In seeing how different the girls are, it is great to see how unique each individual is but challenging as a parent to learn not to make comparisons or have unhelpful expectations. Not to mention striking the balance between treating each one fairly and equally, whilst allowing for their character differences when interacting with them.
I have even more difficulty believing that CassCass is now three (at her next birthday she will be the age LissaLou was at the beginning of this year!!) but it is lovely to see how she is growing.
I really notice it in her speech, which is very fluent and clear in both languages. It is interesting to see how she automatically adjusts her language according to whether she is speaking to me or Bertie, and also just observing her language choice in different circumstances. She has started translating things to me, so she has obviously got the two languages differentiated. She does copy LissaLou though, mistakes included, so they both say "je vas" and "nhuit"!
CassCass is a ball of energy, and very agile which is lovely to watch. She loves climbing and jumping and, oh anything that involves moving! She can sit at the dinner table longer now, but she doesn't always! Sitting down activities are still limited with her, but she likes reading now a lot more.
Ah, but one time she is happy to be still is when she snuggles up beside mummy on her bed, a lock of mummy's hair in her hand and her thumb in her mouth! She loves this time and asks for it regularly, and she is quite happy to just lie, or to read, and occasionally chat.
CassCass still loves playing with Happyland, either on her own or with others. I think she is perfectly happy with her own company. She is still very wary of people, even those she knows well, and there are a few people (loud men!) of whom she is a bit scared. She has also developed a real phobia of people seeing her body, which I think stems from getting told off for going downstairs with no clothes on when we first arrived! At the beach on Sunday she made her daddy change her in the car with me standing blocking the window! She was most distraught at LissaLou just getting changed outside.
CassCass is a sensitive soul, and it is somthing I am praying about understanding better so that we can help and encourage her. She doesn't like being looked at sometimes, and gets upset if she thinks you are laughing at her, and she is still easily reduced to tears. She is also very specific about what you can or can't do with her, often being very independent. Some people are a bit insensitive or impatient with her, and I am working on how to handle this - avoid them? tell them to not say this or that? Sometimes we can intrude on another person's personal space (either verbally or physically), without giving thought to if they are comfortable with that, and I think this is what happens with CassCass. It is a helpful lesson to me that we are not all the same and so we shouldn't presume everyone will appreciate be treated in a particular way.
But equally she can be so full of joy and laughter and merriment! Some cousins of Bertie's have just arrived and it has been great to see how well she has taken to them, snuggling up and playing with them.
Her "obeying straight away" is definitely improving but depends entirely on how consistent we are! She will regularly push the boundaries deliberately, and it is very tempting to just let it go, so I have to pay attention to what I ask her to do or not do, to make sure that I really mean it and will follow it up. She will obey immediately if I mention the consequences if she doesn't! She also knows that she is not to shout or hit or push. I was struck by a story I read ecently on the importance of obedience, which told of a pastor's first funeral being for a three year old girl whose parents let her get away with disobeying whenever they told her to do something, and who was killed running in front of a car when she had been told to come back. It is hard work, but I believe so very important.
Often CassCass picks things up with little input from me (the joy of a second and subsequent child!). We began on the alphabet recently, learning the a b c song, but hadn't done anything for a few weeks, and suddenly she knows pretty much the whole song! She really enjoys reading the a b c book her Grandma made her (CassCass est adorable, CassCass est belle, CassCass est courageouse....) and recognises probably 16-20 letters. She enjoys counting too, and is often accurately counting objects around the place or in pictures.
CassCass and JoJo still get on really well, she plays very well with him, being gentle and sitting beside him with a toy or book. She will often steal his toy away though! When he wakes from his siesta, she goes in and opens the windows and entertains him till I come!
CassCass doesn't eat particularly well at the moment, but I suspect it is a mixture of too many biscuits in the diet (!), the heat, and not needing too much. I keep forgetting to serve child size portions, as mum helpfully advised! Perhaps I should serve food on saucers?! Eating when she is tired is a lost cause so that encourages me to have meals for midday and 6pm. If she has a siesta she will not go to sleep until 9 or 10 pm but otherwise is fast asleep within minutes around 7pm, then wide awake and raring to go at 6am. She does have night wakings regularly but I'm not sure what that's due to.
As with LissaLou, I am really looking forward to having CassCass at home for another year, as I feel that there is so much to learn about her and for me to understand in how to interact with her. I also quite simply enjoy the girls' company! The main challenge will be sharing my attention between her and LissaLou. As LissaLou is so much more vocal, it is easier for her to get my attention and to forget about CassCass who just gets on quietly with her own thing. I am hoping to find activities that will be able to involve them both, especially as CassCass is able to sit for longer periods.