Over the past several weeks Malia has asked this concerned question almost anytime one of us sneezes -- it's usually Les for some reason (and sometimes when we cough too -- which lately has been happening A LOT).
We think it's really cute and obviously we must make a big deal out of it when she does it because just over the past few days Joelle has been doing the same thing. She tilts her head, smiles sweetly and says "are you okay, daddy?" (or mommy, whoever is the one sneezing at the time). And of course she says it in the baby voice that Malia uses, too.
Part of me finds this funny, but it also really makes me think. Do we give Malia more attention than Joelle that she feels she needs to compete with her? She's done this with other things before too...I remember several months ago when Malia used to say "uh-huh" in a drawn-out, sing-songy voice when she couldn't yet say "yes", and we laughed or made a comment about it almost every time she did it; it was just so darned cute. And once again, Joelle started copying her to get the same reaction out of us.
It's a reminder to me that even though Joelle is older, she still needs to be given the attention that younger kids get. She's old enough to notice when others are applauded or rewarded for their cute behaviour and she's young enough to have it affect her. This may be a small thing, her copying Malia's sayings; but it's also a bit of a wake-up call for me. To make sure that I compliment her a lot and pay her due attention; to make sure she KNOWS without a doubt that I'm proud of her and that I love her and that she is SO special!!