The magic of sisters – Disney “Little Character” contest

standard June 11, 2012 1 response
Thank you to Disney Baby for sponsoring this little trip down tender magical memory lane 

She was infatuated with the baby long before the baby came out. She came with me to a few prenatal appointments and listened with captivated attention to the sounds amplified by the Doppler the doctor held against my distended abdomen.

Thumpa-thumpa. That’s what C called Little L while she was still in my belly. We had asked her what she wanted us to call her little sister, and, little pragmatist that she is, she insisted on calling her by the sounds she heard during all the doctor’s visits.

Thumpa-thumpa. The sound of a healthy beating heart.

The moment Little L was born, there was no doubt in C’s mind. This was her baby. A fact that she shared with every living soul who came within a 5 foot radius of the stroller. Many strangers around town, at the grocery store, at preschool, were invited to witness this miracle that was her baby.

Love and pride shone from her face and her eyes and never has there been a more attentive and kind big sister. If Little L cried for any reason at all, C would rush to her rescue, assuring the world that she “had it,” before starting to sing an enthused rendition of ‘Twinkle twinkle little star.’ The best part was that it never failed to work. Little L’s cries would die on her lips as she gazed at her big sister with rapt attention and an equally adoring gaze.

Having a first baby was an unbelievable, life changing event. Having a second was even more momentous if that’s even possible. Gifting my first born with a sister was pure magic. Magic that continues to shine 5 years later… even though Twinkle Twinkle no longer has quite the same impact it had back then.

Do you have a “Little Character?” Enter to win some amazing prizes in the Disney Baby “Little Characters” contest. Hurry though! First round of the contest ends on June 18th!

A lesson in maturity

standard March 25, 2011 Leave a response

My 3-year-old is a bundle of needs with some flashes of personality.
My 5-year-old is a bundle of personality with some flashes of needs.

The realization about the radical difference between the two girls came to me yesterday as we were driving home and Little L was freaking out because I told her she couldn’t have noodles for dinner. She screamed about that all the way home and all the way until we handed her her dinner.

I had to send her to her room three times to cool off before she finally consented to eat her meal.

After dinner she threw a tantrum about the shower she needed to take, and once she was clean she threw another about the choice of pajamas she was given.

And when I tried to put her to bed without reading a book… well, all hell broke lose yet again.

She sobbed into my arms after I brushed her teeth and I finally was able to ask her if she’d napped earlier.

She hadn’t. No nap. Which explained her two hour streak of tantrums.

When Little L melts down it’s always because she’s tired or hungry. Her emotions are still very much tied to her physical needs.

C on the other hand was perfectly chipper all evening. Cheerful, amiable, helpful.The antithesis to the child she was last week during her school’s big play performance period. This week she’s hanging out at daycare, playing with the babies, being babied herself.

When C happens to melt down it’s more likely because she’s had a bad day and is feeling sad or hurt.

The difference between the two was glaring today. We assume they’re almost the same child because they look so much alike and play so well together. Their interests are the same, their pastimes perfectly compatible. And usually their needs are incredibly similar.

And then we have days when the differences are glaringly apparent.

At times I wonder if it’s a difference in personalities. Then I remember that Little L is just 3 and a half while C is almost 6.

What I witness boils down to a difference in maturity. Pure and simple.

Unfairness between sisters

standard February 11, 2011 3 responses

When Little L was little C bent over backwards to make sure that her baby sister had everything she had. Cookies were split evenly. Toys were shared with no hesitation. And the only time C got upset was when Little didn’t get what she had also received.

Fast forward two years and the tables have turned. Now Little L makes sure C gets the same things she gets. She asks the cashier at Trader Joes for extra stickers and an extra lollipop for her sister. She tells C whenever I’m about to do something fun to make sure she comes. And she includes her in all the conversations she can, even when C is moping.

