Night and Day

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Night / Day

Sierra and Brooke are about as different as you can get. Sierra is my “spirited” child. She laughs hard and cries even harder. She ping pongs from one emotion to another at the drop of a hat. She needs to cry herself to sleep, and begins crying before she’s even fully awake. In fact, she often wakes herself up with her crying. She’s forever active, sitting still is the mother of all evils in her eyes. She loves gymnastics ’cause she can run freely, but hates “circle time”. And eating? She’s never had the patience for it – bottles of milk are her best friend, she can drink them while she runs around.

Then there’s Brooke. Brooke is calm and easy going. She rarely ever cries. She calmly sucks her fist to fall asleep. When she wakes up in the night I can hear her sucking her fist to try and get back to sleep – I go over and pick her up, quietly nurse her back to sleep. If I didn’t aggressively offer food she would quietly go hungry and not even care. She lays in the living room quietly watching her sister run laps around her – smiling the whole time. I’ve never met a happier baby.

It shocks me – how can two babies, so completely opposite come from the same place? If they had been the opposite sex I would expect some personality differences. I think it’s because they’re both girls that I am in complete disbelief. From a parenting perspective it’s hard – what works for one child does not work for the other. Toys that Sierra loved as a baby don’t hold Brooke’s attention. Sierra was independent, hated to be held. Brooke would happily snuggle into my chest all day long if I let her – her favourite place to be is hugged up against me in the sling. When Sierra was a baby I rocked her and sung to her for hours to get her to sleep – her eyes would spring open the moment she felt me put her down – then the screaming would begin for another 1/2 hour. As for Baby Brooke all I have to do is walk around the house cleaning, busying myself, with her in my arms – before I know it she’s asleep, I put her in her crib and she snuggles in, bringing her fist to her mouth to soothe herself. Again I ask – how could two polar opposites come from the same womb?

Spirited Child:

You’ve seen us at the market: we’re the ones whose kids are screaming, climbing on shopping carts, begging for candy or a toy. You’ve seen us at restaurants: our kids hardly eat. Instead, they run around or pop up and stare at other diners. You’ve seen us at the playground: our kids run, jump, climb, slide, and change activities with blinding speed. You’ve heard about us: our kids are described as “handfuls.” We’re the ones who are often asked, “Are you sure he’s not hyperactive?” We’re the parents everyone has advice for: take a parenting class; be stricter; be more lenient; spank; have tested.