Cal is 2 years old. He is full of energy and personality. Elise and Cal have a very unique relationship. They don't read books or build blocks together. They don't spend endless hours playing animals like my older daughter and son used to when they were their age.
Instead their days are somewhat isolated from one another while Elise is in therapy or at school. The time that Cal is around Elise is sometimes fascinating to observe. Well before age 2, Cal was watching us and how we interacted with Elise. Observation and imitation are key elements in learning. I hadn't known that at such an early age he was watching us with her until one day I told Cal it was time to get in the car to go to therapy. Without prompt he called, "Eese, Eese!" He went looking for her and when he found her he grabbed her hand and led her down the stairs. Of course I was shocked at what I had just witnessed. I opened the door and Cal led her to her side of the van where he waited for me to help her in. It was incredibly sweet. The above pictures are the ones I took of this moment.
Since then I always find him taking Elise by the hand, playing the big brother role. He has definitely assumed this responsibility on his own and it is so interesting to see. When she's hitting herself in the eye, he'll take her chewy and try to put it in her mouth. Sometimes he'll try to feed her pretzels and it makes me laugh! I get worried she'll bite his fingers and he must be too because he usually ends up dropping them as soon as they touch her lips. He'll even try to help her with her cup. My favorite thing is to just sit back and watch how they interact with each other. It's funny, fascinating and sweet. I told Cal to share his juice box with her and he just held it by her, almost getting mad that she wasn't drinking what he was trying to share with her. Elise on the other hand didn't know how to manipulate the juice box and I just had to smile. Both of them were trying their hardest.
Of course there are days when "big brother" gets mad at Elise for drinking water out of his cup then throws it across the room. He's learned to yell when she's about to grab some food off the counter and it's bound to be a mess. And then there's their hitting matches. Those are fun.
However this little, big brother has matured and learned to look after someone other than himself. That's a pretty big thing to learn at his age. He is imitating what we do with her. This has taught me how powerful our examples are and how much our children observe our actions.
President Brigham Young once said, “If each and every one of us who are parents will reflect upon the responsibilities devolving upon us, we shall come to the conclusion that we should never permit ourselves to do anything that we are not willing to see our children do. We should set them an example that we wish them to imitate.”
I LOVE being a mom to my 5 kids; one with special needs. There is no greater joy than being a parent! I love each one individually but this blog will mostly focus on our daughter with special needs and our journey with her. Thanks for reading!