From Carefree to Velcro: Celebrating the Differences Between Siblings

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When I was pregnant with our second child, I found myself imagining what this new little baby would be like. Would she have the same personality as her older sister? Would she be just as good of a sleeper? I certainly did not expect her to be a cookie cutter replica of our first daughter, but I was curious as to how different our girls would be.

I admit I was a little nervous about something I had been told on more than one occasion. “If your first child is easy, watch out because your second will probably be a terror!” I had considered Caroline to be a pretty easy-going baby so I found myself trying to mentally prepare for a  difficult monster second child. I look back now and see just how ridiculous that was. I had this poor child pegged as challenging before she was even out of the womb!

Our little Emma is now almost a year and a half old. She is growing and changing every day. She has her own unique personality and characteristics. She is a girl who knows what she wants and has no problem making it known. She tries her best to keep up with her big sister (and does an impressive job doing so).

One of the major differences I have noticed between my girls is regarding their attachment issues (or lack there of). Caroline was a bit more carefree when it came to being held by others as a toddler. Emma tends to be more of a Velcro child that would prefer to be with, and held by, her parents. I know it won’t last forever. Sure there are times when I’d love a little break, but I remind myself that there will come a time when I’ll long for these days of feeling so wanted and needed.

Another noticeable difference between Caroline and Emma is their sleep habits. Caroline began sleeping through the night at only six weeks old. Emma started somewhere around three months, with some stints of waking up during the night (yes, I still consider myself lucky). Those  sleepless nights felt pretty rough at the time, but it did provide additional opportunities for bonding and extra cuddle time during the night. Not to mention that my body adjusted over time. I no longer require the eight (or more) hours if sleep I used to need in order to feel rested. Now, six or seven hours are sufficient which has led to more productivity and a chance for “me” time after the girls are asleep! (Reading a book without passing out in the middle of the first page? Yes please!)

My daughters share a love of animals, books, and getting dirty. They are both strong-willed, independent, and tough. Yet there are also many differences between them. And what a glorious thing “different” is! If every child, every human being, were the same, how boring life would be! Variety is the spice of life, am I right? I’m looking forward to observing even more of their differences as time goes on.

Same parents, different personalities! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
(Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)

3 comments on “From Carefree to Velcro: Celebrating the Differences Between Siblings”

  1. I love the picture! And the post! I often compare and contrast my two… they have very different personalities , but like you said- variety is the spice of life…and i think it very comical. It so interesting how two children that are very close in age can react to situations completely differently. My DJ is very much a people pleaser- he just wants to play with any and everyone, and yes…”if all of his friends wanted to jump off a cliff”, he probably would follow! My Harri is one that marches to the beat of his own drummer… if what everyone else is doing is interesting to him, Great- if not.. he is perfectly content with doing his own thing. I also love their similarities…they are both so smart and affectionate and compassionate and FUNNY. I am so excited to see how they grow and develop into young men, most importantly how close they remain for life, despite their differences.

  2. What an adorable picture. I recently had intake conferences for Parker and Cameron, and the pre-k teacher who had Parker for two years and who now has Cameron said to me that she has never seen siblings the same gender, so close together in age who are sooooo different! There is nothing about my oldest and middle that are similar, except for the way they look (and that they were both easy babies.) I’m curious if these differences will become more or less obvious as they get older.

  3. This post actually brought me some comfort. I too have always heard from people that if your first kid is easy, the second will be really hard. While Lillian was VERY hard for the first 6-8 months, she’s the most awesome kid now and I was a little worried that if we do have another child, I might be in for something totally different. I suppose that’s still true, but it’s great to hear this other point of view! Your girls are adorable.

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