I have a confession to make. For the last few months, I have seriously worried that I might like one of my children more than the other. On the one hand I had Delphine, irritable, emotional, and bossy; on the other, I had Cordelia, amiable, charming and fun. (Also little and cute.) Obviously I love them both, but Cordelia was a lot easier to be around than Delphine.
And then Cordelia changed. She's still funny and cute (and little), but she's gone all intense. She's at that age now, where if you cut her toast wrong, or put the applesauce on top of the yoghurt, or put the left shoe on before the right, she freaks out, sobbing until whatever it is is put right or you manage to make her laugh. The other night she didn't want to go to bed, and she had a stereotypical toddler tantrum, screaming and kicking and yelling, for a good ten minutes. We had honestly never had one of those, with either Cordelia or Delphine.
I'm not sure if this change in behaviour is a developmental stage, or if it's simple that we gave up naps a week or so ago and she's still adjusting. Before this she'd always been a happy, easy-going baby, but I remember Delphine going from Straightforward to Complicated sometime in the preschool years. Parenting a baby and toddler is a physical endeavour, carrying and feeding and wiping. Parenting a child is emotional and mental and completely different. I think I now have two children.
Thank goodness—I don't think I could have pretended they were both equally easy and fun for much longer.