Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Good Medicine

Avery is always looking up to her
big sister!

Since the day Ella was born we have done everything we can to help her thrive and succeed. She has seen dozens of specialists and therapists. At times it seems as if life is a revolving door of doctor's offices, lab tests and medication. It's exhausting, but you will not hear me complain. Everything we have done for nearly four years now has been so helpful. Jason and I are forever grateful for the team of early intervention therapists who did so much to help Ella learn to eat, crawl, walk, sign and talk. We are also incredibly fortunate to have an excellent team of teachers and therapists now. Jessica, Renee, Heather, Emily, Erin, and Yvonne truly want to see Ella accomplish new things. They are on top of everything and are constantly making sure what they are doing is tailored to Ella.

Double trouble in the supermarket

We have also discovered what may be Ella's best "medicine" yet....her little sister, Avery! Now that Avery is nearly a year old, she is into everything. She also wants to be doing everything just like her sister. There are pros and cons to all of this. Your typical sibling rivalry is certainly emerging in our house. If one girl is sitting with Daddy, the other one is surely climbing right up on his lap too. What one girl has, the other wants (usually immediately!) Sometimes this tit for tat back and forth erupts in tears and tantrums. More often than not though we are seeing a more positive side effect.

The girls motivate each other. Avery studies Ella's every move. She tries to copy her every chance she gets. On the flip-side, Ella is trying to keep ahead of the daily changes and advances of her baby sister. Gone are the days where Avery stays put. Avery is lightening fast. She can make it up our stairs (all 15 of them) in a matter of seconds. Ella is a lot more cautious and her muscles tire a little faster. She usually takes her time making it up and down, but now she does NOT want her sister to beat her. She has really "stepped up" her game. Avery is also pretty vocal and Ella has taken note. I am not sure if its coincidence or competition, but Ella is putting bigger sentences together, with clearer words. She is even using some of this new language to put her sister in her place. "No, no Aves" with a finger waving is a common phrase these days. We are working through some other side effects of being siblings. We have seen some regression and some actions (potty time trouble and bed time drama are the most noticeable) from Ella. I imagine it is all an effort to try and get a little attention or at the very least deflect attention from Avery. Constant reminders that Ella is a "big girl" has helped.

Soon Avery will be walking and talking real words and sentences. There will likely be things that she will be able to do better than Ella and faster than Ella. That reality is soon. Jason and I have talked about it a little, but it's more of an unspoken understanding too. It comes with mixed emotions and feelings that are hard to express in writing. But we live in the present and we look toward the future with optimism.

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