Due to circumstances not entirely out of my control, I have one daughter who’s learning to drive, and one daughter who’s learning to use the potty. One daughter who cried today because she has an ankle injury and can’t run in Thursday’s track meet, and one daughter who cried today because I wouldn’t let her dump the contents of my purse on the floor.
Separated by 13 years, they are night and day, these two girls. Emma is more quiet and reserved, taking everything in. (In the words of Tim’s mother, “Emma doesn’t say much, but when she does, it’s really important.”) She is cautious, calm, quiet, quick-witted, sweet, self-assured, and can come across as somewhat aloof. She never played with toys, but preferred to play with whatever was available, or to just sit watching, smiling and laughing. She is very much a mixture of her dad and me – she looks more like me, but has more of his personality. She has been my best friend for years, my favorite person to hang out with, my pal for those years it was just the two of us.
Margaret is a world of contradictions. She’s a girly-girl tomboy, feeding her dolls one moment, and crawling down the stairs head-first the next. She is bossy (or, as we said in my family, she’s “like Aunt Gertrude”, one of my paternal grandfather’s seven sisters.) Talking constantly, she keeps up a running commentary of what’s happening, and when she’s not talking, she’s singing at the top of her lungs. She is hot-tempered and hilarious. Affectionate and obstinate. Always right. Likes to break things. She’s like me on steroids.
Between them, and with David in the middle, they require every parenting skill I have, and some I don’t even have. They are crazy about each other – for whatever reason, they don’t fight with each other the way they each do with David. (Yes, I have to remind Emma that she’s 15 and he’s 5).
Must be a girl thing.