Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Person, Big Personality

My friend Ebony is currently expecting her second baby. In order to make her son, Toure, feel more included in her pregnancy, I got her "The Sibling Book" (a baby book for siblings) for her and Toure to fill out together over the next 17 months or so. Out of interest I flipped through it and stopped at a page that compared the older sibling to the younger one. This made start thinking about my two girls, and how much they already differ from each other in terms of personality, temperament, likes, and dislikes. It is amazing, how such a small person, who should be utterly occupied by eating, sleeping, pooping, and trying to adjust to the world outside in general, can already display such detailed character and even communicate that to us parents.

The most striking differences between the girls in the first months: Lily was 100% a Daddy's girl. She wanted to be with him as often as possible and was only looking for me when she wanted food (after realizing that Daddy wouldn't give her any, no matter what). Violet, in contrast, is a lot more comfortable with me, even though she also enjoys her Daddy mattress. Lily was very active from the very beginning (her pediatrician was surprised that her motor skills at 2 months equaled those of a 4-months old baby), while Violet takes it easier (who would have thought after how she beat me up during pregnancy). Violet is a very social person, who hates being by herself and loves being held, while Lily didn't mind at all spending time by herself in the swing (as long as it was on her terms; if I needed to attend a lecture, she most definitely had to be there too!). Violet does not sleep well unless being swaddled, and also likes the comfort her pacy provides. Lily in contrast would not even stay bundled up in the hospital and wiggle out of her blankets only a few minutes after the nurses had wrapped her up to a perfect baby burrito; she also didn't care for a pacifier except for a few weeks when she was several months old and teething. Lily was also a very outgoing and outspoken baby (as "outspoken" as babies can be), whereas Violet seems to be a lot more quiet and relaxed, rather spending her time on my or Richard's arm looking around rather than on her play blanket trying to crawl and getting frustrated with herself.

We already notice that, even though they are sisters, Lily and Violet have very different personalities. It will be an interesting challenge for Richard and me adjusting our parenting style to the girls' individual personality. We can't wait to see how they will develop and are looking forward to every new aspect of their personality we discover. Who would have thought that Lily, who doesn't even look at dolls for the most part, would be such a dedicated big sister? Well, having spent time with her before and during my pregnancy I realized how much she wanted a little sibling and how excited she was once she found out that she would indeed get "her very own baby". Seeing my girls together is heartwarming each time, and even though they are very different personalities, we will support them in any way possible to become the best people they can be in their own way.

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