Steve and I have always noticed that Collin had some more empathic and care taker-like gestures than the other kids. Not that the others aren't empathic or little care takers in their own ways, it's just that Collin tends to really show this side.
If Oliver is crying, and Collin himself did not cause it, he runs over to pat him on the head or give him a hug. He will also seek out Oliver's blanket to give him. I have even seen him, when they are rooms or even floors apart, jump up and run to comfort Oliver when he hears him crying. And, this one cracks me up, he has given Steve "the look" and a disapproving shake of the head when he has disciplined Oliver for something that ended up making Oliver cry (though Oliver is very sensitive - everything makes him cry) and then go hug and pat Oliver.
Sure, some of that is the twin connection I am sure (which is so incredibly heart warming to see that bond coming out more and more), but he does it for Ethan and Lauren too. It clearly is concerning to him when someone cries. He is genuinely concerned and wants to comfort them. On that note, it's really hard to put Ethan in time out when Collin is around because A) Ethan typically cries in time out so B) Collin is right there with him giving him well meaning pats which C) frustrates Ethan because when he is in time out he is not happy and doesn't understand nor want Collin's pats. But, that's a different story. Regardless, if you are hurt or crying in this house, Collin is there with a pat and a blanky. Same goes for us. He just seems to be our little care taker child.
Last Sunday we saw this trait emerge again, but in a different way than we normally see it. We actually keep talking about it, so I thought I would share it.
So, last Sunday, Steve made chili. It is a dish he has mastered and one we eat on football Sundays a lot. At some point earlier in the day while the twins pretended to nap (read: had a party in their cribs), Steve had managed to spill a little chili on his white Brown's shirt. It was a smallish/medium round red stain right around his stomach region that he had not noticed and therefore it had set in to stay. When the twins got up from not napping (a new trend that worries me!), Collin came into the family room to give Steve, who was laying on the sofa watching football, a hug. When Collin walked up to him he clearly saw the stain (we realized later) and did one of his big dramatic gasps with a face to match which included his signature raising of the eyebrows and widening his eyes (it is something he does when something surprises him - he is so animated that we tend to call him Mr. Face for all his fabulous expressions - which might actually have been born from not being able to talk).
Neither of us really knew what he saw that shocked or concerned him causing the big gasp sound and matching face. He instantly went running off into the kitchen, we assumed to find Ethan and Oliver, as we just sat there mesmerized by the mastery to which the Brown's were playing that day (ha, ha... ooo that was funny... it was another blow out loss). After a few seconds, Collin returned with a kitchen cloth which he had pulled from the drawer. He proceeded to rub it directly on the stain on Steve's shirt. He would lift it up every few seconds to check the status of that menacing spot and showed great concern that it was still there. After a minute or two he went running into the kitchen again, as if this matter was very urgent, and returned with yet another cloth with which he vigorously started rubbing in circles on the spot once again. You could tell that he was both miffed and disturbed that he could not get this spot out. After a few minutes Steve assured Collin that is was okay that the spot remained and he thanked him again for trying to remove it. Though visibly disappointed, Collin seemed to accept that the spot was there to stay and went off to play, reassured that Steve was indeed okay.
Steve and I were laughing so hard - both in awe of how sweet the gesture was and also that he was so dismayed that the stain was not going away. It was so very cute how concerned he was and how much he wanted to fix it. Which just showed us again, his care taker side, but in a different light than we normally notice it.
I love that he is just two years old and already showing this side so clearly. Though I do not wish time to move fast ever, but instead for it to slow down, I can't help but wonder how this care taking empathetic side of him will develop as he becomes a man.
The 30 Day Mom Challenge
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