Prior to the last 48 hours (more on that later), Helen spent most of her day sitting and watching Connor. She loved seeing him bounce into a room, run down a hall, or play with various toys. But she really loved it when Connor would come up to her and screech - which often induced her to screech on her own. And then there were the rare moments when Connor would sit still, and she could actually join in his games. So long as the game involved sitting, she was all for it.
Here they are playing with Connor's friend Zoe in the pool at the hotel my parent's stayed in when they visited - enjoying one of those games that Connor must be seated for.
A few days later, we were at a park with Zoe and I was pulling Connor and her around in a wagon. Turns out, if Connor scooted a bit, Helen could be wedged in right beside him and as soon as we did this, Helen just beamed. It was completely obvious that she knew she was being included in his play.
Similarly, yesterday we found ourselves at the grocery store that has a cart attached to a two passenger truck. This thing is enormous, and I do not relish pushing it because we are a total hazard to every innocent person in the store. But, Connor loves it, so occasionally I will take the kids to the store with Ed and as he does the real shopping, I'll push Connor around as he honks his horn and carefully lifts the little latch to get out of the seat to put various items in our shopping cart and then sits back down and closes the latch. If Connor and I actually did the whole shopping trip like this, it would take at least an hour to get through the store. I put Helen in the front of the cart like I always do because it didn't seem like a good idea to put her in the truck contraption - especially with all of Connor's in and out motions. But as we toured the various aisles of the store, Helen kept looking at Connor's part of the cart.
Finally, we made it to the check-out stand and I plopped Helen into the seat next to Connor and she just glowed. But the really great part? When we started moving, Connor leaned over and held onto Helen so she didn't tip over. Is my toddler the sweetest kid in the whole world or what? I don't care if we are a huge spectacle in the grocery store, we're going back there for more! (My advance apologies to every customer who finds themselves unable to go down an aisle they want to traverse because me and my kids are hogging the whole thing with our enormous shopping cart. I also wish to apologize in advance for anyone who doesn't hear Connor honk his horn when we get to the end of the aisle and gets in our path. Really...I can't see you coming!)