Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Gallery - Friendship

I've decided to have a go at this this week. This is for week 13 of the Gallery at Sticky Fingers and the theme is Friendship.

I've chosen a picture of my two children for this post.

This picture was taken just over a year ago. It was the morning of Monkey's 4th birthday party, which he shared with another child from nursery. The party was fancy dress optional and I decided to take some pictures of them in their finery. I have several standard poses of them stood up and smiling at the camera, but after a couple, they insisted, almost as a unit, that I take a picture of them like this.

This sums up my children. They were born around 16 months apart. It had to be that way because I was past 40 when I had Monkey and although I didn't adjust well to new motherhood with a baby that rarely slept, I knew by the time he was about 4 months old that I wanted him to have a sibling and therefore as time was not on our side, we'd have to start trying again fairly soon. Thankfully and rather scarily, it happened quite quickly and I found out that I was pregnant when he was 7.5 months old.

People thought I was mad, but the fact is that a 16 month old can't really be jealous of another baby as well as having similarish needs and Monkey soon forgot that there was ever life as the single most important person in the house. Yes, it was hard but not impossible, particularly as the second one was a girl and she was a dream to look after. Now that they are older (Monkey is 5 and Missy Woo will be 4 in July), it's like having twins although now, the gender gap is beginning to widen slightly and they're getting different interests.

Monkey started talking around the time that Missy Woo came along. His first word was "sister". (His second was "digger" - I think we know where his priorities lie.) They have always been exceptionally close. They have that close kind of friendship that only siblings close in age can really have -people often ask me if they ARE twins, which seems apt. They love each other but they hate each other too at times. They both instantly covet what the other has got. They fight over who gets prime spot in the car (oh, for them being in different stage car seats) and then, when it's most convenient for me to have them choose the same thing, they want different. It's frustrating but fun at the same time.

When they were at nursery together, Missy Woo got a bit unsettled when she moved rooms on reaching 2.  Whenever she cried, the staff just took her into Monkey, who gave her a big hug and she would cheer up. She got unsettled again when he started at school but it was more serious this time because Monkey was not there to give her a hug. It took longer to get over but we got there. She can't wait to go to school like her "big" brother. Hopefully, they won't need Monkey to provide hugs in class this time.

I chose this photo because I think it sums up their friendship. They are beautiful children, but full of mischief too. Missy Woo is the brains of the operation and Monkey is the brawn. They both blame each other when they are caught having done something naughty or destructive. Maddening but I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Great post. As you know my two have a similar age gap. Daughter was 4 in January and son was 3 in May. I think it's a great age gap and mine are also becoming great playmates - or partners in crime should I say. I call them "double trouble".

  2. I chose my children for this prompt too and have children with the same age gap. Great photo, it's lovely to see them so happy together:) Jen.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Mrs M. They definitely are double trouble at this age. It gets worse. ;)

  4. Jen, (and Mrs M!) It always amazes me how many people do have a similar age gap. I have one friend whose boys are 19 months apart then one who has a 23 month gap then the rest are the standard 2 + year gaps between children.

    My sister and I are only 18 months apart. We used to fight horrendously - and the worst thing is my sister is a terrible arguer who will tell you something which you know is wrong, you will prove her wrong and her response will be to say "See? I told you that in the first place!" Arrrghh.

  5. Cuties! Mine are 24 months apart, it is hard work. Sometimes I think closer might have been easier, as you say, the older toddler doesn't get jealous whereas a two year old did. Still its all fun!

  6. Thanks for commenting! They are cuties when they are like that, as I often say; see them again when they are red-faced and tantrumming and you might think different. ;)

  7. Aw, what a lovely picture. My two are quite close in age, although not as close as yours, and I hope they will be good friends.

  8. Thanks Barbara! I hope mine stay good friends. I suspect there will be an element of them moving more apart because of gender differences because Monkey is a typical boy and Missy Woo is a girlie girl, more so as she gets older but perhaps might help a bit in terms of them not being TOO similar.

  9. How sweet! I'm sure they will always be there for each other :D

  10. Wow, that's brave, 16 months. My Isabelle is 3 yrs now and still cannot make the decision to have another monkey ;)

  11. bubbleboo, thanks!

    Mirka, as I said, I was kind of left with no choice but it wasn't as bad as people said it would be. When I was pregnant second time, I bumped into a lady who used to be a health visitor and she asked what the age gap was going to be (Had Missy Woo been on time, it would have been more like 15.5 months) She said the time to have a second is before 18 months or after 5 years. There are 18 months between myself and my sister so I guess it doesn't feel that odd to me.

    There are definite benefits to having two close together. Like the fact that they both still sleep at lunchtime and it was fairly easy (for me anyway) to get them to sleep at the same time so I used to get time off to myself then. Their needs are very similar and it's easier to work around.

    I personally wouldn't like to leave it a long time between children. There are several mums of Reception class children in my son's class that are expecting second children and I cant think of anything worse than having to go back to the days of sleepless nights and random routines - and still having to get a child to school on time.


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