Well, the baby is almost two years old now, so I guess she’s not really a baby any more, is she? I asked her the other day if she is still a baby; she said “Yes”, so I guess that’s the official word!
One of the main differences between my older two children and my younger two children is the age difference. There is less than 13 months difference between my older girls, but Sammy is more than three years older than Olivia. This has made a huge impact on Olivia’s development, in my opinion.
While there are certainly other factors that come into play, this three years’ difference has turned Sammy into a natural leader. Olivia is happy to follow him. As I write this, they are upstairs playing. Sammy is on a tricycle we purchased for Olivia, riding it from the living room to the kitchen, and Olivia is happily following him on a little bike you push with your feet — which she outgrew recently. And she does it because she is simply imitating her big brother.
This is another reason to NOT ignore a first-born child when the second child comes along! It’s not always easy to do so, but by continuing to pay lots of attention to the older child, they remain secure and happy. At least in our case, Sammy’s high sense of self worth and importance has enabled him to become a very good big brother which, in turn, has helped Olivia to develop more rapidly.
At least Sammy’s a better big brother than I ever was; right, Sue-Shoe? 🙂