Declan's adventurous birth inside the ambulance has left a lasting impression on Madigan. We were driving back from the store the other day, and a police car came whizzing by with lights and siren on. We pulled to the side of the road for it to go by. As soon as the police car went by, Madigan reaches over the side of his car seat, to try to touch Declan and says, "It's okay Pauge... it was a police car, not an ambulance." I laughed out loud! It was so precious! Madigan, of course, really doesn't know the difference in the roles of police cars vs ambulances, but he DOES know that Pauge has a history with ambulances.
It is really amazing to watch these two little people interact with one another and others. They're similar in a lot of ways - definitely brothers. But, they do things so differently from each other. Madigan is focused and action oriented. He has 2-3 toys that he fixates on for any given period of time (usually weeks) and though he will include other toys in the mix, those will always be primary. He definitely seems to feel most loved through words of encouragement, but also through quality activity time. If you let him participate in your activities (vacuuming, barn chores, cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, emptying dishwasher, playing on the slides at the park, drawing pictures, etc.), then he is as happy as a clam. If he doesn't feel "needed", he's like a caged Tiger - WATCH OUT!
Declan is smooth-sailing and pretty much "goes with the flow". He is content as long as "his people" are around. He doesn't have any particular toys that seem to interest him more than others (yet?) but he wants to play with whatever Madigan is playing with, mostly to be near Madigan, his biggest hero. Sometimes, he won't even try to play with the toys, but just stands next to Madigan watching him play, soaking up the bonding brother-time. Each day it is important for me to carve out time (even just minutes here and there) to sit on the floor where he can reach me. He will invariably crawl over, sit on me or near me and pat me with his little hands. Sometimes he stands up and rubs his face in mine (with his face all "skrinkled" up into a smile). At the barn, he is content just to sit in his swing or inside the feed bin (yes, he does snack while in there), as long as he can see what we're doing and know that we're not "leaving him out".
Both boys love other people and are quick to interact with anybody/everybody. If they are unfamiliar faces, Madigan is quick to familiarize them with the important things in his life: trailer hitches, Hun-Hun, Pauge, barn, etc. If they are friends who we see weekly, we just have to make sure he doesn't know they're coming until right before we see them, or he's so excited he can hardly breathe. He has special names for each of them, which are so endearing. And Declan is always trying to connect... if people are sitting in our living room, he often goes around and sits close to them, sometimes touching their leg. He is subtle about it, but if you're watching it's hard to miss.
It will be very interesting to see how baby #3 fits into this little pack. I can't wait (in more ways than one)!