This is it, the moment you’ve been waiting for. When you see the two blue lines clear as day on your pregnancy test you are overjoyed. This is exactly what you have wanted for such a long time. Your pregnancy runs smoothly, and you follow your “how to” baby book to a tee. You want the best of the best for your new baby. Reading every label, making sure the baby food is pureed just right, grabbing the perfect diapers, the list goes on and on. Once your little is a bit older, you start to get that itch for another baby. You miss the smell of them after a bath, the constant need for cuddle time, reading to them, and watching them sleep. Baby number 2 is a go, and you couldn’t be more prepared. Having one under your belt, you know the works. You’ve been here before, labor and delivery are a breeze, you know when your newborn baby has gas, and you already know what foods are a do and don’t. Until one day, you wake up and all hell breaks loose.
I have two girls, ages 10 and 4 and they couldn’t be more opposite from each other. My ten year old, is an old soul. She’s very reserved, extremely conservative and non confrontational. She would be extremely content curling up with a good book on the couch and reading for most of the day. Arts and crafts are definitely her thing. She loves being creative, and could draw for hours. Now my four year old, she’s a small american ninja warrior. She’s spunky, spontaneous, and adventurous. She fills her day by taking yarn and making “laser beams” all throughout the house, and waits for one of us to take a spill. She’s completely outspoken, and will tell you exactly what’s on her mind at any given time, at any place, appropriate or not.
No baby book could prepare me for the night and day children I have. Being an only child, I had no idea how siblings should act. My husband has a brother, so he knew the drill. I felt very lost once I had my second child. Especially since she was so different from her sister. I used to think “what have I done wrong, I repeated everything I did from my first child, yet, my second wont sleep through the night, won’t potty train and definitely won’t eat her vegetables.” My husband would laugh at me when I would voice my concerns and I never understood why, until I relaxed and looked at the situation from a different perspective.
Since I just had myself growing up I never had to share with anyone. I always got all of my mom’s attention when I wanted it, and well, everything was about me, and me only. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and cried because my girls were fighting with each other. I just didn’t understand. Did they not love each other? Why were they always fighting and yelling? What in the Lord’s name did I do wrong to create such chaos? Apparently, this is normal.
My husband said to me one day during one of my emotional breakdowns, that there is no one better to deliver the hard cold truth then your sibling. There is no one that knows them better than their sibling, not even us. The tears, fighting and yelling, are the two of them being completely real and raw with each other. At that moment, I completely understood. It was something I would never understand,because I didn’t have a sibling bond, and hearing it from someone who grew up with a sibling, they know.
They aren’t going to get a long and skip through the valley every day like I envisioned. Yes, they are going to fight and argue, and that’s something I had to adjust to. I love the fact that they are both different. They are coming into their own and I’m so proud of the girls they are becoming. Even though I treated each pregnancy, each birth, and each age exactly the same, they are two unique individuals that i would never want to change, or even have them be the same. Just because one might misbehave doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, or did something wrong during the pregnancy. Every child is different, even though they all come from you. My oldest daughter gets so embarrassed when her younger sister breaks out her dance moves in the middle of Giant Eagle on a busy Saturday, and my youngest pitches a fit when the oldest wants her “quiet time”.
Now that I understand all of this I know a few things to be true. One, they completely love each other, through the tears and fights. And two, they are best friends, and always will be. I saw the bond between them this summer, when my oldest spent a week in South Carolina with her grandparents without her sister. They missed each other so much, and talked constantly. When they got reconnected, they lit up like Christmas trees. So yes, having very two different children, is very very challenging. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change a thing about them, about my pregnancies, and yes, even the fighting.