Tess was born into a busy family. Her older sister is loud, vivacious, needy and gets a lot of attention simply by being adorably cute. Her parents are busy, busy, busy working and taking care of the family. Her experience of life is so different to Rose, who had both parents’ attention for such a long time.
I never knew it would be like this, that the toddler would be so much more needy than the baby. But she is. Rose is more able to get into trouble and be in a position to hurt herself or others. She’s also going through a stage when she doesn’t want to play by herself very much. Rose can yell a lot louder than Tess can. She does not understand how to wait for anything. She also seems to have a problem understanding that I’m not omnipresent. I can sometimes hear her barking orders at me when I’m in another room (“More!”, “Up!” and “Look!”) All of this is totally normal and appropriate for her age. But I’m only one person and can only do one thing at once. So if both girls are crying at once, Rose usually gets my attention first.
I am really enjoying my two Tess-only days while Rose is at childcare. I get to give her my full attention. I get to cuddle her endlessly and stare into those beautiful wakeful eyes. Sure, I have to squeeze in lot of chores and activities that are too difficult to manage with the two girls, but it’s just so much calmer with one. Tess is just so gorgeous. She’s so calm and beautiful. When she looks at me my heart melts. She loves her parents and her sister so much. I especially love carrying her in the baby sling, snuggled up next to me. Her coos are also adorable and becoming more pronounced. She sometimes sounds like a little cat meowing. They’re gorgeous, contented little sounds. I know that she’s not going to be a baby forever, and I want to savour every day.
And as for Rose on childcare days, she seems to be learning new skills at a phenomenal rate. This morning she constructed a tower with duplo (big lego, for the uninitiated), having previously only put a few blocks together. And this afternoon when we got back from the park she made a little bed for her teddy bear and put blankets over him (saying, “Bed!”) and sung “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” This level of play acting is new. I think she must be watching other children play at the centre, or perhaps it’s that she has more opportunity to explore things herself without mum or dad directing her play? Either way, it’s very interesting. She was also a bit clingier this week on Wednesday and Thursday morning. She cried yesterday morning when I changed her into clothes for school, and Chris said that she clung onto him a bit more than last week when he dropped her off.