About a week ago, I brought home some poster board.  You wouldn’t think this was such a significant event — C.(13) had to put together a quick project on an invertebrate and had asked if I could pick up some poster board sometime when I was out, and I had simply obliged.

But when L.(5) saw the poster board I had brought home for his brother, he was instantly jealous. I attribute his jealousy to two primary underlying facts:

  1. L. is a big fan of paper in general (you would know this if you ever visited our home and saw the piles and piles of paper stashed in various places), and in his mind — the bigger the paper, the better. Just imagine what could be done with a piece of paper that’s almost as big as you!
  2. L. firmly believes that he should be allowed and perfectly able to do absolutely anything his 13-year-old brother does. Age, maturity and stature mean nothing — they are brothers and should be treated exactly the same. Therefore: if C. has poster board, L. should have poster board.

It will not surprise you to know that L immediately asked if I could get him some poster board the next time I was out — and also, if I could make that next time happen very soon.

While my next outing (at least, my next outing that took me to a store that sold poster board) did not happen quickly enough for L.’s liking, it did eventually happen. On Sunday, I came home from the store with a gigantic piece of paper, just for L. Coincidentally, Sunday was the day C. chose to do his project, using the previously-obtained poster board of his own.

I should have been able to predict what happened next.

C. worked diligently — gathering, cutting, and pasting pictures and facts relating to the invertebrate assigned to him (it was a black widow spider, and since I am most definitely not a fan of spiders, this poster cannot head off to school fast enough, in my opinion). And unbeknownst to me, L. began to work on his own “animal poster.” He decided to dedicate his project to Ants. By the end of the afternoon, we had two creepy crawly type posters in our home.


Due to the fact that L. used a pencil to write out his “ant facts,” you most likely can’t read them. Allow me to help.

L. drew several different types of ants and made notes about them all. He has:

  • “This ant blends in with colors.” (that would be the one you can’t see on the black construction paper)
  • “This ant looks sad because its blue.” (blue ant on red paper)
  • “This ant is big.” (ant at the bottom with 30 legs)
  • …and a few things that I did not understand, despite L.’s best attempts to explain them to me. I think it’s because he was making up words.

If you can make out the pictures, you’ll see that the “ants” L. drew on his poster have many, many legs — far more legs than the scary black widow spiders on C.’s poster. Let me assure you, if I found any ants in our home that size and with that many legs, I would a) call the exterminator, and b) move out.

I learned a few things from the poster board projects:

  1. Do not use outdoor porta-potties if you can at all avoid them. Aside from their inherent disgustingness, black widows apparently enjoy hanging out in them. Don’t ask me why. Just stay away.
  2. L. really, really loves his big brother, and wants to be as much like him as he possibly can be.

This is just one example of the cute little copycat who lives in our house. L. looks up to his brother in many ways — always watching, often imitating, deeply loving. And I have the privilege of being the mom who gets to soak it all in.


  1. This is the cutest thing ever. My kids are 4 and 18 months, and we have the exact same “issue” here. Usually it’s about who can lay on momma’s very high bed and watch tv or ride bikes on the front sidewalk, but I’m pretty sure it will be a running thing as they get older.

  2. This is great. Lately we’ve been enjoying Q’s new boldness in trying some foods he would previously have avoided, and watching C follow in turn. Sibling peer pressure can be a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great descriptions of two personalities. Those boys are true individuals and also much the same.
    I enjoyed this very much.

  4. That is adorable!

  5. What a sweet copycat! He did a great job with his project!!

  6. I have one of those paper-crazy boys here at my house, too. He comes by it honestly as his mama LOVES paper, pens, etc. But this middle child of mine (he’s 6) will spend hours standing at a table working on books. We homeschool, and I rarely make him do handwriting or anything Language Arts-related other than grammar because he just does it on his own. He loves index cards stapled together and loves to make books on X-men, cities and countries his animals have visited, or places he would like to go. I have a special drawer that he collects his stash in as “the making of many books, there is no end!”

  7. So cute! It looks like he labelled the big one at the top “This one is Amish.” :P

  8. That is so funny! After being sent out for last-minute posterboard more times than I like (which would be any time at all, but it happened a couple), I bought a 10-pack the last time, and just knowing it’s there when we need it makes me very very happy.
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  9. That is awesome. Let’s hope when it is L’s time to do science projects like this his enthusiasm will still be their and since he has successfully created one he’ll have the confidence to complete another.

  10. All I have to say is – wow – I am impressed that “L” can spell, write in sentences, and read that well for his young age! :)

  11. Oh, I love it! Especially the “this ant…” part!

    Our kids are widely spaced as well and the 4 year old often demands to to what the 11 and 19 year old are doing. I can totally relate.

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