My Big Monkey

Hey Monkey! You’ve been a big sister now for over two weeks. It was a period of time in which Mommy and I were worried about how you’d treat your little sister, Choo Choo. There’s always that fear that you’d hurt her (presumably accidentally — I don’t want to suggest any malevolence on your part), or that you’d resent her coming into our family. I mean, let’s be honest, you’ve had the run of the show for a long time now.

But I guess this is also a sign of your maturity. It seems strange to call a 2.5 year old “mature”, but I can’t think of a better word to really describe you. We’ve seen the “Terrible Twos” from you, but no more than I’d think to be average. And, truthfully, I’ve seen far less since Choo Choo arrived.

You’ve grown up, my daughter.

You know it, too. You know this because when I ask you: “Who’s my little Monkey?”, you reply: “I [am a] BIG monkey!” Okay, to be fair, this could be simply because you also notice how much larger you are than Choo Choo. You’re just over 93cm tall now, and you’ve gotta be over 16 kilos, too. That puts you at 4.5 times heavier than Choo Choo, and about twice as tall. You’re not just larger, you’re gargantuan.

But you also treat her very differently. Although Mommy and I do tell you to be careful around Choo Choo, we’ve never had to pull you away, you’ve never tried to hurt her. The day Choo Choo came home, you ran out the front door down the walkway screaming Choo Choo’s name. Every morning you get up and come into Mommy and Daddy’s room, wanting to see your sister. You want to touch her constantly (you actually say: “I need to touch [Choo Choo]!”), and snuggle with her every chance you get. No-one else can kiss her as gently as you do.

You know when Choo Choo’s sad. You know when she needs to be fed. You want to help change her diapers. You try to make her more comfortable in her baby seat, and bring her toys — even your own toys. In fact, well, you kinda seem to love your sister more than you love us. (But don’t worry, we’re not going to hold that against you.)

And maybe, to some degree, you listen to us a bit better, too. I’m not sure if it’s more with age (maturity) or because we’ve figured out how to counter some of the Terrible Twos, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest it’s because you’re my Big Monkey.

Since Choo Choo’s arrived, I’ve really had to realise that you are no longer the little girl whose pictures I look at, and wonder how you got so big. You’re not the frail, fragile thing that you were when you were Choo Choo’s age, and that you can run and skip and play … and slip, and bump, and skin, and bruise, and I’m not going to have a heart attack every time. You’re pretty solid, Monkey. You might still cry when you fall — I’d expect no less — but lately it’s more about the surprise of falling more than any actual injury.

Rest assured, my dear, that I don’t love you any less because you’re not my baby anymore. You’re still my little girl. You always have been, and you always will be. When I’m old and grey, I still hope to be tickling you, teasing you, and playing with you … or at least your kids. You’ll always be my Monkey, no matter how old we get. And while one day you’ll be too big for me to pick up, I’m never going to let you go.