Monday, May 2, 2011

A day with our oldest!

So this last Saturday was just one of those days where everything went smoothly. Can you even imagine that? Well maybe you can, but its hard for us to. With baby twins, and a total of 3 under 2, those types of days are few and far between. I had a photo shoot that day, and it just kind of worked out that my husband and my oldest, Kyle, went with. The twins stayed home with our routine helpers/sitters. It was actually so incredibly refreshing to just have a day with Kyle and ourselves. Not that we don't love the twins to death, and love being together, all 5 of us....but it was nice to be able to completely focus on our oldest for a while. He was only 18 months old when the twins were born. Still a baby himself. We felt like we absorbed every.single.tiny moment with him up until that point. If he burped, we noticed it and made a big deal of it. And of course we didn't mean to, and aren't bad parents because of this, but after we had the twins we stopped noticing every.single.tiny moment. It makes me sad. Because as hard as we try, and even if we spend every second that we aren't changing a baby diaper, or feeding them, or putting them to sleep, or whatever...with Kyle, some details are still lost in the hustle and bustle of things.

I am going to digress for a moment to say this: Parents that decide to wait 3 years before having another, I finally get it. At that point, the rapid growth and development starts to wane with your older child, and so you aren't exactly missing as much when you are knee deep in newborn duties. So half the age of your older child, and double the amount of newborns and you have our little equation. When we decided to try for #2, we purposely planned for them to be close in age. We just had NO idea we would have twins. If we had that little piece of critical information tucked under our hats, we totally would have given it another year or two. That's all. We have no regrets, because you cant plan for the unexpected. But it just makes it hard to swallow the fact that you will just have WAY less time with your precious first born.

Anyway, we took Kyle with us on Saturday and we all had the best time! We went to the photo shoot location like an hour ahead of time to scout certain spots out, and I of course had my camera in hand. So I unexpectedly was able to capture some shots of my endlessly handsome first born. I was also shocked to find that he had finally worked his way out of the "I'm 2 and refuse to look at the camera, or you, and actually will intentionally cringe and make a stink-face when you take your camera out" PHASE. Now, he so adorably sees the camera and smiles and says cheese. I'm so happy about this! Ham. I believe that's the word people use to describe their super cute little boys. So he's my little ham :) People always push how important it is to have adult, couples time with just you and your spouse, away from the kids. And they are 100% right about that. But you also cant forget that it is very important also, to have one on one time with each of your children. Where they feel like the center of attention and can be reminded that you love them individually, and uniquely, separately from their other siblings, who you love in the same special ways. (was that enough commas for one day? Sheesh, sorry!)

He is maturing so much right now. It melts my heart every time he voluntarily walks up to one of us and gives us a hug (usually followed by the statement "bear hug!") and a kiss (usually followed by the statement "bear kiss!") and says "I LuuuuB You Mom/Dad". Yes, he is calling us Mom and Dad mostly now (insert sad face). He is still our most awesome little helper. He loves helping so much that when we ask him to throw away trash, or help unload groceries or whatever, he says "Ok thanks Mom/Dad!" He is learning to count, and his ABC's and colors. He seems to be a very quick learner.

We were in a tough spot with him there for a while, and he isn't completely out of it yet. The terrible two's, I believe its called. Time outs turned into a joke. Spankings did nothing (yes we spanked him. I got my butt paddled as a kid and I was respectful partly because of it. Call me a bad parent if you want. But if you chose to do that, you can promptly shove it.) None of that was working, so I started trying something else. When he misbehaves now, I pretty much say something like this, "Kyle, come here right now, we need to talk". And that's just in an attentive tone, not yelling, or incredibly stern. It gets his attention better than anything else. And then I explain to him that what he did is unacceptable and why, and that he needs to apologize and not do it again. Of course it isn't the magic cure to every single occurrence, but it works more often than not, and better than anything else. I totally get it now, it clicked after I figured it out. Because he has always been what I consider "mature for his age" as much as that applies to a 2 year old. Mentally anyway. And I think he might be a lot like me personality wise. The oldest kid, the one who takes on most responsibility. The mature for their age kid. Anyway, I think this method just works best for him. I don't think it would/will for all kids. If someone told me this before I had kids, my reaction would have been something like this, "Ohhhhh, riiight. Now we are going to negotiate and reason with our children. Oh no, because a spankin' here and there is now considered child abuse. Whatever, "talk" it out with your kids and see how far that gets you.". But, I have been humbled. Do what works, every kid is different.

Back to the day alone with our big boy. The one last thing (I swear) that I just cant leave without mentioning is this: He is completely embracing his role as the child of a photographer. Completely! Throughout my entire photo shoot, he would imitate everything I did. When I would kneel down, and get in all kinds of weird positions, he would kneel right next to me AND hold his hands in front of his face and imitate like he was "clicking" and rotating a camera. It was SO Freakin' Cute!

Ok I'm done! Here are some pics I snapped of him/us throughout the afternoon :)

And of course, we had to end the awesome day with an ice cream cone :)

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