Mary Louise and David have been playing hard all day. After a little tiff in which David shoved Mary Louise (again) while "pretending to eat" her (I'm not sure what that's all about but whatever works...), Mary Louise walked up to David:
ML: (fake wailing and throwing her arms around David) oh Dabid! My wuv you! You till my best fwen Dabid? Oh my wuv you so much! My weed to you a yittle book on da couch Dabid? C'mon.
(exit the room with their arms around each other...only to have David shove once more, laugh hysterically, make growling noises and exclaim, "my eating you Myweese!!")
Mary Louise just saw my profile picture on Facebook. It's one of me, Everett and Brent taken during our last family photo shoot. She said, "oh! Das Baby Everett? Yeah. My in da car when you taking dat. My was a yittle bit fussy den."
She's right - she was actually in the car a few feet away from us during the picture. It was done quickly at the end of the shoot when ML and D were getting "a yittle bit fussy". We were strapping them in and the photographer asked us to just step a few feet back to snap a pic before we put Everett in the car. Mary Louise really surprises me with all she remembers...
She talks all the time about visiting me and Everett in the hospital, drinking my cranberry juice while there, and watching "yittle tiny baby Everett" in the NICU. She worries about going back to the hospital and remembers clearly having to stay there with pneumonia a year ago. She knows David went to a hospital and came home with "bo-bo's" and asks very often if they are healing ok. Just now, she set up her Leap Frog game as a "peter" (computer), her pink pull phone and a plastic cup from her tea set, told me it was her office and said she had to find a doctor. She put her play stethoscope on and listened to my chest, then got on the "phone" to talk about what she heard. She has started asking pretty often for things that I wouldn't normally let her have unattended. If I say no, she asks if she can just pretend to have them - then goes off happily to play, dreaming of more independent days I'm sure. I'm also pretty sure she's well prepared to schedule appointments and argue with insurance companies about bogus bills (but sincerely hope that will never be necessary).
We danced yesterday afternoon - for over an hour:
I'm pretty sure there's a good bit of raw talent there...but obviously I'm a tad biased.
David had therapy with his teacher / coordinator yesterday morning. She's wonderful and most importantly David loves her. He even asks every few days if she is coming back to play with him. It took a few sessions for us to find our groove with her, but we have and she has been incredibly patient and helpful to me during our transition to the school system's therapy program.
David typically does really well with her - and yesterday was no exception. However, at the end of the session, Mary Louise and I entered the room to get the summary of her visit, and found David finishing up his exercise. He was getting a little frustrated and suddenly yelled, "I can't do it!!" and my heart broke just a little...
I have, to date, made tons of mistakes, worried a thousand worries over little miss steps, big snafus and future errors. But I am very careful and do my very best to make sure these babies know they can do absolutely anything they want to - anything they put their powerful minds to - anything at all. "I can't" is just not said here. (of course I realize he's learned the phrase and the meaning from someone...it just makes me sad - that's all.)
His teacher and I both encouraged him through the end - she looked as surprised as I was and said it was the first time she'd ever heard anything like that from him.
Accordingly, during breaks in our afternoon dance and jam session:
we did floor stretches. Before each stretch, the "big kids" put their arms in the air, jumped and yelled (as loud as they could), "I can do anything!!"
Sounds cheesy? Absolutely. But they laughed, stretched, danced, giggled, snuggled and smiled the "I can'ts" away. (and that is totally worth the cheese). Mary Louise mastered the art of a floor roll while David worked hard to not only roll over, but get it straight. He got down in the dumps once - only to have to repeat the self affirmation 3 times over before trying again - because he can, in fact, do anything.
(P.S. my dear David - whenever you want to say, "I can't" again - take a look-see around you: Our family is, in fact, just shy of a medical impossibility...all of us...even your daddy who was a preemie way back in the day when bovine surfactant had just hit the NICU market!)