Thursday, 23 April 2015

How far from normal are we?

The short answer to that question is "I don't know". I don't know how far from normal we are. Phoenix is our first child, and although I see the other kids from her class, I don't know what it is to live with them, parent them or love them.

But I know what it is to love Phoenix, and for me, it is just so beautiful. 

One of the words that I would use to describe Phoenix is gracious.  She is a gracious child. So although it isn't wonderful to be changing a 5 year olds diapers, we are totally mollified by the fact that Phoenix thanks us every time we do. In fact, Phoenix thanks us for everything we do to help her. Whether it is helping her get dressed or putting on her shoes, reading her a book or helping her tidy up: she always thanks us. Every day. 

And I wonder: how far from normal is that?

Having the twins and seeing their development is just so fascinating for me. I have such an appreciation for the way their little minds work. They are very observant children. They are always watching us as well as Phoenix and they seem to learn just by observing how we do things.

Last night I gave everyone a piece of my birthday cake, and I gave Wren and Ash a desert fork to try to use. They've tried a fork a few times and at 16 months, they try to stab their food with it, but largely aren't  successful. No big deal really, because I actually have no idea when kids start to use cutlery regularly. It took Phoenix a long time to use a fork and spoon well, because we went for so long feeding her because of her food refusal.

Wren took her fork, manipulated it to spear the cake and managed to turn the fork to put it into her mouth straight on. It was incredible to watch - the ease of it that it is. Is this normal?

Other aspects of their development are just as interesting to watch. Their language is developing beautifully - especially considering that they are only 14 months adjusted age. They both repeat words back to me, are learning sign language and Ash in particular is using spontaneous words all the time. It's kind of mind blowing to see how easily this comes to them - when I also see how hard Phoenix works to form and say words - despite her strong language skills (for DS).

The girls have started a new routine of playing on the back deck with their new play house and the water table. They go in and out, sit at the small table, pretend to open the mailbox and distribute mail and pretend to cook in the kitchen. Phoenix is leading the pretend play, and her sisters are following along. How far from normal is this?

There will come a time in the future, where her sisters will overtake the development of Phoenix. That's ok, because development is not a competition. It is a journey, one that we are all on. I am still developing, learning, growing. Becoming the best me that I can be in each particular moment. Just like Phoenix is. Just like Ash and Wren are. Just like we all are. How far from normal is that?

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