Recently I was helping my son, P, wash his hair during his bath. After the water sluiced away all of the shampoo bubbles, he looked at me and said, "C and I are the same. E is different, but C and I are on the same path."
I was very surprised. He spends a lot of time playing with E, who is not only just two years younger than he is but also extremely bright. C is a toddler, and although he's a little more interested in her than when she was a baby, he mostly seems to ignore her.
"Really?" I asked. "How do you mean?"
"We both had weird fears," P replied. "And I pretended to be other things when I was her age, just like she does. We're the same."
Those things are true. C is afraid of ladybugs (the cutest and most benign insect in North America), and when P was a toddler he was afraid of Benjamin Franklin*. Also, when P was a toddler he would spend days or even over a week pretending to be someone else, and he absolutely wouldn't break character. One time he refused to respond to his name and would only respond when called "a pig with big teeth" (like the boar in his Richard Scarry books). Later on he went through a phase where he was hardcore about being called Tom Silva. Yes, one of the hosts of the TV show Ask This Old House. P adored that show and absolutely loved Tom. By way of comparison, today C spent the entire day pretending to be our cat. She would only respond when I called her by the cat's name, she communicated mostly in meows, and she would frequently come up to me for a head rub or a scratch behind her ears. I even saw her running her fingernails up and down the cats' scratching post.
"C and I are going to be the same," he repeated, "and E will be different."
"Maybe you're right," I replied.
Honestly, I hadn't seen many similarities between my youngest and oldest children, but my son is sometimes more perceptive than I am. Maybe the two of them will be more similar than I thought.
* I am absolutely not making this up.