You have those moments with your kids, moments where you see who they truly are, their character. Sometimes I joke that Avery is truly a drama queen, and honestly the jury is still out on that one, but last night at bedtime the moment was all about Caden. It's rare Caden gives us a big view of what he's thinking. That's one thing that's hard on your heart about his delays. Whereas Avery can tell us why she's crying and what might make it better, Caden usually just dwells in his own world and we all glean what we can from what we have in that moment. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong. Last night, Caden simply gave it to us. In spades.
Our usual bedtime routine is changed up a little bit since mommy no longer has a lap to speak of and simply cannot get down on the floor to sit, but here's the general gist: All 4 of us go into their shared bedroom and each adult takes a child to change into jammies. Sometimes we brush teeth, lots of times we don't (tell on me and I'll tell something on you, lol). It's usually lots of laughing and tickling and talking about our day, things like that. We have a good time with it. After jammies are on we sit on the floor - Caden on mommy's lap and Avery on daddy's lap - to read from our devotional book for kids. Then we say prayers. Recently both kids have been sitting on daddy's lap while mommy stands. It's really much nicer, plus the visual of me getting up off the floor at this stage of pregnancy is enough to keep both kids awake for the rest of the night and NOBODY wants that. At this point it's time for getting into cribs (yes, both kids are in cribs and no one's complaining so we're leaving it alone!) and it's also time for possible meltdown from aforementioned drama queen.
You see, this is the time for turn-taking with certain toys that are allowable in bed. However, Avery sees this as the time for bartering and winning. We have 3 Learn Through Music toys. These are toys that you slip a large cartridge into and it will play music, learning games, etc. It's interactive via a touch screen...let me find a picture.
So there it is. Each child gets one, and we have several cartridges to go around. Problem is, the cartridge of the month is Elmo's All About Numbers, seen above. Affectionately known as the "yellow Elmo", this bad boy is dearly wanted by both kids. We have, in the past, taken it completely away and made it off-limits for bedtime, but recently things were going better and we offered it back. There are 2 coveted things before getting into cribs. First is getting the yellow Elmo. Second is being the one to push the button on a toy up on a high shelf that shows a glow-in-the-dark picture show and tells a story. Last night, it was Caden's turn for yellow Elmo and it was Avery's turn to push the button. Avery pushed the button, but then decided she also wanted yellow Elmo. A lot. Enough to start a screaming fit about it in her crib. We were walking out of the room to leave her in her dark despair when Caden grunted at us.
He pointed to his yellow Elmo, signed Avery, signed "cry", pointed back to yellow Elmo and thrust his hand toward her. It was a sentence, and it was heard plain as day, even over all of her screaming: "Avery's sad because she doesn't have yellow Elmo. Give it to her." We asked him, "Caden do you want Avery to have yellow Elmo?" Nod yes. Never have I been so touched by something so seemingly small. His little heart is huge. He doesn't want his sister to be sad, instead he'll give her something cherished when it is HIS turn for it just to make her happy.
Sometimes I underestimate him. Sometimes I think he "doesn't get it." He gets it alright, and he cares a lot, too. There's something about him that is just so perfect, so right, so "with it" and I am trying a lot harder to make sure I see that about him. I am thankful for this little man, my little gift from God. He is a daily reminder that all is right with the world.