I went to get a hamper full of dirty laundry out of our room yesterday.
I left Gloribeth grabbing her toes on the play-room floor. Ella traipsed after me.
I was gone for all of 20 seconds.
And when I returned, I found Glory across the room, rearing up on her hands, grabbing at a clean cloth diaper through the slats of another laundry basket awaiting folding, and shoving it in her mouth, nomming on it hungrily.
People, she isn't even 5 months old.
Later that night, she was sitting propped up against the hubs while I bathed Ella. When I turned back around to say something to him, she was still sitting there. This time, unassisted.
Laughing away. Giggling and smiling with her baby belly poking out of her pajamas while she sat there by herself.
Ladies and gentlemen, she's not even 5 months old.
I am in big, big trouble. I haven't a clue what to do with this.
While Ella was ahead of the game verbally and comprehensively when it came to developmental milestones, her physical skills came about at the average age. Some of them were a bit slower, even.
She walked a few weeks after she turned 1. She crawled around eight or nine months. She inched everywhere on her belly around 6 or 7 months.
But Glory is doing that now. I haven't a doubt she'll be crawling about in less than a month. Movement-wise, her and Ella are almost night and day.
She already tries to grab the dog, her sister, library books, cell phones. She is unhappy sitting still unless she's being ferociously cuddled or nursed. She is motivated to get across the floor and uses ever muscle fiber to do so, even when her development delays her. She grunts in frustration and determination.
Ella, however, was happy just to sit there. Sit there and focus on things and stare and look deep into the meaning of life, it seemed, at a mere 5 months old.
Glory? I have never met a baby that smiles more.
She's got this light that makes her ever-lovable. She is by no means quiet, but she is gentle. Even though she's a mover and a shaker, she burrows in when she's sleeping and bats her crystal blue eyes at you when she awakes, and she bares her little soul just like that, and you love her. You can't love her enough, in fact.
And thus, she is so different than her sister.
Not in the lovability factor. The world is Ella's oyster, and she has adoring fans everywhere she goes. (We seriously can't get out of the library during certain hours for all the other people fawning over her, impressed with her speech; she orates regularly, there, right at the library book drop-off bin.)
But their little personalities? Oh, so different.
Ella wasn't a huge mover, but could sit forever and flip through books, sitting in one place, by 6 months old. She's also incredibly feisty in personality. She's our fighter, stubborn to the core.
When she was a baby, and even now, she made you work for those smiles. We had song-and-dance routines to get her to giggle.
But you raise an eyebrow at Glory, and she breaks into peals of laughter.
And while I can't make it through a day where I don't hear "Oh my gosh! They look so much alike!" I'm beginning to realize they couldn't be more different.
Which is why I sometimes struggle to find their similarities at all, even in photos.
They are two different little angels in my life. My fiery little fighter who runs about owning the world. And my kind little angel who charms her way into your heart with an easy smile.
Ella is me, in a nutshell. Intense. Interested. All in. And she adores her daddy. He is hands-down her favorite person, always has been.
Gloribeth is her father. Easy-going. Kind. Soft-hearted. And she's all mine. I walk in the room, and she literally leaps out of my husband's arms to get to me. At just 4 months old.
He came home from his last deployment and had to agree that her love for me was special. But he did this while our 2 year old was glued to him, afraid to let go of the love her life.
Ella was a huge comfort nurser. Glory just likes to be rocked and nuzzled. Ella would scream if anything was wrong. Glory saves her cries for very clear and specific reasons. Ella was particular. Glory makes do.
It makes me sad, a little. I'm already mourning the baby she was. She's growing so fast, and the innocent love she shows me makes me so happy. I already miss it, and she's not yet at the stage where she's dropped it for angsty, romantic teenage-dom.
But I know it will pass. And I know she will grow out of it. And just like Ella's affinity to talk to me 24-7, I know I will miss it when it's gone.
Because, yes, it's true. I already like different aspects of their personalities. And I already know my favorite pieces aren't the same in each girl.
With Ella, I always knew what she was thinking. She got me, too.
With Glory, she loves me a lot. She makes me feel like a good mom, even on the days when my mom-soul is dragging.
Our relationship is just special. And so is mine with Ella.
Special. But different.
So much so that I don't even notice their likeness anymore. I focus on the blue eyes of my second-born and the beginning stages of what looks like blond hair. Then I stare at the green, ever-changing eyes of my first-born, hair already darker than mine was at that age, and I can't help but think they are so different to me.
Ella is Ella. As the first-born, she has worn the path and prepared the way.
But like any good second child, Glory may follow, but has routes all her own to explore. She's already exploring them, in fact.
So, yes, she may look a lot like her big sister. But she's not.
She's special. She's amazing.