I love my children. I fought very hard to have them, often thinking my health and sanity were going out the window to bring them life. There are almost exactly 7 years between my girls. Fate and infertility made that happen. I wanted only 3 or 4 years between them.
Bug was born when we were pretty young and only 10 1/2 months after our marriage, much sooner than we had planned. Still kids ourselves in a lot of ways but we were thrilled to have her despite how hard my pregnancy was. She was a quiet and mellow baby. She loved to play on the floor with her stuffed toys that my Hubby won in claw machines. She thought everything was an adventure. I drove the 12 hour drive between the PNW and Utah several times with her as a toddler and by myself and she did great. On days I felt horrible, and long before we had a name for why, she would happily sit on my back and watch a movie or play with her toys so I could rest and know she was safe. She hated to get into trouble. She would explore and if she went somewhere she shouldn't all it took was a stern voice and she rarely did it again. She loved to sit in the cart facing me when we shopped so we could chatter. She had to grow with us in some ways, especially her daddy. We were both still figuring out what we wanted from life. He found his career and I found my goals as well. We both mended relationships and went through therapy. We had some rough patches as early marriage can. Bug was my little buddy and my constant companion.
Monkey came along when we had found our feet. Hubby and I both had really beaten back the demons of our youth and were happy in our goals and ideas as a team. She came into stability and with a big sister who adored her. If you see pictures of them at the same ages they look almost identical. It is uncanny. Looks is about the only similarity though. Two girls could not be more different. Bug is a bit of a tom boy and darker. She loves scary movies and stories and never really liked princesses and baby dolls. Monkey is super girly. She wants dresses and ribbons, baby dolls and princess curtains. Where Bug stuck to me like glue Monkey is amazingly independent. All day I hear "Me do it Mama!" She wants to dress herself and wash herself and feed herself. She hates to be still. The only time she is in one place is in the car. Even asleep she wiggles across her bed. We put her into a toddler bed at 18 months and a twin bed at 2 because she moved so much she just didn't have enough room. I have child proofed an area of our house so that I can relax some because otherwise she is everywhere. as it is I still have to watch because she will eat the dog food or try to climb the kitchen table. We had to shave her head a few months ago because she jimmied the baby lock on the cupboard and then covered herself in puzzle glue in 30 seconds flat. That stuff refused to come out of her hair. When we shop she has to walk or help me push the cart. She has to kiss everyone before bed and with the extra family here that can take a while.She is brilliant when she wants to be. She recognizes a few words already on her flash cards and knows how to count to 10. She sings certain songs and loves to play pretend. She also is super caring. She chose to wean on her own. I nursed her until 15 months. She noticed me wince one night as I was nursing her to sleep because her teeth rubbed. After that she refused to nurse even when I offered. She didn't like hurting me. Still if she accidentally hurts anyone she immediately says sorry and kisses it better. Of course if it is something naughty she has to do it any chance she can. I find her trying to climb the gate or onto the table often. She loves to get into the fridge. she thinks spoons and forks are great weapons. She needs the corner and every one in a while a swat on her bottom before she gets that she is doing something dangerous or harmful and she can't keep doing it. I think sometimes her goal is to make me the crazy Walmart lady we all run from. You know the mom. The one with wild hair, screaming as she drags her dirty child through the store like an insane person. I have a lot more sympathy for her now after I pull Monkey from the 5th clothes rack and resort to bribing her into sitting in the cart with candy.