When we found out that Calder would be a boy, both Cathi and I were ecstatic. We had really enjoyed Lincoln's gusto and zeal for life as a boy. We were looking forward to even more of the same. I think that we had hoped, however foolish that it seemed, that he would not be a cookie cutter version of Lincoln. We were optimistic that he would perhaps have curly hair or maybe even be a little chubby. Fortunately, when he first popped into this world, he did not bear any resemblance to the Linkster. Nevertheless, over time he has gradually become Lincoln's mini me.
There are three minute differences in their looks: Calder has a slightly darker complexion, larger eyes and his ears poke out to the side more.
As similar as they might look, their personalities could not be any more different. In fact, I have put a lot of time recently into thinking about how they are so dissimilar. It is difficult to express in words, but I will give it my best attempt.
Lincoln is a fun loving kid that is rarely annoyed by anything. He is very easy going and nearly always has a positive attitude. His favorite thing to do in life is laugh. He started laughing at 6 months old and it seems like he hasn't stopped since.
I remember when Lincoln was about twelve months old, walking down the aisles in our local Walmart and accidentally knocking things off the shelf. He would burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter. He had (and still has) the silliest giggle you have ever heard. People from all over the store would come see who was laughing this cute, roaring giggle. We would receive comments from everyone that it was the most adorable laugh they had ever heard.
I am not sure if there is a day that goes by that Lincoln does not laugh at least once until he is near tears. Sometimes, we have to remind him to slow down and breath, but it is always too late. He has never died due to laughter fits. Somehow, that does sound like a good way to go though.
His laughter is contagious and it reflects his outlook on life. He is genuinely a good kid and his number one goal in life is to have fun in whatever way, shape or form it comes. This can sometimes be a problem though. When he gets in trouble, he will very often find the humor in the situation and begin to chuckle. Cathi and I will sternly tell him that the situation is no way funny and he sometimes needs to take things more seriously.
Calder is an absolute ham. I recall Lincoln being silly as a toddler, but there is no way I ever laughed as often or as hard as I do with Calder. As far as we know, he is not being a flighty nut to gain attention (Although recently he has noticed the attention he is getting and hamming it up to a greater extreme.), he is simply a natural flighty nut.
Calder is prone to giggling fits, but they are more rare and not as jaw-droppingly funny as Lincoln's. He also does not have the same laid back, cool as a crock attitude as Lincoln has. When he does not like something, he will absolutely let you know. In addition, he is dreadfully stubborn. There is no negotiation process with the boy; it's all or nothing for him on every issue.
Calder is not especially prone to sharing with others. In fact, he will search out ways of purposely not sharing. If he has something he knows another kid wants, he will wag it in their face until the tears have filled the sandbox. He is not really a bully, he just likes to prove to others that whatever he is currently holding in his hands is the greatest item on earth. Sharing that item is also non-negotiable. Why should it be? It is the most profound item on the planet.
At times, Lincoln was a challenge in church. He is now very well behaved. Calder, on the other hand, has the two rows in front and the two rows behind us in constant stitches. I think there has been more than one occasion that the bishopric has looked down from their lofty perch to see what the ruckus in rows 8-12 is. Of course, it is just Calder, up to his unibrow in his crazy sacrament meeting antics; kissing babies on their foreheads and then their dads, asking everyone around him for treats, trying to force the old man behind us to eat his cheerio, yelling "TIME TO GO! TIME TO GO!" for everyone to hear while the speaker is still talking with ten minutes to go, and of course his very, very enthusiastic AMEN's - including a full fledged arm raising.
Lastly, Calder is nearly impossible because he LIKES to get in trouble. There is no punishment that is not funny, no discipline plan that does not turn into a joke. "Do you want to go to timeout Calder?!" is always met with a smile and a "Yeah!". Almost every time he gets in trouble, Cathi and I are dying, trying desperately to hold in the laughter. When he does go to timeout, he sings songs the entire time, sometimes very enthusiastically. And no one laughs more at Calder's antics than Lincoln does. Ugh, it is an ongoing, gut-check to keep a straight face with this kid.
Yes, they are twins separated by four years, but two entirely different boys indeed. Strangely, they are both picky eaters, they both can't get enough of anything that has to do with elephants and they both explicitly and unequivocally love each other.