Maggie Rolls Over and The World As We Know It Ends...or Begins...Whatever
I'd give you a dollar and half if you could keep Maggie from rolling over, post-bath, when she's naked, laying on her crazy soft Ikea sheepskin rug. That's right, a whole dollar and a half. And if you could wipe the ridiculous smile off of her face when she's in the tub with her sister...another dollar and a half. That's three bucks people. Three dollars that could be working for you. Unfortunately, you couldn't do either, so I keep the three pesos and you feel shame.
Mags has entered a seemingly magic vortex of change and development lately in which everything from the obviously non-verbal (although she tries real hard) head and hand gestures, to the physical this and thats of rolling around and learning to hold her breath under water, have rendered her parents somewhat speechless. The truth is, you forget all that stuff from the first baby, and if you say that you don't, you're either a liar or the most anal, documenter and rememberer of arcane events and facts...arcane only because the kid's gonna make that simple roll over look stupid in another week when they finally prop themselves up on all fours. You won't remember nary a thing from your first child's development, and then you can complicate that further by coming to grips with the notion that they're different human beings altogether.
So as Maggie starts to eat gooey spoon fed pablum-esque, gruel-like awfulness, and sits up on her own for five minute stretches, and takes things from her sister, and watches Sesame Street, and comes as close to asking for something without words as you're gonna get, we are helpless to do nothing more than react with authenticity, because I couldn't tell you how we managed this event or that one with Zoey. As unsettling as that might sound, it's also pretty amazing in the sense that daughter #2 gets as close to an authentic experience as daughter #1. There are no moulds here...no forms to fit. Zoey was Zoey, and Maggie is Maggie, and we are but spectators...involved and uber-responsible spectators, you know, with the best seats in the place, but spectators nonetheless.
Neither girl should turn out the same. In fact, I'll be incredibly disappointed if the girls end up mirror images of one another emotionally, and intellectually. They're supposed to be different, very different. I hope that we raise them in a way where their foundations are the same but every bit of hardware above those sturdy stone bricks is unique and individual. If we're doing this thing right, I'd like to see them mistaken for friends, not sisters. Your own distinct personality, education, and shaping is quite possibly THE most important by-product of development. Everyone wants to be unique. Everyone wants their own experience and perspective. No one wants hand me down approaches to their own development. No one. It's one of the giant challenges and failures of the educations system. How do we teach to the individual, while serving the masses? Impossible? Maybe. Not in this house, not if we can help it.