Sunday, October 7, 2012
The Unbearable Cuteness of Siblings
In just the three short months since Zoe arrived I can feel my heart bursting when I watch them love each other - and holy moly do they love each other.
Zoe watches Leo every moment she can. She perks up at the sound of his voice. She puts up with pokes and prods and responds with coos and gurgles. In her eyes the sun rises and sets with her big brother.
Leo explains everything he does and sees to her. He won't go to bed without kissing her good night. He includes her when he plays. He wants to help take care of her - from bathing to diapers. He introduces her to everyone we meet.
It is such a blessing to get to see them get to know each other. Watching them interact is one of the greatest joys of my life - even though there are times that I'm holding my breath as they "play". I don't want Leo to feel like he can't touch his little sister - I want him to feel comfortable hugging, kissing and playing with her. But, uh, two year olds aren't great at knowing their strength or keeping track of their flailing body parts. There was even a phase where he really wanted to touch her eyes - yikes.
I always feel like I'm walking the wrong side of the "No! Not so hard! Don't touch her!"/"Sure you can give Zoe a piggyback ride!" line. Mostly I'm just breathing deeply and fighting the urge to intervene unless there is a need.
Luckily, Zoe is pretty sturdy - just one more way that she's exactly who she needs to be to fit perfectly into this family. We also have a few rules beyond generally being gentle with her. The main two are if she doesn't like it (usually evidenced by crying) then stop and she can only play with toys that are soft.
The video below is a great example of: How Zoe looks at Leo with adoration, how Leo plays well with Zoe, and how Leo tests the limits when playing with her. Leo's favorite toy even guest stars - a stuffed orangutan named William Jess.
I still don't feel like I can turn my back on them playing together, but it's ok because I love watching it. Plus, they are getting bigger and more mature everyday - and soon enough I'll be protecting Leo from Zoe instead of the other way around (oh that delightful hair pulling stage of development that is right around the corner). Then more and more they will be working things out on their own and their relationship will evolve until I'm peripheral. And it will be amazing - at least this is my wish for them.