Monday, November 17, 2008

One plus One equals... um One?

I have two children. And it's interesting to see how two children who are in some ways so similar are so different.

For example - they look very much alike. Okay, true if you compare the 11 year old girl with long hair to the 8 year old boy with a buzz cut it's a little harder to see the similarities. But compare pictures from the same age - especially when they were babies and had no hair... let's just say I had to make sure I labeled all the baby pictures. I joke that they are my twins separated by three years.

They are also both intelligent, funny, musical and love to read.

But... they are opposites in funny ways.

Band-aids and Boo Boo Cream
When they were little Pippi loved Band-aids. Any minor blemish on her skin needed a Band-aid. But don't put any boo-boo cream on. Just a Band-aid, thank you very much.

Harry on the other hand hated Band-aids. Didn't matter how much blood was pouring out of him - all he wanted was some boo-boo cream and he'd be on his way. Band-aids when applied (because when there is blood coming out as a mother I want a Band-aid there) it would be removed as soon as he got the chance.

(they've both moderated on this one, and will each accept what is necessary, be it bandage or cream or both)

This is one of the funniest. When Pippi was three she didn't like to say the numbers four and five. She would count: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 - sometimes coming back to four and five later.

In fact she resisted saying the number four so much that one time I was reading her a number story book - (a story for each number) - and I made her say the number first. When we got to four she wouldn't say it. She just wanted me to read the story. I kept coaxing and cajoling. "What number is this?" She clamped her mouth shut. "I won't read the story until you say it," I said. "Now, tell me, what number comes after three?".

She looked at me and smiled and said "quatro". Yeah, she won that round. She got the story and she didn't have to say "four". (once she turned four she was okay with the number)

Harry on the other hand - when he started counting - started with four and five. Don't ask me why.

One of the meals I make is a German meal consisting of Sauerbraten (a marinated beef) and Spaetzle (homemade noodles). Pippi would only eat the meat. Harry would only eat the noodles.

A summertime salad we enjoy has both tomatoes and olives in it.
Harry takes the tomatoes - won't touch an olive
Pippi is the other way around.

Math/Language Arts
Pippi recently finished an enrichment program in the district for 3rd thru 5th graders where the students are 1 year ahead in math and 2 in language arts. Two days a week they get together with the other students in the program and are taught those subjects - the rest of the week they are with their own class and have "packets" for language arts and math. Harry is in the program now.

For three years getting Pippi to complete her math packet was a struggle. If something was wrong she'd be convinced she couldn't do it and much angst would ensue. The language arts packets went swimmingly - she breezed right through them.

And you guessed it now Harry is doing the same work. Well, the math is always done. But getting him to sit down and complete the language arts (if it wasn't done in school) becomes a challenge involving all kinds of threats and incentives.

As I sometimes tell them, if we were just to combine the two of them we'd have one normal kid. (or at least one who would count all the way to ten in order)

1 comment:

Bill said...

What wonderful grandchildren I have. There must be something in the genes. I have two other grandchildren, one of whom got straight As during the last marking period and made the honor roll. The other is in second grade, but is doing third grade level work and as an added bonus is able to tell you, pretty much instantly, the age of a person if you tell him the year of birth all the way back into the 1700s.