After our second daughter, Tabitha, was born it was like the guide-book to child rearing had been burnt and we had to start all over again. Only this time I didn’t feel so panicked with every whimper or croak! It had only been 16 months since Isobella arrived and oh boy, had we forgotten everything! Such as teaching them to sleep, getting no sleep yourself, the sound of little snuffle and the constant rocking of the bassinnette, the exploding yellow poop, the bottle washing and trying to get them to… Yep, you guessed it.. To sleep.
Isobella was delighted with her little sister but was not happy about this sudden interruption in her world which revolved around her. A couple of times I would have to gently pull her away from the baby as she was smothering her in kisses. Or she would be holding Tabitha’s delicate little fingers a little bit TOO tightly… Just the usual stuff but we always had to keep an eye on her. Now days it’s the other way round and Tabitha is getting her own back.
Isobella had of course been the first and not playing favourites but there is something special about your first-born that is hard to explain to family or friends who have yet to become parents. You have a little corner of your heart dedicated solely to them and no one else.
Isobella was our wonder child. Everything amazed her and she was incredibly curious – a right little adventurer. She would constantly have a surprised look on her face or curl up her lips as a mock grimace. She would also have a look that we never managed to capture on film (Goodness knows we have captured every other kind of face!), she would pull a Mick Jaguar look, curling her top and bottom lip out in a pout and she would then breathe through her mouth like she was out of oxygen. It was incredibly funny at the time but … weird!
As with all new parents we have a ton of photos of Isobella, every stage… Oh quick get the camera, Isobella is lifting her head…. Oh quick, Isobella has wind!… Oh quick, Isobella just … oh wait, you missed it… QUICK there it is again. Everything was captured and we adored it all. Our family and friends quickly became bored with the latest thirty odd photos of Isobella’s first meal so as time went by we were more selective. QUICK, Isobella just pulled her self up!!! QUICK….
THEN Tabbi came along. Isobella wasn’t the one getting the attention it was Tabitha. But this time round I found myself trying to just enjoy her without running to get the camera every five minutes.. Inevitably there are less photos of Tabitha as a baby which to some extent I regret. But we have been making up for it.
Tabitha is our comedian and smoocher. She’s constantly requiring kisses and cuddles and will do anything for a laugh. She will be the first one to cuddle you and kiss you goodbye and the first when she says hello. Infact she uses it to stay up a bit late “Kiss mummy, one more kiss!” She’s a sweetie and is very attentive to your feelings. She is also our accident prone child and has her fair share of accidents for a three year old. Anyone would think she lived in an abusive household with the number of bruises, black eyes, broken bones and burns that she has had. BUT I hasten to add… She really is just plain unlucky and clumsy.
She also happens to be a dead ringer of my grandmother who died back in the 80’s. It’s quite strange seeing my Grandmother’s facial expressions being made by my toddler! She even has the the same gappy teeth and unruly hair like my Nana… Its Freaky!
We have also been less strict on Tabitha as well. I’m not sure if we have just been picking the battles, have let her get away with more, or if it’s because she’s the youngest and probably the last baby… But she also has a habit of doing something naughty followed by doing something very adorable and then requesting the kisses and the cuddles – we are just push overs I suspect.
My husband is the worst for this habit. Tabitha will be hitting Isobella or going for a bite and my reaction is to put her in time out for her bad behaviour. My husband will do it when it warrants the discipline. But the other day, after Tabbi threw something at Isobella, he just looked at me and said “I can’t do it, she’s gone all cutsie on me…” Grrr… well that doesn’t help honey!
But I hate to admit it. She does turn on the charm when she knows she’s done something naughty and it melts my heart to put her in time out… I need to take some concrete pills – and get hard!
Tabitha has been through a lot this year and we have also decided that she needs guidence rather than discipline. We don’t want to be too hard on her but at the end of the day, how we deal with her bad behaviour is guiding her not matter what we do.