tough questions for a 4 year old. Most recently, he asked us how the steering wheel makes the tires turn. It was me and my mom in the car and we were both like...uhhhh? "Ask Daddy!" I could have told him something, but surely it would have partly been made up. Another thing he said the other day was quite interesting. I'm not sure what you call it when you take two separate thoughts and draw a conclusion between them (synthesis, I guess?), but that's what he did. We headed out to the boat and Granddaddy was hosing some bird poo off the seats and floor before we all climbed in. Mason watched for a while and then said "but I thought when you put water inside of a boat it will sink." WOW! Good thinking, Mason!
Another thing we have noticed about Mason lately is his artistic ability, mainly his drawing. Both kids LOVE their art table and are constantly glueing, cutting, drawing maps, sticking stickers everywhere, etc. But we have really noticed Mason's ability to think of something he wants to draw (mainly animals) and put a head, a body, some legs, ears, a face, and some details like spots or something, on paper. This reminds me so much of what Aaron must have been like as a kid. He always had an early ability to draw really well. Both of us are "creative" people, and I see this streak in both of my kids. But I was never so talented in the drawing department. I'm quite interested in how this plays out for Mason.