He’s little enough (meaning he’s still nursing) that I still have to take him with me when I’m gone for long periods of time. A couple of weeks ago, that meant that he got some extra face time with Grandma in Jeff City when I had a meeting about the Children’s Therapy Act.
After three years of fighting for every milestone, as we do with Julianna, it’s a neverending source of awe for me when things just happen. They may be later than they were with my firstborn, but still, they happen. Nonchalantly. No fuss. Just, “Oh, I think today I’ll fold my hands when I hear you say, ‘It’s time to pray.’” Just, “Oh, I think I’ll start cruising the furniture today.”
Not so many months ago, the sight of his big sister was enough to make Nicholas scream in sheer terror. He still screams at her (and at his brother), but only when they’re lavishing an excess of love on him. He likes his personal space. At all other times, he thinks his big siblings are the coolest thing ever—and clearly, put on the earth to be his personal stand-up comedians.
In Julianna’s case, the feeling is mutual. It’s so funny to see how she tries to hold him like a baby, treat him like a baby, when he’s well on his way to being bigger than she is.
And I, as Mommy, stand off to the side and marvel. Because you see, as Nicholas catches up to Julianna developmentally, I get to watch two of my children make the same milestones at the same time. Right now, they are both high-jumping into a new plane of language comprehension. Julianna is learning to respond to instructions: put this in the trash, please, and carry your plate to the table. Nicholas isn’t at that level, but he, too, abruptly began showing his ability to process and respond to commands. As in, Nicholas, no touch!
In fact, in some ways Nicholas is already ahead of Julianna in speech issues. He experiments with far, far more sounds than she does, and says them far more regularly. Of course, in other ways she’s ahead of him—in deliberate imitation (everything comes out “muh” whether it’s supposed to be boo or ball or moon or mom or dog or dad, but she’s trying) and in responding to yes or no questions and making choices. This “he’s ahead-she’s ahead” dynamic means that they are incredibly well-matched right now. I am planning a scrapbook page called “Partners in Crime.” Here’s a preview.
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