The hardest thing about Jack getting older has been his assertion of his little independent self. The kids used to get along very well, mostly because of Jack's total mellow attitude to being tackled and played with and upon. Ella loved playing with such a willing participant. Who wouldn't?
Then he turned two. With that wise age came the realization that he doesn't have to take it anymore. So he doesn't.
It isn't like they don't like each other. They do. They love each other and would mostly like to play together all day, as long as the other gave in a lot.
However, playing used to mean sweet play. Now it means lots of intervention by mom. I've learned to recognize the sound of too much fun. You moms know what I mean.
It's the escalation that signals the beginning of the end. That rowdiness that nearly always disintegrates into an argument or someone getting a boo boo. It's when self-control goes out the window.
That's why I love these moments of fun together, sharing one toy. They're gradually becoming more common. Progress is slow, and certainly not steady, but it is very rewarding to see. The addition of another wee one hasn't so far messed with the equilibrium for which we are striving. I am very thankful to see these older two band together. I hope they are continually drawn closer as they try to be helpers for mom and dad and as we learn what it looks like to be a family of five.