One of the most mysterious things about parenting is seeing your child develop a personality. Obviously, there are certain things that we do as parents that help shape their personality, but we can't control it all. This is a good thing, I'm sure, since my first inclination would be to wish for children who were always polite and ate their vegetables and slept through the night and never whined about the color of their breakfast spoon.
No, I'm not one to look for adventure, but quite clearly I have found it in the soul of Julianne. Whereas Sydney rarely opened up cupboards and drawers, Jules always does. This frustrates me more than it ought to, but I refuse to put locks on every cotton pickin' drawer and cupboard in our house. The cleaning fluids are locked up, but beyond that I hate door locks. It serves me right, then, that I'm running around all day swatting at Jules' hand, but she needs to learn to live in a house without destroying it. Seems like a reasonable request to me, yes?
Also, Sydney wouldn't wander far from us (and still won't), but I'm often looking up from doing the dishes to discover Jules is nowhere to be seen. I wander through the house, calling for her as if she'll call back like Sydney does, "Here I am, Mama." Eventually, I discover her off in Sydney's room, playing with the toys. She's not a big fan of me leaving, that's for sure. But she doesn't seem to mind going off on her own. It's so funny to me, because she has been like this since she could crawl. I'm sure it's because she follows Sydney around the house and so feels comfortable going wherever she pleases, but I'm not quite used to a child who appears to be more independent than I am.
Now, as Jules is fast approaching her first birthday, she is showing signs of her opinions. She likes the remote controls; she doesn't like it when we're sitting on the couch without her. She likes you to be on the floor so she can bring you books and sit in your lap; she doesn't like to sit in your lap for more than 5 seconds at a time. Julianne and books is still something she is working out. She knows she should like them. She sees Sydney sitting in Jason's lap at bedtime listening to stories, and Jules wants to be part of it in some way. She stands next to the chair, whining, begging to be picked up, hoping to be part of the bedtime routine with Daddy and Sydney. The thing is, though (and you might find this rather unfair), she just can't. She rips the pages of the books. She doesn't really want to sit there, she wants to pull the glasses off Sydney's face and stick them in her mouth. She wants to stand up and have Jason catch her as attempts to jump out of the chair. It's charming...in it's own way. But it's not very relaxing, which is what we need to get Sydney to go to sleep. Someday she'll get to be part of the bedtime routine, but not yet. For now she'll have to be happy sitting with me.
Fortunately, being happy is something she is pretty good at. She's the smiley, outgoing one--an opposite personality from Sydney. Sydney is not outgoing, which isn't to say she can't be friendly, but she's not very comfortable around strangers. Part of me thinks that God gave her this personality trait so that I wouldn't be tempted to take her to a modeling agency. Not that I find the idea attractive, but I've had strangers tell me on more than one occasion I should have Sydney model. At $75 an hour, it's not a bad gig, but Sydney would hate it. I probably would too.
Jules, on the other hand, is all smiles. She's even started the look-over-the-shrugging-shoulder thing that is quite charming. But take a toy away from her and the smile stops, the head shakes, the voice becomes insistent that we give it back right now.
Oh, our sweet little Jules. She who we call Juju, Jubee, Jujubee, Jujubee Jones, Julsie, and Jingle Bells. She's a joy, and a handful, and personality all her own.