Friday, May 27, 2011

Emily at 9 months

It's been easy to tell from the start that our two girls have very different temperaments.

Chloe is a blaze of energy. From the moment she burst out of Julie like a firecracker, she's never stopped moving. As she approached the crawling and then the walking stage, she became frustrated that she couldn't move around as quickly and easily as she would have liked, and she let us know it. She's also constantly engaged with everything the world has to offer, which exhausts her. She doesn't know when to take a break, give her mind a rest. She doesn't miss a beat and doesn't want to miss out on anything. Her interests tend to the wide but shallow. She's constantly making connections between everything around her and wanting to learn as much as possible about as many different things as possible. Of course, with so many things to learn, she can't possibly concentrate on one or two for any length of time.

Emily has shown some very different tendencies right from the start, and now I'm taking the greatest pleasure in getting to know her better as she begins to really reveal herself to us. Emily is curious and engaged, like her sister. But she's more focused. She takes information in constantly, but never seems to get overwhelmed by it, as Chloe does.

I'm only guessing, of course, but it seems that Emily's a little better at choosing what she wants to learn instead of trying to learn it all. When Emily approaches a task or problem, she devotes herself to figuring it out. And this has been on display since the moment of her birth. When she came out and I caught her (a great privilege for a father), I put her on Julie's stomach and she immediately crawled up to Julie's breast and started to eat. She continued to breastfeed for two hours straight. Little else was of interest to her at that moment. She knew what she needed and went straight for it. The midwife and assistant hadn't seen anything like it.

Now, when eating solids, she shows this same determination. Emily only wants to feed herself, and she doesn't want anything mashed or pureed. We had so much trouble getting her to eat anything on a spoon that she wasn't gaining enough weight. So one day Julie just handed her a piece of banana. Emily held onto that banana, looked at it, tasted it, frowned at it, and finally figured out how to bite pieces off of it. Chloe never would have had the patience for this and she certainly wasn't feeding herself at 8 months old.

We see the same approach to learning in every area with Emily, from toys to books to understanding her crazy big sister. She focuses, she contemplates and she engages with life, one piece at a time. The most endearing aspect of this single mindedness is her interactions with us. While Chloe would have time for a two second hug or kiss with her parents, Emily's happy to cuddle, hug, smile and coo with Mommy or Daddy for long periods of time. She's not a mover like her sister, and it's interesting to note that while Chloe was an early crawler and walker, Emily's likely to be late in both areas. If you give Emily something that interests her, she's happier to stay where she is and try to figure it out.

Emily's becoming a lot of fun, and it's unfortunate that soon I won't be around as much to see her progress daily, to share in her struggles and triumphs. I've often thought, with much guilt, that what I've been able to share with Chloe these past nine months I won't be able to share with Emily.

1 comment:

  1. i lovee this post!! I have a 6 month old daughter named Kiki, she is already crawling and wants to feed herself its really hard sometimes because she gets soo frustraded that she cant move or do things as fast as she wants but it makes me feel happy that even thought this is the hardest thing in my life(Kiki had colic for 5 months) i know its gonna get better:) thank you so much for this beautiful blog!
    greetings from Finland!