Thursday, 7 March 2013

Do older siblings grow up too fast?

Squeaks turns four in less than two weeks.

We have had our highs and lows, and throughout Squeaks has shown her strength of character.
When Mr J checked with her teacher as to how she was getting on at school today, Miss H commented that Squeaks' behaviour is 'impeccable'.
At playschool she is described as 'caring' and 'happy to share'.

She can recite stories like no other. Having grown tired of 'stories from mummy's head' she now tells me stories from her head.
She can count in english and welsh.
She recognises letters and relates sound.
I am sure she knows more at 3 than I knew at 5.

Squeaks has a strength that makes her determined, independent, and single minded.
They are all characteristics that I am proud of.
And this brings out the best and worst at times.
She is the best big sister, the proudest big sister.
And she's also quite happy about telling people how she feels, generally and about them.

She is very tactile, and at times not as wary of strangers as a parent may like.
If someone is unhappy she will hug them, whether she knows them is not her consideration.
And when she's been away from school or playschool she will run in and give everyone, adults and children, the biggest cuddles.

And I wouldn't have her any other way.
I cannot love her enough.

However, one of the things I am just coming to grips with is how quickly she grew up once the boys arrived.
I look at the boys now and remember my expectations of Squeaks at the same age.

When I was pregnant with the boys, a friend told us about this.
About how, when the boys arrived, Squeaks would suddenly seem that much older, and she wouldn't be.
And I was so aware of it.
It made me laugh when Mr J came to the hospital when I had been in for a while telling me how much Squeaks had grown that week, and I asked whether her clothes still fitted. They did. Lisa's advice rang true.

But, I expected Squeaks to walk everywhere from the moment the boys were born.
We only had a buggy for Squeaks when there were two of us.
And I am amazed now, because I can't imagine expecting the boys to walk the distances she did.
And when Squeaks started playschool when she was 28months it was just accepted, she adapted so well, and got on with it.
And yet the boys have now started playschool and my heart was in my throat, because I have never lef tthem in this sort of environment before.
And Squeaks' love of sleep meant she just got on with sleeping in a bed at 20months.
With the boys I have kept them in a cot as long as possible.

Squeaks now questions why she is the one who has to sleep on her own.
And wants a bed with the boys.
Or for one of the boys to swap beds with her so she can share.

Don't get me wrong, we have so many bad parenting mistakes which we still have to correct with Squeaks.
These are the things we have overlooked in favour of sleep.
Turning four, well hopefully we can put some things right.

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