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What Do You Mean, You're Not Just Like Your Sister?

Cora started crawling. I mean actual,
intentional, forward motion.

At the now-infamous brunch on Saturday I plunked Cora down onto the
hardwood floor, safely away from all toys with tiny pieces. Cora
spied a bin of train cars a few feet away and began rocking in
anticipation. Secure that she couldn’t get there, I turned
away to settle Maddie and chat with my friends. A few moments
later, I spied a chubby little body rolling happily on the floor,
chewing a toy train.

Thinking I’d misjudged the distance, I swept a new toy-free
perimeter and watched Cora.

Growling in frustration, Cora rolled on
her back and looked all around. Spying the moved toy bin, she spun
to her stomach and began crawling commando-under-a-tripwire-style
towards the toy bin, elbowing her way forward with determination.
She made it there in seconds, snatched a piece and crowed in

I turned to my friend Bev and said feebly, “I guess
she’s crawling now.”

At seven-and-a-half months, Cora’s officially mobile; since
Saturday we’ve watched the crawling become ever more
instinctive and now nothing is safe. I think it would’ve
happened earlier had Cora had more access to the slippery hardwood
floors; our house is so piled with boxes right now that
there’s been no clear stretches for her to open up and see
what she can do.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised – I mean, I’ve
been watching her rock on hands and knees for a couple weeks now.
But somewhere in the back of my head, I thought I had another month
before Cora started crawling. Why? Because that’s the age
Maddie crawled at.

When you have a second child, everyone tells you, “Be
prepared – all kids are different.” You hear that about
as much as a first-time pregnant mom hears, “Sleep while you
can!” You know your second child won’t be a cookie
cutter, but at the same time you feel so much more prepared to deal
with babyhood since you’ve been through it before –
you’re a pro! You’ve had practice! So it’s only
natural to hold your firstborn up to your second as a measuring
stick: when can I expect my new one to sleep through the night?
Will she like solid foods? Will she take to nursing immediately?

I was discussing this with Bev over the weekend and she went
through the same thing with her second son. Bev said it’s the
small things that surprise her: her second doesn’t like
avocado, for example, while Danny loved it, and she found herself
saying to her younger son, “But you should like avocado!
Danny loved it! You will too!”

So even though I know my girls are different, I can’t help
but be surprised when Cora gives me even more evidence proving it.
Not that Maddie is the perfect child and I want another exactly
like her; she’s simply all I have as a reference point. Which
means that this crawling thing shouldn’t have surprised me,
but it did.

I’m on my guard: I’ve seen Cora straining to pull
herself up to standing already and know it’s not far behind.
Maddie crawled and started standing within a couple weeks, and
I’m guessing Cora will be the same way.

Though who knows – as Cora’s already proven,
she’s her own girl.


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