The transition between stages is swift, but sneakily creeps its way in without notice till one day you sit back and just say, "Wow, my kids grew up". I am still waiting for the age that doesn't trump the previous one. Baby smell and giggle are surely missed, but each new step of independence and intelligence makes each day better then the last.
Breiden, he is a smart one, that kid. He makes me forget that I am talking to a 3 and a half year old, what with his sarcastic demeanor and ever so persuading arguments. This kid can sweet talk anyone to get what he wants... except his uber sharp mom and dad. He has done this since he could talk, sweetly exclaiming, " Gavin! Look at that cool toy" and while his brother gets sidetracked with something new, B sweeps in and takes the toy that Gavin was playing with- the toy that he really thinks is cool. He is an actor through and through, most tears are forced for pure drama, and it seems he is always in control and aware of how people react to different approaches. Breiden is outgoing (most of the time), a people pleasure, center of attention, cool kid- just like his daddy.
He is my protector- the big brother. (Although, he actually is the younger twin). He offers to help with Fiona and talks to her in the same tone and goofy smile that my husband and I do. He is quick to step in between anyone who he doesn't think should be near his sister and he is just as protective with his brother. Sometimes its hard to tell if he is being nice or manipulative with Gavin, though.
While I often try to tune out what is going on behind me as I drive the kids around in our mini van, eaves dropping on their conversations can be like savoring a sweet piece of candy. The crinkle of Fiona opening the velcro strap of her shoe was followed by Breiden saying, " Oh Fiona! Its okay, sweetie. I'll do it for you when we stop." Its food for your soul to hear your kids interacting like that. Its also reassuring to me that my kids are picking up on how I talk to them, and that its not screaming or anger coming out of their mouths. Its patience. At least, most of the time.
Gavin is hot or cold. Either super laid back or extremely emotional. I once thought he was a push over, but he definitely has spunk when he really wants something. Gavin is me. He is an introvert. He thinks before he speaks and has no problem keeping to himself. When he is upset, his whole body gets thrown into. Not in an acting, drama kind of way like Breiden, but in pure true emotion. His tears come from his heart. Gavin is considerate- Fiona is never without a toy when he is around. While he might not want to give up the toy he is playing with, he will go out of his way and find her something similar for her to play side by side with him.
He is random and dances to the beat of his own drum. " Go Alligators!", I hear him chant as I look over at him doing the Gator chomp. Left field, I cant even remember when the last Gator game was we watched, but he felt it fitting for whatever he was thinking in his head. He is shy and timid in new situations, but has more energy then you can prepare for once he warms up. Just like his mama.
Fiona. Man, does she have this household wrapped around her finger. Her cuteness is irresistible, and her presence is always wanted. I knew that we would be celebrating a lot of her accomplishments this year, and we have been hit left and right with new milestones. Baby girl drank from a juice box today. All by her self. Judge all you want, mommy war people, but getting a child with Down syndrome to learn how to drink from a straw or a sippy cup is far more complicated then them just being attached to a bottle. Its a physical skill that is very difficult for our low muscle tone kiddos. We are one step closer to ditching the bottle, on our way to walking and nearing a break through with speech. Its been an exciting kick off to the new year.
I feel the turn coming up soon. We are getting close to leaving the baby stage and having a toddler. Each day, those wobbly legs grow stronger and she is standing longer and longer. And she is starting to take steps forward with a little motivation and balance from my hands. I feel blessed to enjoy her baby-ness longer then usual and am ready to watch her becoming into a little girl. But there is something about her being my last baby. A heightened awareness and appreciation for the last 3 years I have gotten to enjoy with my babies being babies. With a new blessing that just arrived to one of my friends and another just starting to grow in another friends belly, I know I am far from being baby deprived. I'm headed for the craziest, best years and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for me. I am picturing lots of taxing my future NHL players to and from practice and lots of laughes on our living room floor.