Prior to this school holiday, this was the last photo of my kids being affectionate towards each other….
Yes, it was over two years ago! This is my maternity photoshoot from when I was expecting Number 2 and B was a sweet, calm little toddler. The complete antithesis to my experience of toddlers now. A has shown me that.
Ever since A came into the world, with a huge fuss and at speed, I’ve been waiting for my girls to bond. I have a little sister too and I’m ridiculously close to her (apart from when she was a newborn and I tried to show her the bottom of my shoes but I was only 19 months old) So, from the moment that I found out at 17 weeks that I was having another girl, I had all these visions of them braiding hair, cuddles and kisses. I was convinced they’d be best friends as well as sisters.
I was wrong. B was brought to the hospital to visit her little sister and didn’t even look at her. A just didn’t exist in her world. Instead, Number 1 spotted my unattended phone and jumped at the chance to play with that rather than glance at her new sister. Even after I’d dutifully read all the advice in articles about preparing your child for a sibling even getting a present from the baby hoping that would persuade B, but no. My hopes of a lovely, cuddly photograph of their first meeting was dashed.
In fact, the first photograph that I have of both of my daughters together is when A was a month old and B was napping on my bed. Seizing my opportunity, I quickly placed A next to her as I was determined to get at least one photograph of them together, even if they didn’t realise my cunning plan. I love that photo.
I tried a couple of months later to get their photos done professionally, hoping that an expert would be able to succeed where I’d failed. We had to abandon the photoshoot, such was B’s reluctance to be photographed next to her sister. The poor photographer managed to take a measly three photographs and none of them were useable.
B hasn’t ever really had much time for her little sister. She has completely ignored her existence despite A’s desperate attempts to play with her big sister, whom she idolises.
But this school holiday, it all changed. My girls are polar oppposites in both appearance and personality – people rarely realise they’re sisters. A is an extremely boisterous and vocal little girl. This means that whilst she is challenging for me, she is her big sister’s BFF. B has craftily realised that all the ‘naughty’ things that she’d secretly like to do, but her quiet and cautious nature stop her from doing, her partner in crime will easily do! A shows no hesitation.
Up until this point, I’ve been able to get on with my housework and having a shower whilst they’re awake because they’re normally in opposite ends of the house indulging in their independent activities. Not any more. I tried to do a quick tidy up today and I can hear cackling and plotting coming from another room. Then I realise, they are ganging up on me.
I watch them help each other get chairs and stools to access the biscuit tin, command the TV remote and hijack my make up collection. They work together to get snacks and drinks out of the fridge and to get in and out of princess dresses. The irony of them wearing floaty Disney Princess dresses whilst they cook up plots and plans is not lost on me…
The thing is, as much as the double trouble exasperates me, it warms my heart. I want them to be a team. I want them to best friends and always there for each other. My relationship with my own sister is amazing. She is always there for me and I miss the time that the two of used to spend alone together before we had all of our children! It’s amazing to have someone who understands your whole life and shares a history with you. Someone who you know will always be there and support you, but at the same time tell you when you’re being an idiot.
That’s why I’m so glad that my daughters have finally seen the importance of being friends with each other. I’m glad that they now play together. The most amazing moment of the last couple of weeks was hearing my youngest copy her sister and listening to both of them tell me that they love me.
I’ve only been waiting 26 months to see them play together so if they gang up on me, then so be it. I just hope their bond continues into and through their tricky teenage years, but I’ve got a while to go before that is a problem!