I have 2 boys. They are 2 and a half years apart. The second does everything the first does. It has gotten to the point where you almost want to say to him "Do you have an original thought in your head?". But that's not exactly accurate. Under the little mimic boy is a lovely boy who is original, funny and creative all in his own right, he just happens to be born second. He adores and idolizes his older brother. He wants to play what his brother is playing. He wants to say what his brother is saying. He wants to be bigger like his brother is too. This is both encouraged and scorned by said older brother. Most of the time the older one loves this. He will pick out matching clothes for them. He will set up the games and toys that they are to play. He will also ask me, "Why does my brother love me so much?", somewhat exasperate
I would love to see more of my second son's own personality shine through. He's a loving little guy and it's a give and take race of figuring out how to do what he wants while also emulating his brother. Sometimes, he tries to take initiative. They will be playing and the younger will have an idea to continue in their game of pretend; however, if the older one doesn't like the idea, he'll trump it and usually the little one will go along with the bigger one's direction. That's not to say the little one is a wimp about things, he will stand up for himself most definitely, it's just that right now, big brother is the one he wants to be most like and what he says goes. Is this just part of life for a 2nd child?
What I don't understand about all of this is why my youngest will emulate his brother on everything but the really key things we'd want him to do. He will not copy cat his brother when it comes to expanding his eating repertoire (remember my oldest is a very good eater, my 2nd is Mr. Picky). Even when his brother tells him how yummy something is,this is the moment my youngest boy declares that he is in fact an independent being. Same with using the toilet. My older boy will encourage his brother to be a big boy, wear underwear and use the potty or toilet. The younger one is really anti this at the moment, telling us all that he is perfectly happy to wear diapers.
I guess it is all about finding our identity somehow. I know that underneath the copy-cat is a personality all his own (and quite a lovely one too). I get to see it more when his brother is at school, or, we are having time just the two of us. We all struggle to see where we fit and for my second, he fits himself in with his brother. That really isn't a terrible thing.