Monday, November 26, 2007

Claire and Libbibiff

Last Saturday, my niece Elizabeth spent the day with us at my mother's house. She's five months older than Claire. The girls are like night and day. Elizabeth has dark curly hair, a round face, piercing blue eyes, and a reticent personality. Claire has smooth ash brown hair, a perfectly oval face with soft greeny-brown eyes, and an engaging attitude. I am constantly amazed because as infants, their personalities were reversed. Elizabeth's volume was stuck on high while Claire wanted nothing more than to sit in her sling and watch the world go by.

Elizabeth came in the door just as Claire and I were getting ready to make pancakes. "Libbibiff! You help too! Get a chair!" Elizabeth, ever obedient, dragged a chair over to the counter next to Claire and climbed up. She carefully watched while I measured the ingredients and chopped the apples. I gave each girl a slice of apple. Claire rejected hers, preferring to sneak bites off the board. Forbidden fruit is always sweeter, I suppose. "Libbibiff! Eat an apple. It's good apple. Yum!"

The morning wore on in that manner, with Claire ordering the obliging "Libbibiff" around. I started to get really worried that this would be the tone of their relationship - Claire the queen and Elizabeth her obedient servant. After a few hours, however, Elizabeth loosened up a bit and started to voice her own opinions. The girls played together for hours in relative peace and quiet. I'm hoping that this is the start of a long relationship for them.


Mary Witzl said...

In another couple of years, you will find that the dynamics of their friendship have evolved even further, and even though they may not get along with each other at one stage, it can change at any point.

Watching children's personalities develop is absolutely fascinating. My youngest was the most placid, docile baby imaginable, while the eldest was a difficult, feisty infant. As toddlers, they both went exactly the opposite way, the eldest becoming gentle and sweet-natured, the youngest a regular harridan. They're still changing. And watching them is still endlessly entertaining.

Christy said...

It IS fascinating! And it's amazing to me that even as their personalities grow, there are traits that I recognize in them from birth. It's kind of fun to guess which things will change and which will become firmly entrenched.