When IP (our little one) was born, LP was just over two years old. This made the first six months of IP life busy, and sometimes tricky, especially when I was trying to nurse her and simultaneously keep an eye on a very active and busy LP. I was lucky to have my year of family though.
Fast forward to now. They are still just over two years apart, with LP at 5 and IP at 3. The last couple years when they play together it has been mostly LP either telling IP what to do, or IP toddling along behind LP, annoying him with her desire to do everything just like her big brother. But this spring and summer we saw a huge transition. All of the sudden IP and LP are playing together. Sometimes they will pull out a bunch of puzzles and work on them in tandem. They will play “tutu choo choo” which involves both of them wearing tutus (LP’s in yellow, IP’s is purple) and one of them leading the other on as the train engine. They will play “baby” where IP is a baby and LP has to put her down for a nap (and sometimes vice versa). They will sit and build Legos together for hours on end (well, probably only about 20 minutes, but 20 minutes of them both entertained feels like hours). Of course this also means they have throw-down fights where LP accuses IP of being rude (in a rude voice) and IP sobs uncontrollably about LP “touching her” when he brushes by her. But most of the time they are able to overcome even these obstacles with some negotiation. LP has learned that he can usually offer something new to IP if she is demanding a toy he has, and he has also figured out that, if she wants a turn with something, he can tell her “in a minute” and that buys him about three more minutes before she remembers she wanted it. (Gee, I wonder who he learned that from).
While the age difference between our kids is somewhat intentional and somewhat luck-of-the-draw (as with most birth “timings”) both the G-man and I are about two years apart from our own siblings and wanted a similar gap with our own children. One thing I’m appreciating about their closeness in age now is the way they have each other. Right now it is as playmates, but as they get older I
think hope their closeness will grow in the way it does when two people exist in a common setting. No matter where they go, or what they do, the only other person who will have any clue about what it was like to grow up with these nutty parents will be their sibling. When they are both in the same school there will be two vegan kids at school, not just one. When they are in their twenties and I’m driving them nuts, they can call each other b/c they are the ones who will “get” it.
I’m starting to see that closeness develop now. And it is lovely and sweet. Even when they fight about who gets to be the tutu choo choo engine.