I’ve heard it a bunch of times: “They each have their own personalities! It’s so amazing – wow!”

Or some variation.

It’s hard for me to bite my tongue, because REALLY? I don’t understand where people’s awe comes from. They’re different people – OBVIOUSLY their personalities are different.

I’m sure a lot of personality traits come from nurture and environment, but just as much – if not more (it has to be more, don’t you think?) – comes from nature. From one’s own brain and guts and DNA map and whatnot. (FYI, even identical multiples don’t have totally identical DNA.)

But in the same respect, I’ve found myself in the pediatrician’s office posing a concern about A/B/C because he/she is doing things different from his/her siblings. It’s happened more than once.

In my defense, I do have to ask because of the evil What If made even more evil by the forecasted possible delays and disabilities when I gave birth 12 weeks early. Thankfully, no one has had any true delays that required attention.

They’re just different.

Eleanor is nimble and agile. She was the first to walk (at 12 months actual age, 10 months corrected age), and she’s been jumping/landing with both feet off the floor since somewhere around 17 months old.

Toby is clumsy but runs superfast, and Callista is careful and just started truly running (rather than walking fast) two weeks ago.

Callista is a mimic. She tries to repeat almost any word we present and succeeds with most. She says, “Good morning!” and “Excuse me,” and while her pronunciation isn’t spot on, she is pretty darn close and is easiest to understand.

Eleanor and Toby have their own (individual) dialect with more words than not. (Note that they can each understand each other perfectly, and the Monkey See Monkey Do effect helps people not fluent in ETC understand them because what one says the next repeats, and one of them can usually get pretty close to Actual American English.)

Eleanor likes to add an S/Z-sound or an ie/y to some of her words. Daddy is “dadas.” Color is “cuz.” Pickle is “picky.” Glasses are “gyassy.” Words like outside, book, night-night, puppy, dog, kitty-cat – those all sound like you’d expect. She’s not delayed. She’s just different.

Toby … I’m not sure how to describe Toby’s dialect other than “Toby.” He calls his blanket (or blankie, whatever) a “beet,” and color (crayon?) sounds more like “cong.” Some of Toby’s words probably sound like nonsense to outsiders, but I know they’re specific and are assigned to actual words he can’t or won’t say properly like he says outside, all done, show, car, go and shoe, for example. He isn’t delayed. He’s just different.

And then there are the shared words that they must have come up with during a group meeting, like how they all used to call a button a “bup.”

As for where Toby excels past his sisters – those girls have nothing on his sweet dance moves or his beat boxing. He has rhythm in his soul, and while I have to own up to Toby’s clumsiness, his rhythm obviously doesn’t come from the same place as balance, so I’ll hand that credit to his musical daddy.

They’re all so close in size, development and interests, but they’re also completely and totally different. I hope everyone in their lives, me included, remembers that.

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6 Responses to Surprise – they’re individuals

  1. Nana says:

    OMG, you couldn’t be more spot on! they are very different and yet very much alike, just a joy to watch! Some of it is environment, and their environment is STRONG and SUPPORTIVE! Kudos!

  2. lis says:

    love all your posts but this one especially. of course they are all individuals. amazing ones at that! love hearing all about the language explosion. such a special time. glad they have parents who know every child develops at their own special pace. so many hugs.

  3. Jennifer says:

    It’s obvious triplets will all be different even though they may be the same.

    They sounds adorable!

  4. ARC says:

    I love that you have your own personal science experiment going on – ie they’re all the same age, but doing totally different things. I just had my second, so the details of what my first was like as a newborn are kind of fuzzy though I’ve already noticed some distinct differences. I think there are a lot of people who assume that all babies are pretty much the same, and don’t get a “personality” until later. (I’m not one of them, but just guessing those are the folks who are easily surprised…)

  5. Therese says:

    I love the idea of them having “group meetings”! :)

  6. jacq says:

    As a training SLP I wanted to chime in that nonsense words attached to objects are called protowords and developmentally right on track. Also the diminutives like glassy, blanky, dipey, cuppy are appropriate for their age :) in my field it was hard for me to constantly not assess my children I really had to tell myself to turn it off. I know it sounds silly but I am continually amazed that my kids are all different personalities. Its an incredible things to see 3 completely ppl chine from the same 2

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