Baby Boy and Little Girl have completely different personality types.
Little Girl is emotional and expressive. She loves life and lets you know it! (The flip side, of course, is that when she's not happy... she lets you know that too! She can throw a tantrum with the best of them!) She's pure joy to be around (except during those occasional tantrums, of course), and anything you do with her is ten times more fun because she's there. Her smile lights up the room -- and she's almost always wearing one. She finds enjoyment in just about everything.
Baby Boy, on the other hand, is a very solemn little guy. He's very even-tempered -- it's tough to even get a smile out of him, and yet, the bright side is the absence of tantrums. If he's mad, all he does is put his head down in sad silence (while we all say, "Awwwwwwwwwwwww" and are quite inclined to give him whatever it was he wanted -- his method is definitely more effective than Little Girl's tears which get her nowhere!) He's hysterically funny, and yet although he can make everyone else laugh, he remains staid and sober.
It's become a challenge to us to get him to react to something -- a difficult one to meet. Little Girl is the only one that can get him smiling most of the time. The difference is clearest when going to an above-and-beyond the usual routine type of an activity.
Take, for instance, this summer, when we took the kids to an amusement park. Little Girl, both now and when she was Baby Boy's age, has the best time, and is all smiles and joy all day long. We took Baby Boy on his first ride, and waited with much anticipation, and cameras at the ready, for the smile of delight we were certain was to come.
Nope. Nothing. He just sat, expressionless and silent, until the ride came to a stop. Did not appear to be enjoying himself in the least. "Well, maybe he didn't like that ride," we thought. Then we began getting out, and he signs, "More, more."
We walked away from the ride, and he taps us and signs again, "More, more!" We get back on the ride, and again he sits as solemn as can be. Yet again, when the ride is over, he wants more, more, more. He did this all day, on every ride. It was very disappointing picture-wise as he doesn't appear to be having a bit of fun. And yet, he really was.
Well, Baby Boy's favorite thing in the entire world (besides Mommy, Daddy, and Grandpa) is the Wiggles. Or "Giggles" as he calls them. He would watch them morning, noon, and night if he were allowed. The first thing he does when entering someone's home is head straight to the television and say and sign, "Giggles! Giggles!" He knows every song and does all the motions and is absolutely adorable doing so. Still no smiles, of course. (And have I mentioned his camera aversion? We can't get video of him doing any of these songs because the second he sees a camera, he won't do a thing. He runs from still cameras, and freezes for video cameras. He is the hardest little guy to get a decent picture of!)
I can't stress enough how much the child loves the Wiggles. At the family reunion, when we were out by the campfire and it was cold, and smoky, and very late at night, and he wasn't allowed to get down and play because there was a dropoff behind the fire that he could very easily tumble over, he was getting much fussier than he ever gets. My guitar-playing cousin knew just how to solve it. "Fruit salad... yummy yummy..." he began strumming and singing. The fussiness was instantaneously cured. :)
And we were once at a Mexican restaurant, and pictured on the front of the menu were four men in colorful outfits holding guitars. He was convinced they were the Wiggles.
So recently Baby Boy received a special treat. He and Little Girl went to see the Wiggles Live in Concert! Now Little Girl has outgrown the Wiggles -- she was nearly as obsessed with them as Baby Boy when she was 2 but by 4 she had declared that she was too old for them -- but she was taken along anyway, figuring she'd have fun, and he'd be more likely not to be frightened and to have fun too if she were along.
And so they took their seats and waited, and he sat quietly and solemnly as always. And then the Big Red Car came driving out. And his eyes nearly bulged out of his head, his mouth dropped open in utter awe, he just sat there frozen... and then with HUGE SMILES of excitement, he bounced and exclaimed again and again, "GIGGLES!!! GIGGLES!!!"
At last!! Something exciting enough to make Baby Boy react!! Thank you, Wiggles!!!
He sat in rapt attention for twenty minutes, just marveling at the fact that he was right there in the room with the real live Wiggles. I imagine it was a lot like the way I felt the first time I ever visited a Laura Ingalls Wilder home. :) Indescribable.
Little Girl was dancing in the aisle and doing all the motions and with some encouragement, he was at last persuaded to join her.
If only video cameras had been allowed in the arena... the one and only time Baby Boy actually expressed excitement, and no videotaping was permitted. Sigh...
So... does anyone know how to hire a full-time Wiggle?