It shouldn't be that surprising, but for some reason it is, to me.
I feel as though I need to document all the differences I can think of so I don't forget them - especially for this stage:
- has always been a Mama's boy - right from day 1.
He's always preferred to be held by me, was comforted best by me - whether that was due largely to being a first born, me being paranoid and so often keeping him close with me I don't know. Perhaps, but I think also it's just how he is/was.
- is reserved around people he doesn't know
I'm not sure if he's an introvert or not, probably more like me in that he's happy go-lucky around people he knows, but put him in a big group or unknown environment he's very shy and intimidated and almost goes into shut-down mode. We continue to expose him to these situations and support him and help him work through this and I think he'll figure out his own way to deal with large groups of strangers, but for now I'm hoping this will translate in him not running off with someone he doesn't know!
- is physically affectionate
He is a cuddler. Always has been. And always has been comforted by physical touch - whether it was us rocking him to sleep or giving a hug and kiss, he would usually stop crying immediately when we would pick him up out of his crib. I didn't have the experience of a baby pushing me away, it was usually peeling him OFF of me. :)
- is slow to adapt to change
Noah needs new things or change in general transitioned gradually. Even from the time he was a few months old, he would get overwhelmed by new places, people and things. Now we know that we need to talk about things beforehand and try and prep him as best as we can. As well, once we HAVE introduced a new situation, that we should come back and expose him to that again because it's likely he will enjoy it much more the second, third, fourth time around (swimming pools, the zoo/animals, etc.) This also relates with his extreme "making strange" stage he went through around 5 or 6 months I believe.
- is extremely tactile and attuned with his senses
Noah has always been turned off by food that looks or feel "weird" (for instance his dislike of all pasta. Has NEVER liked pasta). He warmed up to sand and grass as an infant, but it took a long time. He is constantly asking "What's that noise?" as he picks up on even the smallest of sounds.
- is a people lover
Jude just loves people. He will smile at people even if they aren't looking in his direction (which makes me want to tell them to look at him, because his smile is just so darn cute!). He has never made strange as of yet and although he has come to prefer me if I'm in the room, that is more of a recent development. I'm pretty sure he is an extrovert already and just loves the attention he receives from whoever will give it to him!
- not a cuddler
Jude isn't a cuddler. He likes being with me, but I think he gets more excited about "quality time" than "physical touch" (if you want to break it down into love languages). When he was younger and was crying and I picked him up, he'd continue crying until he was either fed or the gas he was feeling was released (usually the 2 reasons he would cry). It wasn't until recently that my presence sometimes calmed his crying down. He often pushes off of me and I'm not sure if it's a playful push or just him being unsure of what he wants. It's also so clear that he wants/needs his personal space a lot. Especially when Noah tries to hold his hands. He'll often flip out, wave his hands around and whine a lot (which drives me bonkers!). This will be interesting to see how these two brothers handle each other's needs and comfort levels as they grow older!
- adapts well to change and embraces it
Jude has been really good about adjusting to new people and places and this has made going out a lot easier than it ever was with Noah at this stage. It's also been easy to leave him with people to babysit while I'm out with Jamie or whatnot. I think he enjoys the change in scenery and had a feeling of this early on as he'd calm down when we were on walks outside or at someone else's house.
They are both so different and yet I just love them each so much! I'm so thankful for their differences and love seeing how uniquely they have been created. I can't wait to see where God takes them, how He uses them and how I can best help them uncover their potential!