March 20, 2014

Little Brother

Tomorrow is Evie's 7th birthday.

Earlier today, I found myself thinking "This is the last day I'll have a 6-year-old."

That's totally not true.

Felix isn't even 4 yet. Presumably, he'll be 6 someday and for an entire year.

Sometimes, the little brother gets overlooked.

I've been writing about Evie since before she was born. My blog has an entire category called "Evie," and it contains more than 20 entries.

Until earlier tonight, there was no Felix category.

He made it into my blog yesterday, because he had a tantrum and accidentally kicked me in the eye. It is not fair to only write about his tantrums. 99.73% of the time, Felix is not experiencing complete emotional collapse.

More often, he is playing with trucks.

We are a progressive-minded family and do not believe in boy toys or girl toys. Toys are toys, and we are trying to raise kind-hearted humans, irrespective of gender stereotypes. Felix just happens to be obsessed with "boy" things: Cars, construction equipment, firefighters, superheroes. Evie drinks from the pink cup; Felix drinks from the blue one.

Felix likes things his way. 

He only wants to wear running pants. The stripes help him go faster.

He thrives on routine, even more so than the average toddler or preschooler. We've tried telling him that "Go with the flow" and "Roll with the punches" are written on the Wiant family crest (or they would be, if the idea of a crest didn't seem so ostentatious), but Felix is his own little man. 

Sometimes, I feel bad for the kid. He's never been our only child, like Evie was the first 3+ years of her life. He's never been the first to achieve any major milestone. He always looks like a baby to us, because he's always been the youngest child we regularly hang around. His sister, on the other hand, always seems so grown up, because she's always been the oldest child we have.

But then I remember all the reasons it's not so bad to be the youngest.

When Felix arrived in the world, Sam and I had successfully gotten Evie through the baby stage, and he benefited from our improved skills in diapering and knowing when to call (or not call) the pediatrician. We were more confident, less afraid, and probably made better choices overall.

We had smartphones and a better computer, so it was much easier to take, save, and share photos and videos of baby Felix than it was of baby Evie. While I didn't blog as much about him, I documented more of the small moments of his babyhood, and I took month-by-month photos of his first year - something I never thought to do with Evie.

When Felix arrived in the world, we had already established ourselves in Minnesota. Extended family were nearby and waiting to gush over him, and we already lived in our house. Felix didn't have to go through all of Evie's transitions of moving, changing schools, and making new friends.

When the kids are older, Evie will blaze the path and challenge our rules, and Felix will benefit from her effort. I'm still grateful for all the battles I didn't have to fight with my parents because my older brother had already worn them down.

But most importantly, Felix arrived in the world with the complete adoration of a big-hearted, beautiful 3-year-old, who is now about to turn 7.

I know what it's like to be loved by an big-hearted, beautiful 3-year-old, one who will someday turn 7.

It's a pretty sweet deal.

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