Thursday, April 03, 2008

Big, But Not SOOO Big

Bella: Mom! What's that smeyul? (she has a Southern drawl at times)

Me: What smell? I don't smell anything.

Bella (waving unopened chocolate chip granola bar at me): Oh! I guess it must be THIS. We should open it and see!


Bella got an invite from Austin in class. She doesn't particularly like him but I thought I'd check.

Me: Do you play with Austin? Is he your friend?

Bella: No. I don't play with him. Well, sometimes I play with him but I don't like him.

She laughed.

Bella: That doesn't make sense! I said I don't like him but I play with him! (rolls her eyes and chuckles, walking away)


Bella had some fandangled exercise program at school. That involved loads of parents with video cameras there to capture their angel's 2 seconds of fame. After an entertaining rendition of Hokey Pokey, Bella and her class had to sit on the sidelines with their teachers for another 35 minutes. Do you realize how long 35 minutes is to a kid, especially when she can see her parents on the other side of the room?

You are bound to get some blubbering tears. I could only watch it unfold from where I was. All cheerful and proud of her performance, waving gleefully at us, then 20 minutes ticked by and boredom set in as other kids did their exercise show. Then the realization that her mama was over there holding baby sister and her beloved daddy was there too.

Wait a minute! ( it comes)

Her family is over THERE and she was over HERE.

Tears turned to sobs which turned to wails. I know Isabella very well and that she wasn't about to let us leave that building without her. She could care less at that moment about eating lunch with her friends and laying on a napmat pretending not to sleep.

She cried through the group picture. She cried as she put on her backpack. She cried until I got down and hugged her tight. She even cried as she waved goodbye to the friends who were staying for the rest of school. Ava grabbed the rolled up napmat and began dragging it behind her, she of course was ready for her big sis to come home. I held Bella's hand and I could see the total happiness on her tear-stained face that she was leaving with her family.

I have a highly sensitive child. She's been that way her whole life. So she's the crying kid in class. One day she'll grow out of it. Right now she doesn't care because she loves and needs her family more than she loves and needs her friends. And I'm okay with that. One day the friends may be seemingly more important. I'll just soak up all the Bella love I can for now.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Anything She Can Do, I Can Do Better...

Ava is competitive. It is the darnedest thing to watch an 18 month old try to out eat, out drink, out run, out play and even out bathe her sister.

I don't know where it comes from!

A while ago, as I was feeding Ava, Bella came over for a bite and Ava started yelling, "Mo! Mo!" while zooming at me with mouth wide open, trying to shoulder sister out of the way.

If Bella dresses up. Ava dresses up. If Bella's carrying her 10lb baby, Ava stops dragging hers by the foot and hauls it over her shoulder to carry it.

It gets really ridiculous with Daddy. As soon as he walks in the door from a day at the office, both girls run screeching with joy towards him. Then Ava nearly panics trying to leap into his arms before sister, all the while eyeballing her. Then they cling to his legs as he lugs them around like leg weights to go change his clothes.

Don't get me wrong. The monkey-see, monkey-do of my little one also brings some of the sweetest and surprising moments.

Ava has been saying "I la yew" without prompting for nearly a month. She even gives a bonus smooch afterwards. Melts my heart every time!

Because Bella is loving with Ava, for the most part (hey, they are siblings!), Ava will hug her big sister with cute little grunts of affection at random.

Ava also talks. ALOT. The child knows more words than I thought possible for her age. I attribute that to her mimicking Bella. Perhaps she decided to learn early so she can out talk Bella too.

But these two, with their contrasting competitiveness and sister love, are also going to be a force to reckon with in the coming years. There are already secret giggles and sideways glances at their parents as they run gleefully from playroom to bedroom, clutching something under their shirt or in a blanket. A number of times I've sneaked (yes, I sneak) into the playroom just to startle them as they sit in a sea of shredded paper, quietly concentrating on ripping out the coloring book pages or breaking/peeling every crayon they own.

I hope my daughters will continue to grow as friends and confidants. I'm just not sure how to make them both see that there's no need to compete for anything. And that having different color sippy cups can be a good thing.

Enjoying a poncho tea party