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Same laugh, different meaning

My kids have in their possession an Oscar The Grouch toy from when I was young. It's a trash can that pops open with Oscar inside every time you squeeze a yellow cord. It's probably been recalled and made of low-grade plastic that is letting off toxic chemicals as it ages the 30 years it's been around.

But my son used to love it. When he was little he'd chew on the cord, try to stick his finger in the can and laugh as it gently closed on him.

Not so anymore.

This morning it was sitting in the middle of his bedroom floor--it's been "on vacation" in a bin under his crib for awhile so he's probably forgotten the earlier days. In a search for new playthings for his sister, however, it's made a return.

She loves it. He grabs me by the finger and brings me to it in an effort to have it removed from his sight. When I squeeze the bulb for Oscar to pop up, he screams with laughter and runs away.

I wouldn't quite call it fear. It's a funny reaction, my fearless son, to anything he doesn't like or enjoy. New foods. Silly non sequiturs that he can't make sense out of. Scary strangers. It's rare that his reaction to anything is the typical pure terror, crying frightened toddler that is so stereotypical.

It's more like the things he doesn't like he puts in some strange category of "let's see where this goes." He really will approach almost anything without being timid. Very different from my own childhood attitudes. It has to be from his mother!

Then there's Leda. If things scare her they scare her. If she likes something, it gets a big, delightful grin and laugh. She wears her feelings on her little baby shoulders while Cole reminds me of a quiet, calculating British explorer ready to tackle anything with a sense of adventure.

I frequently tell Kelly I'm not sure who will end up being more evil. I've been saying that I can't wait to see who ends up bossing whom. Right now, it's Cole stealing Leda's toys. It will be interested in a year or so when the odds are more even.

I suspect Leda will learn a more calm, shifty tactic of stealth. Cole outright robs with no remorse. Leda, I fear, will be lighting the house on fire and finding a way to blame her brother. lol