When I was expecting Rufus so many people would mention how different children are, and I would overlook them as standard pregnancy comments. Rufus is now just over 8 months old, and it is unbelievably obvious how distinct they are from one another. I thought this would be interesting to look back on in a few years time – to see how (and if) their differences continue into their older years.
Moving: Physically Rufus was born strong – he could lift his head up, rolled over at 3 weeks old and has always liked being on his front. He also sat up and starting moving much sooner than Winston did. He is also a nightmare to get dressed because he wriggles, turns over and grabs. We call him ‘the grabber’ and his ability to dive is amazing. Winston hated being on his front and couldn’t lift his head properly for months. He had a much more laid back approach to becoming mobile and would happily sit in the same place for a decent amount of time. Winston never crawled very fast and wasn’t too fussed about walking either.
Food: As soon as Winston discovered food there was no going back. He would eat and eat and still does. So many people have said that they’ve never seen an appetite like it. By 10 months Winston could not give two hoots about milk and has never been a milk drinker since. Winston has a few foods that he cannot bear – they make him quiver all over (and have done since he was 6 months old), particularly cheese and avocado. Rufus is dreadful to feed. He flaps his arms constantly, puts his hands in his mouth and his appetite is extremely variable. He always gets in a far bigger mess than Winston ever did and likes something in his hand to nibble on whilst being fed. He loves milk and he will throw his head back when I’m holding him or follow me around the house when he wants some milk.
Likes: Rufus doesn’t like being strapped in. He hates his car seat, his high chair and his door bouncer. Winston loved his door bouncer, didn’t mind his car seat and loved his high chair because it meant food. Often when Rufus is playing with a toy, to show his enjoyment he will grunt, roar and tense his whole body. From what we can tell, Rufus is left handed, whereas Winston is right handed.
Affection: Winston has never been a cuddly child, much to our dismay. As a baby he hated being rocked to sleep, and stroking him or trying to soothe him seemed to irritate him more. Even now he will say: “Don’t rub my hair Mummy”, “Don’t cuddle me Mummy”, “Take your arm off me Mummy”, “Don’t stroke my face Mummy”. Rufus is a snuggler. He would happily drop off on my shoulder as a baby (and still will now) and he loves having his face and back rubbed when being put to bed. Rufus drags himself around the house following me, he tries to grab my feet to get me to pick him up – something Winston never did.
Sleep: By this age Winston had been sleeping (7pm-7am) for about 6 weeks. Rufus wakes up at about 11pm and usually once more, but he has been a little ill recently so I’m not pushing this one yet!
With others: Up until about 6 months ago Winston didn’t respond when other children took toys from him. He would just watch them run off with it and look confused. Now he is able to say no, and holds on to whatever is in his hand (which to be honest, I’m quite happy about). If you take something from Rufus’ hand it makes him angry and he will scream at you. Winston (and I) have done it a few times and boy, do you know about it. I’ve never had to worry about how Winston is with other children – unless he’s with his cousins (!) He is quite relaxed and cautious, but I have a feeling that Rufus is going to be the whirlwind at playgroup that I need to keep my eyes on.
Two boys, so different.