The biggest news in our house this month was, of course, the birth of Sam's little brother Alan. She is adjusting. We are all adjusting.
My relationship with Sam has changed. At times I view her as a baby (she is, of course) while at other times, I get frustrated with her and wish she were older, less needy and possibly understood more. It is hard to have two babies--two sets of diapers, two sets of competing, but equally demanding needs.
Even still, when I find myself in these moments of frustration, I have to remind myself that this is only once in a lifetime. She will only be 19 months once and quite frankly, I wish I could preserve her at this age forever sometimes. She is difficult and demanding at times, but so loveable and sweet, I just want to squeeze her all the time. When she says "Mommy," I just want to hold her this way forever. But I can't.
She wants to do what all the big kids/grown ups do. My little 9-year-old cousin was visiting from Los Angeles last weekend and Sam was crazy about her, following her everywhere, mimicking her every move, so excited to be a big girl. She has asked to use the potty a few times this week and, although nothing came out, her interest is certainly piqued. She only wants to play on the big kids playground--no toddler stuff for this kid. She is a little monkey and wants to climb, climb climb.
Her high chair is a favorite and yesterday we found her standing atop it, clapping her hands. These toddler days are harrowing, indeed. But they are also so much fun. She loves everything and everyone.
Yesterday in Whole Foods, she was screaming as loud as she could, which necessitated a trip to the car for me and her (R and Alan stayed and paid). Outside, she was all smiles, waving to everyone, saying "Hi" to all who passed. Deceptively charming, my child is.
Most of all, she loves her brother. When I go and get her in the morning, the first thing she says is "Alan" (which sounds more like Aaani) or "Baby." When she spots him, she runs to him, grabs him and screams "Hi Baby! Hi Baby! Hi Baby!" She is so excited, it is hard to try to stop her even though she is often too rough.
She does not always love him, of course. Last night we tried to do tummy time with him and she was not having it. Those were her mats! Those were her toys from when she was a baby! That was her gymini! Needless to say, Alan may not learn to crawl until he is 32. He is going to have his work cut out for him growing up with a boss-girl lording over him.
As R says, he is Alan--mellow, shy (we'll see. No child of mine will be shy), boob loving. Sam is me--demanding, loud, boisterous, extraverted, dramatic. I can already see what adolescence will be like. I sense many power struggles in our future. This month she has taken to biting and screaming, both very frustrating, embarrassing habits.
On the other side of things, she has also become a little parrot. We have lost count of how many words she can say. She constantly chatters, repeating everything we say. This morning, I asked her to get my iphone and she knew the difference between it and the other. A little Mac junkie like her mama. Sigh. I adore my little girl and am often just in awe of what a little person she is.
This month, some of the major differences between R and I have been highlighted. I am sure as she grows, I will have a longer post on this, but suffice it to say that the way he grew up and the way I grew up were very different. My parents were very free range. I wore what I wanted, dressed how I wanted, did what I wanted. I called all adults by their first names and pretty much did what I wanted. I used to criticize my parents, but actually, I think it is what made me the independent, authority questioning person I am today. I also think it is why I am still extremely close with my parents. They trusted me so I trust them. Yes, I hate them sometimes (don't all liberals?) It is my default parenting style. R, on the other hand, while not weighed down by discipline and structure, certainly had a much more conservative, traditional upbringing. He expects rules and order and discipline while I expect a little more freedom and independence. I can see these different approaches becoming more apparent as she and Alan grow.
Some photos of my little acrobat/daredevil/monkey child: