My Eli: Close to my heart from the very start

by longtallyarn

IMG_5086He is twin B, the slightly younger of my two boys. He had some trouble surrounding his birth. Late in my pregnancy he stopped moving and doctors realized he wasn’t growing well and that he wasn’t getting a strongly pumped blood supply. He is the reason they were born early. A few weeks after that we went back to the hospital because he had an infection. He stayed for another week in the hospital, struggling, waiting for cultures to grow and provide a diagnosis, and taking i.v. antibiotics while brother was home lazing about the house and being pampered by Grammy.

I worried that he might not adapt well or might be so affected by these setbacks that he might have problems later in life. Doctors told me he would PROBABLY develop normally.

Now…. He is vibrantly healthy. His speech was delayed but it is coming along pretty well; he imitates our speech, gibber-gabbers with expression, and often surprises us with a wise synopsis of some situation. His fine and gross motor skills are accelerated. He is a great jumper. It’s funny to watch him because he’s so short that he puts me in mind of Yosemite Sam, that Loony Tune character who could jump up and down stiff-legged. He can run really fast and sticks the landing like an olympic gymnast when he jumps off the couch. He is a bit chubby with a round little face and an even rounder little belly, for which I am thankful since he came into the world at 3 lb 5 oz. I think he looks like a cherub in a renaissance painting with his blue eyes, blond hair, and rosy pink coloration. He is very strong. I don’t want him to think I am weak so I work hard not to lose a grip contest to a 2 year old who doesn’t want help brushing his teeth.

He is pleasantly easy-going but also can be frightfully assertive in relating to his brother. He is the heavier of the two, now, and remember that strong grip? He can pry any toy that he wants out of his brother’s hands. However, he will often respond with compassion when his brother really wants something, allowing him to have a choice item. His favorite word is “mine” but when it’s Eli’s turn to play with the toy radio on a car ride he will often hand it to his brother when he hears him whining about it.    

We consider him our easy child. He is prone to be naturally happy and boisterous. He sleeps well through the night, usually not waking once. He’s tough as nails: When he falls down he only cries long enough to let everyone knows what happened and usually quits crying by the time I can rush over and pick him up. He does sometimes cry inconsolably after his late afternoon nap which he will insist on taking in his high chair at dinner time. This is his only difficult time of the day and I wonder if his neck gets a crick in it from falling asleep in his seat.    

As the evening wears on, instead of becoming cranky, he gets loopy. He runs back and forth across the living room with his brother, spins around in circles until he can’t walk straight, and yells out his repertoire of words at the top of his voice. Sometimes he has trouble listening in this mood and climbs on top of the back of the couch or pushes his brother.

Even though our pediatrician pegged him as a kinetic learner he loves books and leafs through them often. If he has to read to himself, he makes the appropriate animal noises as he looks at the pictures. He likes to dip his grilled cheese or his tater tots in ketchup. He is very helpful around the house, rushing to help with sorting laundry or unloading groceries. He and his brother LOVE to help with the dishes and their tolerant daddy lets them stand on chairs on either side after he gets all the sharp objects out of the sink. He is great at working his puzzles and seems to be mechanically inclined. He likes to knock down blocks and push trucks around in the yard. He is agreeable to trying new things whether foods or activities.

Because he was is Twin B I sometimes think of him as my “bonus baby” but he is such a joy to have around the house I don’t know what I would do without my Eli.