I haven't talked much about Michael here. He's an amazing kid. At 3 years, 3 months I'm starting to think of him as a little kid and not as my baby or toddler any more. He's so smart and helpful. He loves to figure out how things work and always wants to help fix things. He's had the opportunity to help both his father and grandfather with plumbing and car projects and loves it. He loves to be read to and we spend at least 45 minutes a day reading. He knows all his letters, both uppercase and lowercase, and he knows a lot of the letter sounds. Just this week he's started to help me read books. We were reading a Little Bear book and he could read the words "cat", "duck", "hen", "bear", and "owl" each time they came up.
He plays with Ava now and I adore watching them play together. The sound of the two of them giggling over playing tug of war or watching them roll around wrestling just fills me with happiness and pride.
He also talks all the time. Seriously. All the time. Constantly. Even when he's alone in his room I'll hear him talking through the monitor. He's talking in full sentences and is pretty much intelligible to his family and to strangers at least 90% of the time, so my speech concerns for him have disappeared. All the talking is wonderful, except for one drawback.
He spent this past weekend with my parents. Friday night through Sunday evening we were without him and it gave us a lot of one-on-one time with Ava. It was amazing. She was a lot more active and assertive and talkative when he was gone. She was the one getting to direct the play. She was the one being listened to. She was the one getting all the attention. It made me realize exactly how much attention goes to Michael when he's around. It's so natural and easy to interact with the child that is talking to you and so easy to overlook the one who is silent.
I guess I need to find a way to let Ava take center stage more often even when her brother is home. She's a delight. She's funny and sweet and interested in everything going on around her. When she gets our attention she just blossoms. Now how to make it happen without making her brother feel left out?