A strange thing is happening as the girls gain a little more independence and learn to express their desires more clearly: they're opting to separate, to seek out one-on-one time with each of their parents. Recently, that meant E and I turned up at a festival we haven't attended without V since, well, before V was born.
We wandered among the chalk artists, talked about the works and found our way to the children's chalk art area where we ran into a few friends. While E created art in a few squares, the adults visited. Then I joined her for some time on the ground before we continued on through the sponsored squares.
Without her sister there, she's much more subdued. While the girls ask for their time away from each other (not in so many words, but that's the end result of these days), they don't seem as buoyant without each other. Maybe it's because they're more relaxed, not competing. Or maybe it's because they miss each other. E is much quieter. V takes the opportunity to asks loads of questions, but also talks about her sister when we're away from E. ("E would like this." "Do you think we should bring xxx home to E?")