With a two-year-old girl and a nearly four-year-old girl, our house is usually fairly noisy to say the least. Not only are we navigating the choppy waters of tantrums (again) and trying to teach about respect, compassion and patience within our relationships, the two girls are also still learning how to live with each other.
We no longer have a baby and a toddler, we have two little girls who are definitely realising there is a change in the dynamic of their relationship.
Little Miss A isn’t so little anymore and is asserting her independence more and more each day.
Miss C is no longer the ‘alpha-child’ as my husband described quite aptly yesterday and now has to contend with a sibling who enjoys similar games, similar programmes and who has a similar stubborn streak to herself.
We do enjoy seeing their relationship strengthen, and witnessing these changes first hand, but when one of their new ‘tricks’ is to see who can scream the loudest when things aren’t going their way, things can get a bit crazy.
I have been pushed to my limit on more than one occasion this past week, however, it is obvious that when you add my loud voice into the mix, it actually doesn’t help. (yes, I am still learning the art of patience, too)
Sometimes, my being there actually makes it worse. If I see one of them doing something unkind to the other I feel compelled to intervene, but when I don’t, if I’m in another room or just sit back and observe, they work it out themselves, more often than not anyway.
The other day I heard Miss A fall over and cry. Then I heard Miss C quickly apologise and explain that it was an accident. I do believe it was, that she knocked into her by mistake or maybe fell into her because she was so genuinely sorry so quickly.
Miss A then stopped crying and I heard her apologise herself.
Miss C: (gently) no, you don’t need to say sorry, it was my fault.
Miss A: no, you don’t say sorry, it was MY FAULT.
Miss C: (less gently) no, it was MY FAULT.
Miss A: NO, MY FAULT!!
Then they had a fight about that.
They were getting louder and louder and I couldn’t stop laughing. One minute I was silently praising them for their swift resolution, then I was amused by their protest of guilt.
But I know it is all part of their learning.
I want them to feel safe enough within their home to explore their emotions and display them. I want them to learn that it’s ok to feel hurt or angry, or frustrated. That as long as we’re respectful of each other we can express these feelings. They know it’s wrong to take things out on each other physically. (They still do it occasionally but they know they shouldn’t.)
More importantly I want them to know that after each fall-out is a make-up. They witness my husband and I argue sometimes but we try and make sure that they also see us apologise and forgive. Something that probably wouldn’t happen so quickly otherwise, if I’m honest.
Emotions are a huge part of human nature, everybody has them and everybody has to deal with them.
Trying to teach your children when you’ve not even got a proper hold over your own feelings isn’t always easy but it’s making us try harder. And even though there are definitely very trying times and exhausting times when dealing with two little girls, there are other times when we get to witness something really beautiful.
Amid the tears and the screams, in amongst the shouts and outbursts there are two little girls who are learning how to be kind. Two little people who share without prompting (sometimes), who save the last bit of their treat for their sister and who run to each other when they hear they’re upset.
I know these moments make it all worthwhile.
These are the moments that make you sit back and smile rather than reach for the secret biscuit stash!
They’re still learning, we’re still learning, it’s really just one big journey.
And even though having two girls is going to give us a future full of raw emotion and chaos, it will also give us a beautiful friendship that will see them through their most difficult times.
Stay close forever girls, enjoy each other, play together, scream, fight and cry. Everything you’re experiencing is hopefully just going to strengthen your unbreakable bond.
But maybe, if possible, keep the high pitched screeching to a minimum. Thanks!