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Friday, December 22, 2006

The difference between the way our girls view one another

is really striking. Olivia is a drive-by-fan of Elise. Olivia takes great pride in making Elise's happy noise (an unvoiced, glottal fricative) and watching Elise light up. But Olivia is also very much into her own fantasies right now, and so a lot of her relationship with Elise is in watching how I take care of her and then mimicking that with her own babies. So, Elise is a round character in Olivia's play, but it is still Olivia's play in Olivia's mind.

It is also Olivia's play in Elise's mind. If Olivia is in Elise's line of sight nothing else can divert her attention. If Olivia can be heard in the room Elise is busy trying to find her. And Elise also has set herself upon the task of sitting up already (at three months old!) and you can almost see that it is all in determination to get closer to her hero, Olivia.

I wonder about the difference between the growing experiences of children from different positions in the birth order. Do you suppose it is going to be a disadvantage to Rob's and my parenting since we are both the oldest? I wonder if we will find ourselves sympathizing with Olivia's position more readily, or if we will be harder on her because we know where she's coming from.

Only time will tell, but I do know this: though Olivia has been the princess and center of my world for the past two years. Elise came along and has managed to become the center of my world, too. Somehow she managed to become a princess in my kingdom without dethroning Olivia. There is enough amazing wonder in my eyes as "Mom" for the both of them.