23 February 2006

The fountain of youth...

... are we ever NOT looking for it? I can think of maybe two times in my life when I didn't wish I was "younger" (at least, in the physical sense)... that would be when I was a teenager, and when I went to college. As a teenager, like most of my peers, I thought I knew it all; I hated being treated like a child. It would have been dreadful to have to relive a single second of my past life. When I got to college I had my first taste of freedom. In fact, I didn't want to be any age except for the age I was, at that very time. The idea was to live completely in the moment.

My almost 7 year old is in pursuit of this mythological unravelling of time. I didn't really understand it at first; she's the oldest and therefore has "responsiblity", a term that makes her feel very special. In the last couple of years she's proudly stated her age to anyone who would listen - the pizza man, the check out girl, random house visitors - completely proud of her stage in life. She's allowed to make some of her own decisions, like what to wear. She can get her own snacks. She can decorate her own room. She can walk to our neighbor's house by herself. She can write her name. She can read. In fact, there's hardly anything she CAN'T do. Her younger brothers definitely aspire to be like her, to do these things that they begin to fight for at the ripe old age of 2. So, why would she suddenly want to be younger, especially after surviving the birth of not one, but two younger brothers with the greatest of ease, and embracing her development into a perfect young lady? The explanation lies on a burp cloth, my friends. Yes, it is true. See for yourself:

(I bought these, by the way - aren't they adorable?)

When you are a baby, it IS all about you, apparently a feeling we covet again and again throughout our mortal lives. My daughter is feeling replaced by a younger, spoilbound version of herself, and is therefore developping feelings of rivalry. I suppose there was no competition in having little brothers. She still had her own image, which resembled everything opposite of them. Now, that image is going to be shared by a new little center stage piggy. We've been pouring through her old baby clothes, redoing the nursery in colors very similar to those in her own room, discussing names. This world is no longer her own, the world of being the daughter. No wonder she wishes she could turn back time, much like we look back at our younger abled selves and yearn to relive the past.

One can hardly blame her.


Rachelle said...

Poor girl! And I love the "It's all about me" That is so true of babies!

emlouisa said...

She will LOVE her sister. And not love her too. Ah, the joys of siblings!

Moonface said...

Looking back, I kind of remember the (many)instances of sibling rivalry between my elder sister and I with FONDNESS. Bizzare! We used to be at each other's throats all the time, but now we are the best of friends, even though we live half a world away from each other.