Alden has started saying "I love you" - unprompted and unsolicited. He'll turn to one of us and say, "I love you." Or, he'll be petting one of the kittens and say, "I love you". He also loves different shows and songs. I tried to skip a song on the Music Together CD that was on loop in the car (Music Together is really all we listen to), and Alden shouted out in protest from the back seat, "Hey! I love that song!" So, we listened to it.
I've written before about how Alden radiates love and joy -- he is such a cuddly, sensitive and sweet boy. At preschool, they report that whenever someone gets hurt, they know that Alden will be the first on the scene. He kneels down in front of the injured child, inquiring, "what happened" while patting them reassuringly. I have seen Alden attend to Kailey when she is inured in exactly the same way.
Kailey has always had these protective and empathetic qualities as well. When she was Alden's age, her teachers reported the same thing about her attention to others. Just the other day, Kailey's preschool teacher from Kids Into Speaking Spanish emailed out of the blue. She wrote, "I was talking about Kailey to a new teacher and how smart and beautiful she is and how she learned to speak Spanish so fast. I watned to say hi to tell you guys and tell you that I really miss my sweet Kailey. I hope she is doing well. If you can please say hi to her and send me a picture." It was the sweetest email to get out of the blue -- and a real testament to Kailey's character.
Kailey remains one of the biggest recipients of Alden's love and admiration (and he hers). Sometimes he expresses that affection in ways that are rather imposing. For example, for the last few months (and with increasing frequency), he wants to "sit with Kailey" (his words) while eating his meals. And, he means it quite literally. He doesn't want to sit near her. He wants to sit WITH Kailey. As in, on the same chair, basically shoving her aside so that she is balancing, one leg straight supporting her, while she attempts to balance on the chair. I know very few siblings that would tolerate sharing their seat at the table more than a few times. But, this has been going on for weeks, and Kai just says, "it's fine. He can sit with me." More incredibly, he likes to eat off her plate, and she allows that too (of course, when he's eating the broccoli that she is trying to avoid, it is a bonus to have Alden sitting next to her!)
Kai and Alden argue now more than they used to - often vying for the same toy or treat. But, they continue to be very mindful of one another and loving, too. I love watching them cuddle up together and I love the way they look after each other, inquiring about each others injuries, providing comfort, and enjoying one another's company. Who knows if it will continue as Kai moves into pre-adolescence and then the teen years -- but, they've built a strong foundation. These pictures are just a few of them together. I love how they look at one another (see the picture at the top, too).