Let me start off by saying that having guests is especially fun when said guests also have little ones underfoot as well. The same is true in reverse, when we are the visitors. How comforting it is to know that mornings are crazy, afternoons are disorderly but fun, nap-time is not only for the babes but also for parents who can, and conversations that actually start - and end - in the same sitting don't begin until after the kids go to bed. There is such an unspoken comfort to knowing this craziness is universal.
That being said, we had a great week with Richard's brother, Toby, and his family Kate and cousins Apple and Lilly who were visiting from the UK last week. Apple is 5 months older than Isabelle and Lilly is 5 months old. Ahhh, seeing Lilly made me all the more excited to welcome our little one home in seven weeks! It's only until you see such a little one that you remember just how *little* they can be. I find myself occasionally buying shoes and clothes for Isabelle that are way too small because unless she is next to me, I still envision her as a baby, only to be reminded when I see an infant just how BIG she actually is.
This was our first week-long visit from visitors that involved other children, which by nature of the situation, were given Isabelle's room, crib, and obviously toys & dinnertime arrangements for the week. We've had many a play-date, but admittedly we were a bit nervous about how Isabelle would handle sharing most everything she had for an entire week. However, I cannot express how proud we were of her - she was a STAR and absolutely brilliant with sharing her home & belongings. With the exception of just a couple ruffles over toys (I can actually only think of one, but there must have been at least a couple) she did not so much as utter a fuss over giving up her bed or room or anything that her cousins needed. I will qualify this by also saying that she is still a toddler - true to the textbooks. While not necessarily this week, I have on occasion witnessed her wanting every toy in sight unwilling to part with any of them, seen her throw a tantrum, watched as she throws food on the floor after asking her not to do so, etc. At the end of the day, she is a very strong, independent, clever little girl. However, just when you think the situation will be too much for a little one to possibly understand, leaving it ripe for tantrums galore, they absolutely surprise you with a maturity beyond your wildest expectations.