I am so happy, but sad too

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
I am so happy, but sad too
Fri, 12-17-2004 - 4:39pm

I'm not sure where to put this, so I figure this would be as good of a folder as any. (So, sorry if there was a better place.) McKay (my 3 year old, who is pretty sensory defensive and mildly autistic) really just loves to play with his sister Hannah (16 months). I love how close they are. They just sit together and giggle, or play for at least a half an hour in the Little People house or farm, and he completely lets her get away with a lot of things that no one else could. If Michael did some of the things Hannah does with (or to) McKay, he'd come unglued.

But I think part of the reason for this is that Hannah's verbal skills are really emerging. She has a lot of single words, understands even more, had pretty good non-verbal gestures and communication skills, and she's working on 2-word + phrases. So, in other words, she is fast approaching her 3.5 year old brother's verbal level. (He is progressing, but he is quite delayed and its been a slow process. But there is a lot of improvement.) Still, my 16-month-old is getting to the level of my 3.5 year old. It just makes me feel rather sad.

But I am happy that they love to play together. In a way, its like they're twins. He's always been so happy to have here here, and was very peacefully accepting of her since the moment she was born, almost like he was moving aside to share the baby position, rather than relinquishing it entirely. (Does that make sense?) But they seem to just have a major bond. (Although Hannah and Michael certainly have a bond of their own. He just dotes on his baby and loves to care for her. In fact, he knew she was on the way, even before we knew we were pregnant. He told us one night that he had a baby sister. Less than a week later, voila, a positive pregnancy test! Suprise! And then, guess what? It was a girl. He just knew. Our little, then 3.5 year old, Michael has always been connected with Hannah.) But McKay and Hannah just really love to be together and enjoy each other just for who they are, whether it is doing things together, or just being quiet and cuddling.

So, does that make sense? I am so sad that McKay is that far behind, but I am so happy that he seems to have someone to be his buddy for life. They seem to be progressing at about the same rate right now. It is like she pulls him along. He's still somewhat ahead of her in somethings (like his overall vocabulary is VAST), but in other things he is even father behind than she is, like in spontaneous sentences. But she's pulling them out of him.

Ahh, the joys and trials (and sometimes both) of being a sensory mom!


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2004
Fri, 12-17-2004 - 10:24pm

Dear Rachel,

I do understand completely what you are talking about. Comparisons can bring so much pain, and you see them together all the time, so comparing is hard to avoid. When I would see my son with his same-age cousins when he was littler, sometimes I would need to leave the room because the pain was too overwhelming.

I think, however, that as much as possible you must remember that each child has their own path. Your son is only 3, right? At 3, my son also had very little language and mucho sensory defensiveness, but in the last 2 years, he has caught up alot and now at 7 ---- OK, he's still behind, but the gap is MUCH less and he is coming along nicely. LOTS of language, and humor, and interaction. He's really learning, his cousins love him and he adores them. The relationships have definitely helped him, as I am sure this wonderful relationship you are describing will be both a powerful support and motivator for your child. Children. Children CAN catch up. I suspect you are correct --- that his relationahip with his younger sister will be extra special in all ways for the rest of his life.



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2004
Sat, 12-18-2004 - 3:57pm


I can totally understand Gabriel is our oldest and Lily is our youngest (they are 23 mos. apart). Lily who's verbal ability is advanced has exceeded Gabriels (but, his is improving pretty quick). It is bittersweet. My two have a love hate relationship. But, they are lost without eachother. I too feel like I have twins.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2004
Mon, 12-20-2004 - 7:20pm
So this is what I have to look forward to? hehe... Mine ds is almost 2.5 and I have a 6 week old son. I often think they will be quite different but at the same time I think my younger one is already following the same footsteps (lucky me)! It must be hard for you... and I really can't offer any words of encouragement. This is all so new to me! I just wish you luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2004
Wed, 12-22-2004 - 11:55am

Oh Rachel, it is so hard to see our little ones struggle especially when someone younger (that we love just as much) is progessing so much faster.