Okay, so if you are still with me, I just posted about where Adriana and Lucia are at developmentally right now. You may have noticed that my girls are completely opposite - Adriana is stronger in language and cognitive development, whereas Lucia is stronger in social/emotional and physical. When combined with the fact that Adriana is JUST LIKE ME and Lucia is not, this makes for some interesting parenting challenges.
1) I am worried that Adriana will be "The Smart One" and Lucia will be "The Cute/Funny One" and how that will affect them. While I never had a sister, I spent my entire second pregnancy hearing stories about Sister Issues. I'm worried that the fact that the girls are so different is going to cause problems with their self esteem or make them super competitive with each other. It's probably weird to worry about this before their personalities are formed enough to even know how well they even fit into these categories, but I do anyway.
2) It's hard not to compare them. I have joked since she was tiny that I think Lucia might be a bit of a ding dong. This is because she didn't speak as quickly as Adriana, or learn her ABCs as quickly, and she still doesn't know her colors. It's hard for me to keep things in perspective - she is a totally normal two year old, if not above average. Just because she is learning at a different rate than Adriana does not mean she will be any less intelligent. It also works in reverse...don't think I haven't noticed that Lucia was telling us she loved us without prompting before Adriana had even started doing that. Does this mean Adriana won't be as loving of a person as Lucia? No. But it's still hard not to notice. I am definitely very aware that I need to be careful about these comparisons and make sure that the girls know that I think they are both amazing and that none of their differences mean I love one more than the other or any of that nonsense. They are just different, and I think it's cool that they are their own little people.
3) I find myself reacting to them differently. This one is a) because I see so much of myself in Adriana it scares me, b) Adriana talks like she is older, so I expect her to ACT older, and c) Lucia talks like a baby (and is the baby of the family), so I treat her like a baby. I feel like Adriana had to grow up so fast, becoming a big sister at just 22 months. I feel bad that Adriana didn't get to be a baby for long, and wonder if that is why she is still a little emotionally immature. There is also this weird mix of being frustrated when she acts out but also totally remembering being EXACTLY LIKE HER as a kid, so I end up being way too hard on her and then feeling super guilty about it and overcompensating by being too lovey with her. I can see why my mom has commented about me sending mixed messages. Lucy, on the other hand, can be a total baby a-hole and I hardly yell at her because she's just a baybeeeee. I am trying really hard to be more level headed and treat them equally and fairly, but I sort of feel like my progress will remain stalled until I get this damn Mirena out. Ugh, I hate being yelling mom. Hate it. And the worst part is that all of this basically means that I am doing the exact same freaking thing to Adriana as my parents did to me - they were always way harder on me than my brothers. I do see now that my personality sort of invites that. Sigh.
I want to know...do your kids' differences affect how you parent them? How do you balance it out? And if your kid is exactly like you, do you think it makes them harder to parent or easier?