Recently, we’ve started affectionately calling Clementine, my (almost) adopted daughter, “Charlie Junior,” after her 3-year-old brother. Clementine is 10 months old and has recently started feeding herself and the faces she makes and her style of eating is remarkably similar to her brother.
Charlie, together with his brother and sister, live with another foster family. Several months ago, Clementine’s case worker asked me to please take the two brothers so that their foster mother could go on vacation. I couldn’t imagine Charlie and his 4-year-old brother being dumped at a stranger’s house, so I agreed.
It was mayhem. Two babies (Clementine was 5-months and Sandy was 9-months-old), two toddlers, a small Brooklyn two-bedroom with me and my roommate. We made do. Clementine slept in the pack-n-play, Sandy and Charlie each got a crib and I pulled a toddler bed up from the basement. My goals were basic: Keep everyone alive, uninjured, well-fed and occasionally bathed (Kidding. Sort of). And to take lots of good family portraits for the siblings to have for years to come. A good friend had time off work and she took the boys out to museums and the beach almost every day.
Since that time last August, I’ve watched Clementine grown into a carbon copy of Charlie. Here are six specific ways:
1. The pout. The first time Clementine did it, I shouted to my babysitter “Look, it’s Charlie Junior!” and then we both gasped. She puckers her tiny lips and looks down at the floor.
2. The shade. This is when Clementine and Charlie cut or divert their eyes away to avoid you. “WHAT?! Did she just give me shade!?” my friends ask and laugh in surprise. Oh, yes she did.
3. The mouth stuffing. They both overstuff their mouths with food and then just sit there. Clementine’s so bad at doing this with her last bite of food that it takes a whole lot of persuasion to get her to swallow it or open her mouth for me to remove it.
4. Their features. Clementine and Charlie’s heads are shaped exactly the same, they both have one little curl at the top of their very straight hair. They have the same unique eyes, same traffic-stopping eyelashes.
5. The Matthew McConaughey-esque nature. Both kids are exceptionally easy going and happy. There’s no bursting their bubble because they’ll just make another one with their mouth! Naps, food, baths, changing clothes–the whole time they’re alright, alright, alright indeed.
6. The eye rub. They rub their eyes exactly the same way when they’re tired. Ugh, this one gets me straight in the heart for some reason. The way they circle their little eyes with their hands and arms–identical!
Also from Rebecca this month: