Friday, February 1, 2008

i shall call her mini-mom

pooka is a really terrific big sister, despite her tendency to take bug's toys away. (i start to wonder if pooka is really trying to interact with her sister or merely regressing.) it's not always to play with them herself, though, she just wants bug to focus on her instead of the toys. she doesn't realize yet that you can't force a baby to pay attention to you.

she also tries to manhandle the baby; in her mind, it's cuddling. early on, we wouldn't let pooka hold her too much due to the lack of neck control, etc. now that that is well-established, and pooka has a greater appreciation of bug's delicacy, we allow it more; however, bug doesn't allow it so much. she's at the stage where she is persnickety about who holds her and when. she wants to be moving, exploring, and doesn't like to be controlled. this frustrates pooka and sometimes makes her sad.

she is sometimes quite helpful with feeding bug at the table. sometimes the novelty of having her sister in front of her is enough to convince bug to eat when she otherwise might be too distracted or just plain crotchety. the other day, pooka sat in for me as i cleaned the kitchen. she was singing and trying the vehicular methods of food delivery. (airplane, choo-choo, etc.) i tried to capture it on film, but by the time i came back upstairs with the camera, she had stopped singing, and when she saw me, she devolved into a complete ham.

essentially, pooka acts like a mini-mom to bug, with all the facets thereof. occasionally, she tries to overrule us, bug's actual parents. and she thinks she's entitled to snap at the baby when she's doing something she shouldn't. if bug tries to stand in the tub or crawls to something she shouldn't touch, pooka's voice will get sharp. that shames me a little, even though it is a normal part of parenting. when you see your children mimicking you it can be a source of pride or of chagrin. they hold a mirror up to your soul and it reflects the dirty as well as the shiny.

i asked her how she learned to be such a good big sister and she replied, "from you." well, melt my heart. except, she's never seen me be a big sister. perhaps she's confusing sistering with mothering. in which case, yay! she thinks i'm a good mom. (obviously, she's forgetting the many times i've spanked her, taken away her toys, and refused to let her have dessert.)

but really, isn't her opinion on that issue the only one that really counts? in the future, bug may have a completely different take, maybe even considering pooka to be more of a maternal figure than myself, but for now i'm going to take a moment to bask in the glow that is my daughter's approval.