Wednesday, March 5, 2008

my family, part 2

When I was pregnant with my son G, numerous women came up to me and warned me how having a boy first would spoil me because boys were supposed to be very affectionate while girls were very independent. The only people who disputed this were the moms who only had girls, so I kind of thought, what do they know? Then I found out my second child was a girl and I remembered the cautionary tales told me by those women two years earlier, and I admit I worried a little bit. My son G was precious and loving and I didn't know what to do with a child who wouldn't show me her love in the way I was used to receiving it.

Then Little Missy was born. That first night she was crying and I rocked her and swaddled her and cuddled her, but she wouldn't give in and go to sleep. After a while I decided to lie her down by herself and she fell right asleep. Sitting in my hospital bed, looking at her in her plastic hospital crib, I realized all those women from years before were right.

But they weren't right for long. Little Missy is actually wildly affectionate. If I would let her, she'd sit on my lap for hours and do nothing but look at books and play with my hair. One of my favorite memories is from around Christmas when Hubby's parents took the kids for a few days. Hubby and I went to pick them up and we walked into his parents' house but the kids didn't know we were there. Hubby found little Missy in another room and when she saw him she *screamed* "Oh DADDY DADDY DADDY!" and ran over to him with her arms up over her head and threw a huge hug around his neck. She gives some of the best hugs.

Like Hubby pointed out, the girl also withholds affection. When she is feeling stubborn or ornery, which is often, she loves to smile and turn away when I ask for a hug. She is stubborn and dramatic and loves to throw herself on the floor when she's not getting her way, and the knowledge of throwing tantrums is something she was born with, because she started screaming and throwing herself on the floor when she was only nine months old. On the flip side, she loves to share and to help. She loves to feed me her dry cereal, even if it's the last little bit and I haven't asked for any. She loves to "help" by closing the dishwasher, even if I'm still loading it, or throw clothes into the dryer, whether they're dirty, clean, or already folded. She also has some amazing verbal skills. At 19 months she's already starting her 3-word sentences. Really, she can't help but be a good talker with how often her brother talks!

Some of the sweetest parts of her are the way she loves her brother. If he's upset she'll gently say "Crying? Crying?" and pat him gently on the head. In the morning when she wakes up sometimes she smiles at him before she smiles at me. And she'll follow him around and copy whatever it is that he's doing. Watching the two of them play is what I like to do most.

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