I was watching Quinn the whole time: Saoirse was standing at the coffee table, coloring (in a book, not on the table itself. Not that you’d know that from seeing the formerly all-white table). Quinn had been playing nearby, but stopped when she noticed what SK was doing. She crawled closer. Didn’t take her eyes off of her big sister’s fingers, maneuvering. She pulled herself up at to standing, still focused on the coloring book, still intent, until she called out and tried to grab one of the crayons out of Saoirse’s hands.
Saoirse, of course, was having none of it. And, I decided, neither should my coffee table.
So within a minute, both girls were happily settled into their seats at another table, this time in the dining room, both scribbling away. And Quinn, at her 14 months, was actually drawing. Using the crayons–albeit upside down, but that’s some small potatoes when my baby’s an artistic GENIUS–she’d grin at me, then beam at her sister, then go back to scribbling, checking on SK periodically to see what else she should do.
It’s been like that for a few weeks now. Quinn’s been drawing on the chalkboard, rolling balls back and forth, playing with cars–replete with “Vroom! Vroom!” noises–all because she’s been watching. Observing Saoirse, taking mental notes, learning. That, right there, my friends, is what makes my job so stinking great sometimes. Because, hey. Look at what Quinn can do. Look at the way she’s growing. And isn’t it neat the way they can learn from each other, teach each other, all by themselves?
If you are my friend or close family, you will remember how mind-boggling panic-stricken I was about introducing another child into our family (If you don’t know me, but want a peek into the deranged, hormone-ruled, anxiety-filled horror show that was my brain around that time, click here. Good luck and Godspeed, and don’t say I didn’t warn you). I was horrified that we’d scarred Saoirse for life by making her share the attention she received from us. I was terrified that two siblings could not exist side by side, that there’d be warring, distance, jealousy (well, there is that, but let’s ignore that for the moment, yes?). I feared that the younger child would never have the independence and fire the elder possessed.
That was last year. Last year was annoying. It worried too much. This year has been telling me to chill for months, now. And today, it just stuck its tongue out at me and said “I told you so.”