My younger daughter, Chloe, is almost 13 months younger than Julianna. Chloe is almost 19 months old.
They are different in almost all ways. Chloe has thin, straight hair (think Cousin It first thing in the morning). Julianna has Little Orphan Annie curly hair. Chloe is a hardcore mischievous trouble-maker. Julianna is a calculating assassin. Julianna has really enjoyed reading her whole life. Chloe only recently started liking books. Chloe started walking about 4 months earlier than Julianna (which I know is not uncommon for 2nd children. Chloe is silly. Julianna is funny. Chloe gets extremely excited anytime she is around any animal. Julianna, not so much at the moment. Chloe will eat absolutely anything in front of her and she’ll eat all day. Julianna is much pickier.
Now, don’t get me wrong, they have some things in common. Both girls breathe. Both girls…well I’m sure there are other things.
They are very different but both awesome. The biggest challenge for me is trying to figure out how to share my time and give the appropriate amount of attention to both. When Chloe was born, Julianna wasn’t old enough to really have any form of independence. The flip side of that is that she also wasn’t really old enough to remember life without a sister or life when she was the only show in town. Chloe seems to be a lot more independent. At school the other day (another post, another time), Chloe wanted to rub her own back before her nap.
I think in a lot of ways its a very typical 2nd Child situation. The interesting thing about Chloe is that all of her “firsts” are things we as parents experienced very recently with Julianna. That doesn’t make them any less exciting. If anything, it might be a little more exciting. The first time around, I think I got caught up in my own emotion about the “first” to a point where maybe I didn’t really appreciate what was actually happening. Now, I can recognize what might be about to happen and really try and appreciate it.
I don’t know if there’s a perfect way to split time with 2 kids who are both under 3 but aren’t twins. My wife and I have a pretty good system I think. As an example, we switch bedtime assignments each night. Because both girls go to sleep at the same time (hey, another similarity), if we are both available, it works out better this way. Its been a nice way for us to get some nice quality time with both girls.
No matter how you slice it, having 2 kids so close together has had far more pros than cons.
The challenge of 2 has certainly been more than twice that of 1.
I am very fortunate to have 2 rockstar daughters. Their differences are vast and that definitely helps keep things interesting.
And with that, they are both waking up from their naps…
…at the exact same time.