Wednesday, 16 February 2011


I had children relatively late in life. It could have all gone very wrong by starting out late, but I was very lucky not to have problems conceiving. I didn't know, when I was pregnant with Monkey, whether he would be an only one or not. And, in the first few weeks after his birth I thought he might do as he was one of those difficult babies that wouldn't sleep and would eat all the time. I so felt like I was not cut out for motherhood. Then, gradually, slowly, things got better and I felt more able to cope.

One night, when he was about 4 months old, I was getting ready to go out after he'd gone to bed and it hit me. I wanted him to have a sibling, a playmate. I didn't know if it would be possible and I knew that due to my age, I wouldn't be able to wait too long before trying again. But I felt like I owed it to him to try - just to have another child in the house would change the dynamic massively.

We waited a couple of months before starting the trying bit again and it also didn't take long. Missy Woo was due the end of June, just three and a half months after Monkey turned one. She was late, so the age difference is just a few days short of sixteen months. And thankfully, she was way more chilled as a baby so it was never as bad as first time around.

Their closeness in age is matched by their closeness as siblings. Monkey's first word was "sister". Twice when she was a baby, he tried climbing in her bouncy chair - whilst she was already in it. He didn't do it to hurt her, he did it because he wanted to be like her. Missy Woo is the same in return - she's watched her brother do things slightly ahead of her and she's wanted to be like him. She wanted to be at school with him when he started, hence the excitement at starting last September. Most recently, she was beside herself with more excitement, all because she was due to get spellings to take home every week, just like Monkey.

They may be older now, and starting to have distinct "boy" and "girl" interests, but they are still close. They can argue and fight like cat and dog but they are inexorably drawn to each other. If they are apart overnight - which has happened occasionally - the first thing they do when you get them on the phone is ask to talk to their sibling and then they jabber away randomly at each other until you call a halt or they would honestly talk all night. Nearly every night, they have a kiss or a "huggle" (as Missy Woo calls it) before they go to bed.

This picture is typical. They decided to lay on the floor of the living room the other day for some reason I have yet to establish. At one stage, they were pretending to make snow angels! But look closely, and you'll see they are lying there, holding hands. Yes, they are posing for the camera but they were already holding hands anyway when I picked up my phone to take the photograph. Monkey's not given to public displays of affection but at home, he's different. And he might not thank me for publishing this one day!

I'm so glad they have each other. They are the embodiment of togetherness. They will always have that bond, like an invisible thread connecting them wherever they are; at least I hope they will. Lots of people thought we were mad to have two children so close together, but their closeness vindicates the decision we made to go for it. Just seeing them so close makes it worth it.

Brother and sister. Best friends. Partners in crime. Togetherness.

This post was written for Week 46 of the Gallery at Sticky Fingers.
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