If there is one thing that is consistent between baby books and baby magazines – it’s that every kid progresses at different rates and not to compare your kid to other children. Never is that more apparent than when you have 2 or more children. Everyone knows that their child is the absolute best thing to ever grace the world with their presence. I tried to resist comparing Kyle (who was born 5 weeks early) with other children – mostly because I wasn’t around any other children. We had only one car and didn’t have any friends with children so I felt pretty isolated. I got pregnant with Zac when Kyle was 6 months old. I went through the usual worries. How is it possible to love someone as much as you already love your first? Will you have a favorite? What if the new baby isn’t nearly as cute and charming as your first? What if the new baby is as fussy as my first? What if there is a problem with the new baby that takes away from my time with my first? Then Zac came along. He and Kyle could not have been more different at birth but I adored him right away. I loved the bonding time we had in the hospital. Kyle had been in the NICU so I wasn’t used to having a baby with me so much at birth. Kyle came to visit in the hospital and didn’t hate me or the baby. He was his happy, adoring, funny self. It was perfect.
|Kyle and Zac|
After getting into a great routine which involved lots and lots of nursing and diaper changing, walking in the local state park, hitting Target on a regular basis, and frequenting playgrounds – we moved out to Front Royal. It took a while to get into a good routine here. Once I had it all figured out – play time with kids, time for cleaning the house, time for working out, I was hit with a heart problem. Then nearly at the same time – along came my surprise third pregnancy and Zac’s autism diagnosis. It was a hectic time and all my routines went out the window. I am still trying to get back on track nearly three years later! I am lucky to have such great friends and such an amazing support system here. And now I find myself adoring the differences in my kids. I remember going to a Christmas party in Lancaster, PA. Kyle was almost three and Zac was 18 months. Liam was not yet a bun in the oven. I went the party with my Mom and Richard and Kyle went to mingling right away. Playing with other kids but also touring the house and complementing each room. “Oh is this the living room? I really like it. Oh and this is your dining room! It’s very nice. I like your kitchen too!” It was very sweet and had everyone laughing and telling me how wonderful my kids are. I had Zac sitting on my lap. We were practically in the corner and any time someone would come over to tell me how adorable Kyle was – Zac would bury his head shyly in my shoulder and they would coo over him too. He wouldn’t say a word and we just thought it was his shyness.
|Kyle and Liam|
I can picture us at the same party now. Kyle would be finding other kids to play with and eying the presents under the tree (instead of complimenting the ornament placement). Zac would be holding onto his alphabet flash cards and would have Liam as his little companion. Liam is definitely the mediator. He is the middle child that came last. He loves to play with both his brothers. He sticks up for Zac when Kyle is teasing him and pushes Zac away when he is being too affectionate. Liam is definitely taking Kyle’s place as charmer. Kyle is the one who is a friend to everyone (except the occasional sibling rivalry). He always accepts anyone as a playmate and doesn't tolerate bullying. Zac is so thoughtful and loving. He may not seem receptive to others - but he loves his regulars in his life and is definitely more social than he used to be. He is much quicker to smile and more tolerant and a hug from his brothers is the best thing that could happen to his day.
|Liam and Zac|
I am constantly amazed at how wonderful my kids are. Whether they are jumping off my bed into a laundry basket (seriously their favorite thing to do) or fighting over toys – I am madly and totally and completely in love with them.