Child Development

My sister-in-law is not a baby person.  She never has been.  She will tell you that she isn’t.  This is not to say that she didn’t love her babies or that she wasn’t a good mother when they were infants.  She’s just one of those people who prefers children when they get older.  I say this because Emily (my 9-year-old niece) appears to have taken after her.

It was interesting to watch how my nieces interacted with Anna.  My mom and I expected that they would both be gunning to go for walks and push the pram, that they would ask to feed her, that they would be regularly want to hold her and play with her.  And they weren’t.

Felicity (who is 7) would check in regularly.  She’d pat Anna’s hand or leg.  One day, she did come over to me and ask if she could hold her, which was, of course, perfectly okay.  But Emily never did.  She held Anna once and that was for a cousin picture when Chelsea was doing the photo shoot.

It was clear that both girls were a bit unsure about an infant so young.  Felicity wanted to get out all of the baby toys, and we had to keep explaining that a 7-week-old simply doesn’t have the skills to use them yet.  Emily wanted to know if Anna would be talking when they came to visit this summer.  (She was a bit disappointed to learn that Anna will still be learning how to sit unsupported then.)

Like all children, Emily and Felicity did not behave as anticipated when they met their new cousin.  It will be interesting to see if they become more comfortable around her as she gets older.  But it was definitely interesting to see that Felicity is taking after my brother in regards to babies while Emily is most definitely her mother’s daughter.


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