My oldest is growing up right before my eyes, especially nowadays. Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of everyday life that I’m missing the little things in between, but it’s like I blinked, and there she was–a potty-trained, increasingly self-aware and autonomous little being whose language I no longer have to decipher, most of the time. She asserts her independence and insists on doing everything herself, which would be great except for the times her underwear ends up outside her pants or her head stuck in the armholes.
I am both loving and hating this stage of parenting–she’s extremely fun-loving, communicative, even occasionally jokes with me. But she’s also stubborn, strong-willed, and prideful (takes after mom). With this stage comes the challenges of discipline and learning when to be flexible and when to be firm. Most of the time it’s easier to let things slide (especially with triplets in the mix) or turn a blind eye just because she can sometimes be so darn cute. But then we’re doing her a great disservice by not guiding and teaching her in teachable moments, for the sake of convenience or time (or cuteness, in most cases).
With the triplets, it’s interesting watching as she navigates her role as an older sister. At first she didn’t pay them much attention, until they started becoming more mobile and getting into her things. Up to a certain point she had regarded them as temporary house guests, as go-backs in the retail world. The came a moment of realization that theses little guys were FINAL SALE and here to stay. Now that they’re all over the place I’ll hear her yelling things like “Oh no Sammy! Don’t touch Sammy! Stop Sammy!” regardless of which baby is committing the offense. (To her, everybody’s Sammy). And then there are those rare moments when she shows the sweetest gestures of affection without any prompting, like hand-holding, or little pecks on the cheek.
She’s barely 3, but for such a little girl I feel like she’s had to grow up fast and adjust quickly. I used to be consumed with guilt that her life would be completely derailed by the onslaught of three new siblings, but now I see how lucky they are to have each other, especially for the triplets to have an older sister like Noni.