21 March 2014, by Tan Yi Lin
In 3 weeks time, Claire will be a year old.
Claire’s 1st birthday also marks a milestone in Coco’s life in her first year as Big Sister.
Over the past 12 months, the siblings have grown to look more alike… and yet, different.
Their personalities have also started to come through more strongly as they develop into two unique little individuals.
Family, friends and readers often ask what each little person is like and how the sisters get along with each other.
Here’s a glimpse into the personalities and the growing relationship between the Cho sisters.
1. Puppy Love
Claire adores her sister. ADORES.
At the very sight of Coco, this otherwise calm and collected baby suddenly shoots into hyper mode, gurgling and squealing in excitement. Like those little wind-up toy babies, she rapidly crosses the floor in a purposeful right-left-right-left rhythm – her chunky little torso heaving in excitement, towards her sister.
Like a large affectionate puppy, Claire throws herself at Coco – almost bowling over the lightweight latter. With her chubby hands, she pummels pats jiejie (a little too hard) and pretty much lies right on top of Coco. At this point, one can hardly see Coco under all that… Claire.
Not surprisingly, Coco would yowl blue murder at being so roughly manhandled by Claire and hit out at the human bulldozer. But Claire’s affection is infectious and after explaining to Coco that attacking was Claire’s babyish way of showing that she loved and wanted her big sister, Coco now beams and triumphantly chimes, “Claire wants me!” and reaches out to ruffle Claire’s hair and tickle her neck – a sight most endearing indeed.
2. Calm, Cool and Colette-d.
Coco is our resident drama queen. When the actress is in, all the house is a stage as she expertly voices a varied character cast and enthusiastically performs hilariously over-the-top actions.
But when the Terrible Twos alter ego is in play, the drama unfolds differently in the form of tears and tantrums. Ah well, I guess we can’t have Dr Jekyll without Mr Hyde.
Claire has transformed from a serious little snake baby into a chubby, jovial bundle. While she’s still her calm, cool and confident self, when her face lights in a toothless grin – especially around her sister, her glee is simply contagious.
If only she would smile more often for photos– like her crazy sister who loves hamming it up before the camera.
3. Diva vs The Hulk
Coco likes to emulate adult behaviour and is very pleased when she successfully copies us. So things like visiting the dentist are a breeze – simply because, to her, it’s a grown-up activity. She even talks like us, casually tossing phrases like, “Hey guys”, “Alright, guys” and “Thanks, mum!” with finesse. Also, despite her love for random flitting or haphazard bunny-bouncing, Coco’s actually quite a stickler for order and neatness – as demonstrated by how she carefully lines up her toys, and how she dislikes getting down and dirty in the sand.
Keeping up with fearless Claire is a huge – and really tiring – task. While she hasn’t yet mastered the skill of walking unsupported, this little soldier is determined to literally scale new heights – up the stairs, on window grills and on the furniture. The world (and skinny Coco) had better beware when Claire’s in “HULK SMASH!” mode and bulldozes through everything before her, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
4. On Your Marks, Get Set… FIGHT!
Oh, what’s a sibling relationship without the rivalry? I must admit, though, that I didn’t expect to have to be breaking up fights so soon. The domestic wars started when Claire mastered crawling at about 9 months. Since then, WWE-like events are a near-daily occurrence in the house.
A typical battle starts when Claire enters and her eyes sweep the room for any sign of her sister. Her gaze inevitably zooms in on the toy that Coco has in her hands. It doesn’t matter if that very same toy had been lying forlornly on the floor and ignored by both girls up till now. Propelling herself forward towards her unsuspecting victim, she lunges for the item and snatches it from Coco’s grip. The latter protests audibly and snatches it back. Without hesitation, the attacker proceeds to grab it again – and tauntingly holds it out of Coco’s reach (while waving it around, no less).
The fight usually ends with Coco crying and rolling on the floor in a dramatic show of protest, while we pry the saliva-soaked prize from Claire’s stubborn jaws.
5. Eat Up!
Both love to eat.
The difference is in Coco’s clear preference for snacks over cooked food. Mealtimes are either an opportunity to entertain herself (by playing with her food) or a stage for more drama (read: cry-fest).
Claire, on the other hand, takes eating very seriously. Mealtimes. Are. For. Eating. If you dare pause between spoonfuls of porridge or cereal, an angry little voice immediately demands, “MUM-MUM!!!”, which roughly translates to mean “Stop talking and FEED ME NOW, WOMAN!” She is a dream to feed, always ready for the next mouthful until she polishes off the entire bowl in 10 minutes. Easy peasy. Family meals are a happy affair with Claire seated at the table and happily chowing down alongside everyone.
It’s no surprise then that Claire has quickly caught up with Coco in terms of size and weight. When I picked out matching outfits while shopping recently (without the girls in tow), the counter staff enquired if I had twins.
Sisters, sisters, sisters. It’s absolutely intriguing to observe how they interact with each other. It’s all new to me. My sister and I were born 4 years apart, so the dynamics of our childhood relationship are vastly different from Coco and Claire’s.
Well, maybe just a little different. We could be more similar than we think. It’s interesting, nonetheless, to watch and see how they – and we – are ‘same same, but different’.