In the last few days, I've seen some really remarkable changes in the way the girls relate to one another. Usually, big changes happen gradually so you can't really put your finger on the exact date they happened but it's been different this time. Here are some "firsts" from this week:
Cooperative play and pretend play: (At the toddler pool, Gwen is playing with some toys) Gwen motions to Maddy to "come here". She says, "Hurry, Maddy!" Why is this significant? Really, it's because I don't remember either of my girls ever inviting the other to play.
Maddy hurries to Gwen (she's always the compliant one) and Gwen gives her a glass of pool water and tells her that it's apple juice. They both laugh hysterically and proceed to dump "apple juice" all over themselves. This is significant because I don't remember ever seeing them play pretend. We've had a few signs that this was about to happen. I'll blog more about that in another post.
Taking turns/sharing: I bought the girls some toys yesterday and felt confident that I could get just one of each type since they seem to finally understand the concept of "share" and "take turns". This is VERY recent. Just two weeks ago, at their 3rd birthday party, they didn't seem to be ready to do this. There are still rocky moments when they fight over a toy but they seem to understand that they'll eventually get their turn to play with it. Today, Gwen wanted to play with Buzz Light-year but Maddy had it. So she searched the room for Maddy's toy car and negotiated a swap! That was a first! Perhaps even more remarkable is that it worked!
Physical (sibling) affection: This month will be our one year anniversary with Maddy and all physical contact between the "twins" (until today) has been pretty negative. What starts as a hug quickly morphs into a strangle! It's not uncommon for me to chant "Don't touch your sister!" 25 to 50 times per day! If you've seen evidence of physical affection on this blog, I guarantee it was something we photographed only after offering up lots of bribes! Today, FOR THE FIRST TIME, and of their own accord, the girls were walking around and holding hands! One of them would sit down and pretend to be sad and the other would come over and help them up and they'd both walk off holding hands. They did this a dozen times at Bonfante Gardens this morning. I swear, it was so darn precious that I nearly wept every time I witnessed it!
This afternoon, we all went into the backyard to play and they were skipping around holding hands and playing in the grass and searching for ants (a favorite activity).
Language: Another notable development this week is language. Gwen didn't have much to say until she was nearly three. Then, you only understood about 1/5 of what she said. Maddy was quite chatty (in Cantonese) when we got her but it took a very long time for her to speak English even though she almost immediately understood everything she heard. So, for the last year, we've had two 2 year olds who really weren't talking much at all. Finally, In the last week or so, both girls have really made huge advancements in language! Yesterday, Gwen went to the garage with her sippy cup but didn't have it when she climbed into the van. I asked her where it was, not expecting any answer, much less a good one or one I could understand but she clearly said "In Mommy's yellow purse" Sure enough, her sippy cup was nearby in the yellow bag I carry to the pool! Today, Maddy came to the kitchen while I was making breakfast and told me quite clearly that "Gwenny hit Maddy on head!" I hollered (from the kitchen) "Gwen, don't hit your sister in the head" and Gwen hollered back "Okay, Mommy!"
Oh well. The more things change, the more they remain the same!