Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

W: Over the past six weeks, both Dana and I have been asked if we can tell the difference between O and F's personalities. The short answer is yes. Picking out personality traits of an infant is difficult, but we have two, so every little difference between them is amplified against those of the other. They are each other's sounding boards.

So what are the differences?

The answer to that question is a bit more involved and, as is my way, long winded. You see, it all starts back in the womb, and the differences relate to Calvin and Hobbes (the philosophers, not the comic characters).

In the womb, O was always in the fortunate position of "Baby A," i.e., the baby that is closest to mom's cervix, and hence, the twin destined to breathe the air of this planet Earth first. O did not earn this position through his own merit, the fertilized egg currently known as O just happened to land a few centimeters south of where F, aka "Baby B," landed on the vast beach known as the uterine wall.

But over the course of D's pregnancy, a funny thing happened: F started closing in on the "Baby A" position. In fact, towards the end of the pregnancy, the doctors said it was a close race, and they were not sure who was going to "win." In the end, we all know what happened - Ol maintained his lead over the stubborn and well-fought battle waged by F.

And while we're reticent to label the twins in any way for fear that the label will "stick," the in utero race shines through their personalities today.

O is laid back - he's a comfortable eater who lets things come to him. He's strong and likes doing some things on his own, but his actions come with a certain laissez faire attitude that bespeaks a certain confidence that, no matter what happens, he knows he's going to finish first.

Finn, on the other hand, is competitive to the core. He's a stubborn eater who likes to do everything on his own rather than have others do things for him. He's everything you'd expect of a twin who was born in second place but came so very close to closing a gap that is so very rarely closed.

John Calvin? Thomas Hobbes? Caveat: This is an overly simplified generalization, but then again, I excel at overly simplified generalizations, so let's keep this going.

O represents John Calvin's theory of predestination, which goes something like this: God has already selected the blessed chosen few souls, after all there are only so many that may be chosen, and if you are blessed enough to be chosen, you will be rewarded on Earth. So if you find yourself as a #1 (Baby A?), your soul must be blessed. O, was #1 by virtue of his placement in the womb, and therefore he has been chosen. No wonder he's so confident.

F on the other hand, channels Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, in an uncivilized world (and we can all agree that infants aren't civilized/socialized), life is a constant struggle, and to compete, humans must aggressively assert themselves to get what they need to survive. Hobbes uses this view of man to argue for his social contract theory, which leads to government which leads to peace and prosperity. But that comes later for F. Right now, his view is one of uncivilized Babyland self-determinism marked by a distinct competitive streak.

OK, OK. I'll stop. Am I looking into this too deeply? Perhaps, but when I'm up taking care of these little guys in the middle of the night, these are the things we talk about...

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 12:41 PM

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My head hurts. I should have tried reading this after my first cup of coffee.

Jason K.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Thursday, March 08, 2007 6:56:00 AM # what I am hearing, is that Finn is going to be a lawyer?!?

I hope to get to meet the Deuce soon! Thanks for sharing the experience...


Posted by Blogger Sara @ Tuesday, March 13, 2007 5:56:00 PM #
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