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


Katrina said...

Oh, bless you! I can totally relate. Even with two kids who are different sexes and four years apart in age, we still get the competition thing. They race to the car, to the house, everywhere, usually ending with both of them declaring themselves the winner and then arguing about it for the next twenty minutes. If one has a cookie, the other one will sense it from across the universe and come running for their own (and then check to see whose is bigger!) Anyway, great post!

T's Pink Gloves said...

Aw how cute! She wants to be just like her sister! Very sweet! Also sweet that Bella does not seem to mind being adored! Poor Daddy though... I have done the leg walk with one can't imagine trying to do it with two!

cori said...

Poor Ava...she thinks she has such big shoes to fill since Bella is such a sweet big sister to her. That probably subconsciously fuels her competitive fire. One day she'll appreciate the things Bella can do better than her and find a way to use it to her advantage and vice versa. :)

That's so wonderful that they're already acting like such friends and confidants. You're in for a joyous time. You really seem to stop and appreciate each moment with your girls and treasure them. Thanks for not pushing them like so many parents do. Thanks for letting them be who they are within the boundaries you've set for them and watching them grow, learn and fail. Ahh the joys, worries and perils of parenthood!

MeesheMama said...

It's the opposite in my world. K always wants to imitate what E does. I can never figure it out.

Jennboree said...

Thank you, Cori! *beaming*

Kandace Groenewegen said...

So fun! I am a weeee bit jealous you have girls. And look at Ava's cute pudgy feet!!

Amanda Sue said...

i love the visual of ava's panicked eyes as she fights for her daddy's attention. and those fat feet are pretty darn cute.

louann said...

I can totally relate too. My 17 month old wants to do hatever his 6 year old brother does! And my Aunt who has 2 girls, said her daughters were exactly the same.
It is cute sometimes. But tiring when the little one wants to swim in the big pool as well, climb the big monkey bars on his own, drink from the "real" glass, run down the slope at his big brother's pace, ride the big bike...I can go on and on.

Jennboree said...

Very true, Louann. It is cute and sweet but after a while, mind-numbing. :)