The wee Mairin wakes cheerfully most mornings. She's been eating well. She even goes down peacefully for a nap these days.
Bedtime is a very different story.
At bedtime, I refer to her as "Mern" (rhymes with Vern).
Even though she has been "weaned" for some time, I feel compelled to use air quotes around the term because she still asks for "boobie dish" or "boom boom" when she's tired.
I can rebuff her advances at nap time. However, the same approach in the evening elicits an argument from Mern.
She sticks her hand down my shirt, makes sly attempts to negotiate ("May I have some boom boom, please?") and gets pretty cranky when refused. This little game can last an hour or more and I've grown tired of it.
I've tried ignoring her, negotiating with her, explaining to her. I've even tried citrus, but suspect she may have acquired a taste for tartness as a result.
I know she knows I don't want to argue with her over this any more. She's super duper smart. She's been potty trained for months, accesses a vast vocbulary for a teeny tot and can hold a discussion about what happened in The Sound of Music or Dora the Explorer.
The problem with Mairin is that she's the most stubborn person I've ever met.
She's absolutely particular and holds her ground when challenged. She would categorize parties as sheer torture - it takes her a long time to warm up. She simply refuses to eat yesterday's leftovers and can muster the energy to carry a temper tantrum to the highest heights.
Miss Leighton is nearly four. By stark contrast to her sister, she's rather aimiable and will go with the flow when encouraged or distracted. She can find the fun in almost every situation and loves a grand party. She'll try any food at least once and rarely loses her temper.
Night and day in many ways.
The silver lining here is that it's interesting to see how two little girls can grow up side by side in the same house with the same parents and turn out so different. I know the "Mern" veneer will fall away and Mairin will finally stop hassling me about boobie dish once and for all.
I respect my girls, their differences, similarities, stengths and areas earmarked for improvement. I promise I will never take them for granted.
I just felt the need to revel in the ridiculousness of a situation that I will someday probably miss.
Mama loves you, Mern.
Now please keep your hand out of my shirt.