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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sibling Rivalry: The Lion and The Elephant

It happens. You think that if your kids are years and years apart in age, you won't have to deal with sibling rivalry, but guess again.

When my second daughter was born, my oldest daughter was two and a half months away from being 12 years old.

You can't argue with somebody who doesn't know how to speak, so fortunately for Keeley, Lindsey could hold her own because she had been practicing speech since birth.

As her mother, I knew my daughter was forming words from a very early age, and I insisted that Lindsey was speaking from the time she was three months old, though nobody believed me.

But honestly, when I would ask her to say, "Mommy," Lindsey would mouth, "muh muh." When I would ask her do say, "Daddy," Lindsey would say, "Deh Deh." With everything I asked her, as a matter of fact, she made the appropriate sound, but because the word didn't come out sounding exactly the way it was supposed to sound, people told me I was imagining things.

With arms folded across my chest, and chin lifted high, I can say with certainty that clearly Lindsey was speaking at three months. And when she started talking at eight months, and people were astounded by how well she could speak, I made sure to say, "told ya."

Keeley would antagonize Lindsey, even demanding Lindsey to ask for her formula by enunciating, "I want my Prosobee please." Lindsey had been breast fed the first eight months of her life and was put on formula for four months until she could drink milk at twelve months.

When you "do the math," you realize that Lindsey was speaking in full sentences before she turned one year old.

Because Lindsey could speak so well so early, she could also argue quite well with her older sister, though in the following situation, I wonder how she analyzed the conversation in her mind.

One day they were sitting at the dining room table. Lindsey was tattling (something that occurred frequently) on Keeley.

"You're lyin'," Keeley told Lindsey loud enough for me to hear.

And one year old Lindsey responded, probably after trying to figure out what Keeley's comment had to do with what they were talking about, "Well (which she pronounced, waaaayo), you're an elephant."

(A special thank you to my sister, Cindy, for reminding me about this incident.)

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