I always wanted 2 kids. Once I had my first child I knew right away I wanted my sweet, spunky Matilda to have a sibling in her life. I have 2 siblings and I know for a fact that growing up without them would have sucked. They taught me how to argue, were my defenders on the playground and may or may not have gotten me into bars when I was a teenager (ahem). To this day my sister is one of the first calls I make when something happens in my life. I’m lucky to have them in my life.
Ever since the Madman was born Matilda has taken her big sister job very seriously. She’s always been one to sing or dance to entertain him, let me know about his cries or fetch a toy or bottle for him.
But now, at 21 months and just over 5, their relationship is really blossoming. I’m a total cliché of parenting mush whenever I see their affection for each other.
Each morning Matilda likes to climb in the Madman’s crib and they get all crazy together – laughter shattering the early-morning quiet. Yesterday when Matilda zipped her winter coat without any help (finally! That coat has been giving her trouble for months) and I praised her, the Madman ran over and gave her a big hug and clapped.
When the (still mostly non-verbal) Madman is trying to tell us he wants something Matilda is right there to interpret his needs. The end of the day at preschool pick up usually has the two running to each other for hugs. He wants to do what ever she is doing and she is generally more than happy to teach him. She willfully acts as his guardian – taking his hand while we’re out or helping him navigate a playground.
There is some rivalry, that’s for sure. One can’t sit on my lap without the other jockeying for lap space, too. Treats must be shared evenly and heaven forbid if one gets more mommy/daddy time than the other.
But oh man, I’m so happy to see this combination of affection, competition and loyalty between the two of them. They love each other fiercely and that makes me so happy. My siblings were a big part of my childhood and they helped me become the person I am now. I’m so grateful I have been able to provide that same relationship to my kids.
(Pardon the iPhone-flash glowing eyes)
(And just an FYI – there will be no 3rd child. The mere thought of 3 exhausts me.)