Last night we spent the night at my parent’s house. The kids slept in one room (Vivvi in a crib and WV in a bed), and we slept next door. This changed up our usual routine in a way that may end up changing up our routine forever.

Our usual routine involves Wally waking up, going potty, and staring into our room until I am woken by his mind power. Then I open my eyes as far as I can bear, he asks if he can play Legos in his room, I nod, and he slams his door loud enough that it wakes Vivvi up. She talks for a bit to herself, and then starts saying “Mommy” louder and louder until I roll out of bed and trudge to get her.

She doesn’t climb out of the crib. She doesn’t even make a minor effort. (Wally never did either—when he was 2.5 and in a toddler bed, he’d lay there and yell, “Somebody wake me up!” until we came to get him.) While certainly agile enough to climb, the girl is afraid of heights. She quakes with fear if asked to sit or stand on the changing table to make dressing her easier. (She is her father’s daughter. He once stood on the top stair of a lighthouse to avoid joining me at the outside rail. When I asked what he was afraid of, his answer was simple. He was afraid he would jump. I guess we all have a little bit of crazy, and his involves accidental on purpose thrill seeking suicide.)

This morning, I heard their faint little voices next door. They have recently become real little buddies. They have always loved each other, but lately I’ll catch them playing hide and seek, or holding hands and dancing, or walking around with matching toys. He is the only one who can make her laugh so hard that she wheezes. It is sweet as syrup.

He also loves to help her. In the top photo, he had yelled to me from the other room, “No, don’t touch! Mom, I put Vivvi’s bow in!” Last month, Vivvi was suddenly down from her chair after lunch. Since this involves pushing out her heavy seat and booster, I asked how she got down. Wally said, “I helped her down. But I couldn’t find a napkin to wipe her face, so I just used a bib.” God love him.

This newfound closeness also means that they fight more. He is an expert teaser. She has the art of framing him down to perfection. We spend a lot of time lately in timeouts and tears. We had an epic hour this evening where Wally went for a record number of timeouts while Vivvi screamed “Go away, Wally!” between each. They fight every time we are going somewhere as I gather the snacks and water and mountain of items we need for the smallest of trips. Yesterday, to prevent the coats-are-on-waiting-for-mommy-fighting that was about to break out, I asked Wally to find his water bottle. I had cleaned up the water bottle an hour prior (unbeknownst to him but very beknownst to me). He was gone the amount of time I needed to finish the gathering of crap, and we avoided the usual tussle. Never underestimate the power of a wild goose chase.

Back to this morning—I heard them talking as I drifted in and out of sleep. Then I heard Vivvi say, “Holding my hand” as they walked by my door. I thought, “That’s so nice that my mom woke up with them.” I laid in bed dozing for about 5 or 10 more minutes. Then I went downstairs to check things out.

photo-copy-2

I found this. Vivvi and Wally, in my mom’s office chair, looking at the photo screen saver. Wally was telling Vivvi who was showing up on the screen: “That’s Uncle Matt. That’s Kellen. That’s May May.” My dad was there, but I had heard him walk down the stairs just before me. My mom was nowhere in sight. When asked what was going on, Wally explained that he and Vivvi woke up and went downstairs.

But how did she get out of the crib? “I put my hands up, and I pulled her out,” Wally said. We made them reenact this, since this was the same kid whose imagination is such that he entirely invents what happened at preschool on the ride home. (“It was fun, but Quinn wasn’t there. Reese wasn’t there. Actually, no one else was there. I was the only one. So I had to go to the other classroom with the other kids,” he said one day.) At least about the crib, he wasn’t lying.

Siblings are the best. You can have fun by yourself (at preschool, apparently, when you are the only one who shows up that day of the 18 kids and 2 teachers). But siblings teach you fun and fairness and how to deal with someone you are sick of but can’t get enough of. They are the only ones who know exactly where you came from, and that your mommy loved you but waited as long as humanly possible to get you out of bed and tricked you into looking for water bottles that weren’t actually lost. And when you need help, siblings will put their hands up. And you can just lean forward, and trust them with your neck, and conquer your fears, and laugh when it all works out because you did it together.