It's amazing how different their childhoods have been. Miriam was surrounded mostly by adults in her earliest years, and didn't really learn much about anything beyond her age unless I chose to tell her about it.
Magdalena, on the other hand, thrives on being around other kids, and there are plenty of them - most of them older than her - because they're Miriam's playmates. She knows about all kinds of things - school, homework, ballet class, dramatic little-girl argument tactics, and My Little Ponies, all thanks to Miriam's influence.
Miriam will wait patiently (uh, sometimes) for our help if she needs help accessing an item of food. She knows that we'll get around to it eventually.
Magdalena, on the other hand, puts no such trust in possible attention from Mom or Dad at an unspecified future moment. She gets what she needs for herself at any effort, even if it involves dragging chairs into the kitchen to reach the unreachables, and using her teeth to open stubborn packaging. Be careful about eating cheese at my house because sometimes I find the brick on the counter with suspicious toddler-sized bite marks taken out of it.
Miriam knows that when she's playing with her little sister, any toy is hers for the asking (or cajoling).
Magdalena tucks away precious play items into purses, under her blankets, or in obscure corners of the house. Nothing is safe. Ever.
When it was time for Miriam to start preschool, she was excited about it, I guess. Mom and Dad sent her to this place to play for a couple of mornings a week. Whatever.
Magdalena is absolutely salivating for the chance to go to preschool. The poor long-suffering younger sibling has gone with me to drop off and pick up Miriam from preschool (in Ithaca) and then KG2 (here) every day. She will start KG1 in the fall - at last! - and we get to hear about it from her every. single. day.
The dynamic between the two girls has been like this as long as I can remember.
Now, I would roll my eyes and say that every parent probably says this about each one of their children, except that I don't recall feeling that way about Miriam. She was always anxious to be up and doing, yes, but when she was a baby she was a baby, you know?
Not so with Madgalena. What a joy it is to observe these two girls as they grow up and into themselves.