Friday, November 5, 2010

Pouring Water in a Cup

If I had to give you a list of things my brother and I did that were similar, I could name a few.

1. When we get angry, we bitch and moan about the house being a mess. (e.g., "And on top of everything else, this house is a wreck!")

2. We like to repeat ourselves.

3. We eat spaghetti with a spoon and a fork.

But all of these are learned, aren't they? Table manners, self-expression. Somewhere along the line, we watched our parents, or rubbed off on each other, enough where it became engrained.

My children are too little to determine what kind of family mannerisms they'll come up with. Yet there is one strange similarity that I can already see.

They both like to pour water from cup to cup. For a long time. No, really. I mean it.

Jake would stand at the edge of the baby pool at 18 months pouring water back and forth while the other kids would run, splash, or, yuck, drink the water. Jake was mesmerized by pouring water. To the point where my mother looked it up on the internet. (e.g., What if this is a sign of autism? Pouring water from cup to cup for an hour?) I'd egg him to play with the 500 pool toys that I bought him. Nothing. Pouring back and forth. I was so bored that I was tempted to bring a book. Have you ever watched a child pour water for an hour?

This summer I longed for Elke to be a cup pourer like her brother. But Elke is not that kind of baby. If I could get her to sit still for a picture you'd understand. Other mommies at the pool would joke. "She'll keep you thin!" Yeah, hardy ha.

Until two weeks ago. When Elke started twisting the top to her water cup off, grabbing another cup and pouring the water back and forth. Now, I realize, of course, that this is a developmental phase -- a great one at that, they're learning independence, working on motor skills, etc. I know Elke and Jake aren't the only kids who pour water back and forth. But for me -- it's cool. Both of my kids, at the same point in their lives, are/were fascinated with pouring water back and forth in a stupid cup! Oh the beauty of the cup. She can sit still for 15 minutes and pour that damn water. How do I let her do this in the house, I wonder. Or maybe I just let everything get wet. It's just water, right?

And I was worried about them being half-siblings. Nah. They're related. It says it all in the cups.

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