We are realizing over and over again that we have an extremely energetic, adventurous and independent toddler, even compared to other toddlers. Having only ever had one toddler, we sometimes wonder if we are correctly assessing things, or if we are partly to blame (other than genetics. With regard to genetics, I blame her father). Our recent trips with other families of toddlers, and some acute observations at the daycare, have led to the following observations:
1) Layla is much more trouble than most other toddlers, but not the most trouble. These other more troublesome toddlers are boys, and are bigger and just a little more adventurous. Layla seems to have at least a little sense of caution, which is tremendously helpful.
2) A few really big benefits come out of this - first, she doesn't hesitate to try everything and do anything, which makes every outing very fun. Second, like her mommy, she finds hanging around at home kind of boring, so we have a good excuse to go out and do family-friendly fun things when we can, and we have found a lot of neat things to do. Third, I don't worry about her getting enough activity when she's being watched by someone else - because I know she'll make sure she gets it.
3) A few other things: she is a GREAT sleeper at night, and she seems to have made that necessary cognitive leap so she understands where we're going and what we're doing - hugely useful when things aren't going as planned or we're in a new environment. She's also pretty tough and doesn't whine a whole lot when she gets hurt, something she couldn't have gotten from me.
I have no idea how much of this is her and how much comes from the way we're parenting her - but I get the sense that it's mostly her. It must be fascinating to have twins that are totally different, so you can see this. And I'm sure it will be very very interesting to see how this toddler morphs into a little person and finally into a grown-up person.