“Mommy play with me. Play with me now.” Charlotte has been pleading that I play with her. The transition to big sister has not been without challenges for the both of us. It’s been a difficult and interesting process to watch her experience this shift in the world she has come to know. There’s this extra insecurity at the same time that there’s a boost in independence and confidence, and all of it gets processed through these super huge feelings that she really can’t control (at mostly inconvenient times). I feel for her. It’s painful to watch. There are all these tender moments where she picks out her outfit and dresses herself, and I get a glimpse of the look she might have on her face as a teenager, the look that shows how proud she is of her outfit choice and ability to get dressed without assistance mixed with the uncertainty of whether or not she got it right or what my reaction will be. So on a day like this where it’s pushing mid-80s, I skip the conversation about weather appropriate attire for a hot day in the sandbox and let her wear her long sleeves, black tights, and cowboy boots. As far as I’m concerned, she nailed the outfit. Charlotte spent her entire time in the sandbox burying seashells and looking for them again, as if she was trying to convince herself everything she already knows to be true about object permanence. I can imagine her thinking, “the seashell is still there, it’s still there…my mother is still my mother…things are different now, but I’m still here.” She’s anxious when I leave the room or move out of her sight like she hasn’t been for a very long time. I keep going back to this great post by Janet Lansbury. Every time I say something that makes me cringe, every time I no longer want to respond to the testing of limits, I go back to it. And Winnie, she’s just chilling, working on growing cheeks and chins. I’m enjoying the lengthening alert times and struggling to know how to cope with a baby that spits up all the time.