One of the things I’ve been most amazed with while raising my second daughter, is how different two daughters can be when they come from the same set of parents. They both look somewhat similar to each other, and they each have similarities in their actions and their likes and dislikes, but for the most part they are very much their own person.
When Addie was a toddler, we used to take her to the mall play area almost weekly. The kid loved the mall play area and she still begs to go to the mall play area even though she knows she’s too old to play there anymore.
As Casey and I would watch Addie play on the slides and on the little obstacles in the play area, Addie was always very conscious of where everyone else was in the play area. The mall play area had a big ladybug thing that the kids could climb on. If other kids were climbing on the ladybug, Addie wouldn’t climb on the ladybug. Instead, she’d stand off to the side and try to have a conversation with the kids on the ladybug.
If kids were walking up the slide and Addie wanted to go down the slide, Addie would stand to the side and wait for that kid to walk up the slide. If that kid wanted to walk up the slide and then slide down, only to immediately start walking up the slide again, Addie would stand off to the side even if it meant she had to wait for ten minutes.
If a kid put his leg across the slide and only allowed certain kids to go down the slide and Addie wasn’t one of those allowed, Addie would move to a different piece of play equipment and avoid the slide.
No matter how many times I explained to Addie that if someone wouldn’t let her go down the slide, she could step over the kid’s leg or get me to move the kid, she wouldn’t do it. It wasn’t in her nature to cause conflict. She just wanted to go with the flow.
Vivi is now the same age Addie was when she loved to play in the mall play area. A few weekends ago was Vivi’s first real opportunity to play for a significant amount of time in the play area and I noticed that Vivi is a very different child than Addie.
The most noticeable difference is that Vivi doesn’t care who is on the slide. If another kid is walking up the slide, Vivi will use the stairs and climb to the top of the slide and then slide down taking out the other kid’s legs on her way down. She did that over and over and over again. She easily took out 20 to 30 kids on that slide and eventually each kid learned that they shouldn’t walk up the slide when Vivi’s going down.
If a kid put his leg across the slide so that only certain kids could go down it, Vivi would just step over the kid’s leg or she’d push him out of the way so she could go down the slide. Never a second thought about it.
If she was playing on some of the other equipment and another kid climbed up on top and tried to crowd her off the object, Vivi wouldn’t flat out shove the kid off the equipment, but she wasn’t opposed to using her shoulders to lean into the kid to assist him/her on his/her way off the equipment.
It makes me wonder it this kind of behavior is common among second children. Has having an older sister taught Vivi how to fend for herself when she wants something?
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