Little Miss Perfect and Captain Destructo

by Kristi Van Dyk in

I can't believe it's been over a month since I made it a priority to sit down and blog. Then again, when I think about what's happened in the last month in our lives, I guess it's not so surprising. I went from rarely leaving the kids, to leaving for 2-3 hours a day to help coach tennis. The kids met two new regular babysitters (and a few other helpful friends who stand in when the regulars can't make it). Their schedules look different EACH day, something that is NOT normal for them. The weather dictates our lives on almost an hourly basis (nap early because tennis outside? Nap normal because it's cancelled, nap early because it's inside and they're coming along, nap regular because Chelsea is coming and we have some stability, etc). In the midst of all of that, we have been enjoying watching Benjamin figure out how to move. Plus, we went to Florida on vacation (and a day at the Magic Kingdom), fixed our broken transmission in the van, and had lots of family visits with both sides all over West Michigan. BUT, in that time, our little man has figured out how to make life even more chaotic. Ben's size gets in the way of his movement to a large degree. His legs and arms simply can't support his head and the weight of his upper body in a traditional crawl. Therefore, he's an army crawler. It's not nearly fast enough to suit his disposition, so he usually whines/cries/whimpers as he moves (or gives up entirely and just rolls there). He's also learned how to stand supported AND take a few steps while holding on to Mommy/Daddy's hands. He is SO proud of himself, but again, he's not learning fast enough to suit himself. His little disposition desires MORE movement, and not later, NOW! It's like he went, overnight, from being content to sit to being furious that he can't be everywhere at once.

To top it all off, he's not just interested in moving to explore, he's interested in moving to DESTROY. Each time he encounters a new object he bangs on it, beats on it, throws it, or pounds it with another object. It's almost instinctive to him .. pick something up, attempt to break it or destroy it. This is hilarious to his parents, but quite mortifying to his older sister (who would honestly never THINK of destroying ANYTHING.) In fact, Kayleigh makes it her goal to put the room in order, fix up all puzzles, put together all toys (with their corresponding pieces), re-assemble all blocks, etc before going to bed. Ben makes it his personal mission, as soon as Kayleigh has finished "perfecting" something to roll/army crawl right on over and bash it in. She is usually crushed and begins scolding him right away. He then gets scared and cries and Mommy has to intervene.

I love trying to watch them work it out in their own way, but I know that it's my job to teach them how to respect the differences in each other. I'm sure it's going to take some time, but Kayleigh can certainly learn a little from Ben's curious, strong nature - one that isn't afraid to explore, touch and take control. Benjamin can certainly learn a few lessons from his big sister - her desire to respect property, find a place for everything, and wait and assess the situation to make certain it is safe. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the God-given differences between my baby boy and my little girl.

Together they create the best celebration of life. I'm so blessed that I get to watch it ... We sum it up best together with our little "family" cheer. Benjamin's first, true, clear, you can understand it from another room word is "YEAH!!!!" It's always accompanied by clapping and huge smiles. Kayleigh and I get so excited when we hear it that we do the same cheer and clap along with him. This excites him, his entire body shakes from head to toe and he repeats his little cheer. We do this about 100 times each day ... each time I try to treasure a little piece of these moments in my heart. I know it won't be long before they're totally not interested in celebrating together (or with me).

I know I'll have some great pictures to post soon from our cousins matching Easter Sunday ... Have a blessed Easter season, remembering the sacrifice of Christ that gives us reason to celebrate all of life.