Three little people all looking at the camera. All smiling. Not the most inspiring photos ever, but I love them anyway. And did I mention the three smiles AT the camera... I still get an award or something, right?
The relationship between these three little cheeky smilers seems to be changing and growing so much at the moment and it's fascinating to watch. As a unit of three they can do more and more together now that Ashlyn is so much more active and upright and generally inquisitive about everything around her. That gap between her as "the little one" and them as "the big two" seems to get smaller each day and they really do feel like a proper little team of three more and more. They seem to have that sense of belonging to one another which is hard to put into words. But they seek each other out, and they love being together as three; as a whole set, and it's clear that it just doesn't seem quite right when one is missing.
Talking of "the big two", I'm still asked practically every time we leave the house, whether they are twins. And I can see why, because not only are they practically the same height, but these two are just so incredibly close. They love each other fiercely and always look out for one another, it honestly makes me so proud of them to see how instinctively connected these to are. But lately their relationship has changed somewhat as it has taken on a new dimension; they have begun to properly argue. Bickering is part of the make up of a sibling relationship, and I think it's really valuable; as it will help them learn to negotiate and problem solve. Of course they've always argued to some degree but it's only very recently that they have started to properly fight and squabble at times... that kind of arguing that escalates quickly, and isn't for any particular reason. Both of them will now say they want something simply because they know the other wants it. And both of them will also tell the other one to do things that they know they aren't supposed to with the simple aim of getting the other in trouble. They both get a very strong sense of right and wrong when it comes to each other, so it always ends up with shouting and screaming and often crying too, as well as the occasional shove. It's the sort of bickering that I can remember doing with my own brother as we grew up, and I actually look back on it really fondly. Yes, it means I've had to up my peace-keeping duties a bit, but it actually really makes me smile.
Add my littlest one to mix though and it's all smiles. Dylan and Everly simply adore their baby sister and it just makes me so proud of them. And the feeling is most definitely mutual. They fascinate her. She hero worships them. It's clear to see that she loves them both to pieces, and they her. Nothing turns around a grumpy baby mood like a brother jumping around and sticking his tongue out, or a sister singing a song and doing a twirl. She thinks they are quite simply the funniest things... ever! And every morning starts with Dylan and Everly looking for their Quinny and giving her kisses, just as each day ends with their "sissy cuddles" traditions of having a squeeze with her in bed before lights out.