Sadly, instead of being grateful for her sister’s attention, C seems to resent it. Instead of being sad that her little sister doesn’t get to go to the same school as her, doesn’t get to be part of Spanish club, doesn’t get to have 1-on-1 French classes, doesn’t get to go to gymnastics, C seems bitter that Little L gets to go to daycare all day. Deep down I think she knows she has it better, but not knowing what her sister is getting while she’s not there to tally and take notes eats at her.

I watch her tally and count. I watch the envy grow in her eyes. I see it eat at her.

Tonight Little L came home with a box of Valentine’s exchanged at preschool today and it threw C into a rage. Forget that I had bought her a brand new leotard. Never mind that Little L had brought her a lollipop and stickers from Trader Joes. Nothing cheered her up. Her sister had a box with six, maybe seven cards and she just couldn’t get past it. It was unfair. She was oblivious to the fact that Little L’s excitement lay in going through the box with her so they could discover the goodies together and not in the goodies themselves.

At times when she has these tantrums all I can see is how ungrateful she’s being. I want to shake her and make her see how much she has. But I see her eyes and the anguish buried in there and at the same time I want to smother her in love.

Seven little cards covered in hearts and 3-year-old scribbles don’t make her less loved. That one heart lollipop in the box doesn’t make her less important than her sister. But she doesn’t see that. She only sees that she doesn’t have a box of her own. That she wasn’t a part of the fun.

As calmly as I can, I remind her once again, that to be truly happy in life you have to tally all the great things you have in your life instead of constantly counting what others have that you don’t. And then I walk away and hope that it sinks in. I don’t point out that she’s cheating herself out of a fun evening. I don’t let her sour our mood. I go to the kitchen and take her place at Little L’s side as she tears through her friend’s cards, and when she finally emerges I step away and let her take over, knowing full well that while this battle might be over, the war on jealousy has just begun.

The wonderful terrible twos

standard October 6, 2009 2 responses

When C was Little L’s age, 2 1/4, I was in the hospital having Little L. What followed was a long blurry year (heck, a long blurry 18 months), where I didn’t sleep, worked full time, dealt with two kids with asthma, and barely made it through every day. It’s hardly surprising that I barely remember anything that went on during that time.

And really, it’s a shame, because not only did I miss my baby’s first year (Seriously, I see pictures of her and I wonder who the cute baby belongs to.), but I also missed C’s twos. Poof! No memories. One minute she’s a cute 2-year-old toddler with a lisp, next minute she’s an articulate three-year-old, telling the world that three-year-olds don’t wear diapers.

Now that Little L is entering this interesting age I’m all eyes and ears. I’m making up for lost time, taking it all in, trying to imagine C going through the same growth. Loving seeing Little L go through it. It’s a fascinating age.

She switches between being the most delightful, funny, little girl to the most unbelievably difficult, pig headed, little monster in split second increments. One second we want to smother her in kisses and the next we’re looking to sell her to passing gypsies.

Her vocabulary is exploding, as are her language skills. She asks for snacks with sweet, polite, complete sentences. She sits at the dining room table and asks us all how we are or how our day went. She “reads” books to herself and her dolls. And yet, she doesn’t quite understand wait time. So when she wants something, she repeats her request again and again without giving us time to react. By the third iteration (about 30 seconds after the first) she’s already escalated to wails. She’s also incapable of articulating why she’s upset in the evening as she cries in her crib. Oh, wait. She does articulate it. She says “I cwying.” Very, very helpful.

She’s super cuddly and sweet. She loves to give hugs. She loves to touch us, pet us, pat us, cuddle us, and just generally be with us at all times. And yet she loves to explore the world around her. Even if that means that she’s got to run down every aisle at Costco or Target, laughing hysterically as I try to catch her.

She has to do everything that C does – color, glue, help in the kitchen, sing, dance, run around the house at breakneck speeds pushing rattling doll strollers. It drives C nuts, but the instant Little L goes off to do her own thing, C follows her to see what she’s doing.

Even as I’m tearing out my hair and running after her I can’t stop marveling at the little person that she’s becoming. I’m grateful that I get to appreciate this wonderful and terrible age this time around. Even though I’m increasingly sad that I don’t remember C going through it.