Nathan and Abigail are very different. There is the obvious: He's a boy, she' a girl. Then there are the personality differences: He loves to bounce off the furniture and yell real loud while she loves to sit quietly and read for hours or paint for hours. He is all about the physical. Her idea of a neighborhood walk is her sitting in the stroller with Isabelle and me doing all the walking. Nathan could do without music, Abigail adores it. She loves to build, he loves to destroy. She doesn't like to be held that much, he loves to wrestle and squeeze. She loves stuffed animals, he likes to use them in battle scenes. He likes meat and despises veggies. She loves veggies and really doesn't like meat. Nathan loves all of mom's attention. When Abigail was born, he had to share that. I don't think he really ever adjusted to that.
As you can see, they have their challenges in getting along. And then there is the fact that they are both convinced that the other doesn't like them. A few months ago (actually during summer break), I made the decision that this was my priority. They had to simply get along. There seem to be every day battles in this area and I was simply tired of it. Most of all, my mother's heart was aching. How could they not love each other? Either way, this was just something that needed to be taken care of.
We started this long journey and there were many changes made and much help from dada along the way. But overall I made them play with each other and do things for each other and tried to give them tools to solve situations that frequently occurred. Most of all, both of them were made aware of all the nice things their sibling did for them. Situations where one thought a sibling was acting selfishly were explained to show that truly, the sibling was having the other's best interest at heart.
A long, long road and to be honest, I wasn't quite sure that the idyllic picture of Abigail and Nathan in my head was realistic. And then tonight, out of nowhere, Abigail looked at Nathan and said: "Nathan, I love you." But the really shocking thing was Nathan's response: "Abby, I love you too." And they meant it.
Then Abigail tried to hug Nathan but that just was a little more than the guy could handle. Hey, baby steps. Their love expressions that had apparently been bottled up finally gushed forth. They expressed their love for one another over and over and then in their own fashion, it became a competition of who love who more. Of course. :-) The funniest part of the conversation was over their Christmas presents for each other:
Nathan: "Abigail, I gave you the monkey necklace for Christmas because the necklace is made out of real gold." (Very doubtful....but his heart is in the right place and he is convinced it is real gold, worth A LOT.)
Abigail: "OH NATHAN! (overly dramatic) Now I love you even more!"