It was wonderful to have our daughter as a traveling companion, as she's an excellent companion anyway, and our son was so thoughtful of his sister, always switching seats with her, so that she could nurse the baby while sitting next to one of our family members, rather than strangers. (Interestingly, I saw lots of babies traveling, lots of them being breastfed, and not once did I see any mother give her baby a bottle. Awesome!) My two kids were such a help with the little ones, and it wouldn't have been as nice a trip without them.
Little Boy gave us a scare a couple of times (think: large crowds, interesting sights, child with no sense of ...well... sense.) The girls stuck pretty close to us, which surprises me, since they haven't always been so aware of the family unit, but they seem to be evolving that direction. There wasn't the random hugging of complete strangers by Little Girl, although at first Big Girl was inclined to trail a hand out, to brush against people as we walked. This has been an issue for some time, but after a few hours, I guess strangers looked less appealing, touch-wise. At any rate, Little Boy earned himself a ride in the umbrella stroller. Apparently, it's easy to forget you're strapped in, because he kept standing up and trying to walk away, with a giant stroller hanging off of his backside.
It was wonderful to be in the bosom of our family again, and the grandparents seemed to thoroughly enjoy all their grandchildren, as well as their new little great-grandson!
I don't know if it was becoming seasoned travelers, being cherished by their grandparents, or returning home to their well-loved toys and yard, but the children all seem to have turned a corner, developmentally. We've been calling them two-year-old triplets, but now I have to say that we're having a lot of three-year-old moments. They had quite the growth spurt over the summer, and now it seems they're having a brain growth spurt. I always noticed that with my first group of kids, that they grew up physically or they grew up mentally, but not at the same time. Like the body trades it off.
I'll just name off some of the new developments I've seen, since I've been saving them up to write about, if I can remember them... Little Girl can turn the outdoors faucet all the way in one direction, which requires turning, letting go, replacing your hand, continuing to turn in the same direction, until it doesn't turn anymore. Up to now, everyone grabs it, and twists it back and forth.
Little Girl and Big Girl are both able to climb the climbing wall on the playground, planning where to put their hand or foot next. Big Girl is able to climb the spiral, and step over onto the platform, which requires stepping out over open space several feet up in the air.
Little Boy likes to play with the other kids, and giggles a lot, like he thinks he's so funny, but the other day, he was doing something he thought was funny, and looked at me several times to see my reaction, like he was hamming for me. When Big Brother was playing with the kids, Little Girl started laughing so hard, that her face turned red, a vein stood out on her forehead, and her face looked like she was in pain. It was that funny! I've seen lots of people laugh that hard, but not her.
When I order the kids to do something, I always tell them, "Say, 'Yes, Mom!'" to which the girls reply, "m'Mom" and "Ma." Even though Little Boy doesn't talk, I always give him the opportunity by ordering him to say what I tell the girls to say. I figure someday he'll most likely start to answer. He's started answering now by signing, "mom." Pretty cute.
Big Girl likes to look at a book, and say what she thinks the picture is, often accompanied by a sign (sometimes her own made-up sign.) I don't understand her, often, but she will go through the entire book, reciting what she thinks it is, such as "apple!" "dog!" in this manner, drilling herself, then start over again. So, sitting at the lunch table, she started drilling Little Girl, who obediently recited the words and signs that Big Girl barked at her. It was funny because Big Girl pronounces milk, "naw!" and I don't care how many times you correct her, it's "naw!" If you try to get her to draw out the "m" sound, as in "mmmmm-milk!" it becomes, "mmmmm-naw!" She also uses the sign "horse" for "tea" because "horse" sounds like "juice" and juice and iced tea are close enough to get the same sign (I guess.) So Little Girl dutifully imitated all the signs and words that her big sister required of her.
I told Little Boy, "take off your diaper, and throw it in the garbage!" so he took off his diaper, and happily ran to throw it away. That's two-step directions. These are big developments for him, folks!
Tonight I had Big Girl repeat the alphabet after me, which she's pretty good at, although I don't think she could do it on her own. "W" is really cute the way she says it. Then Little Girl repeated it after me, although she wasn't really in the mood, so she didn't try very hard. She does a lot of contorting her mouth and tongue into weird configurations, I figure because I over-exaggerate the shape of every sound, hoping to help them figure out how to pronounce it. When it was Little Boy's turn he never repeated anything, but he did examine my mouth closely as if my lips were truly disfigured.
Here are some pictures from a few weeks ago. Forgive me for the dirt and grunge on my children. Oh well, it washes off, and I don't bathe them until the end of the day anyway. Certainly not just before they eat watermelon!
|Not bad for a kid who has sensory issues with touching or eating things with weird textures, and eating raw or fresh things. Well, it is watermelon, after all. What's not to like?|