The last time I did a brotherly update, Declan was only two months old. Obviously a lot has changed in the past half year (??!) so we're overdue for a little update on their relationship. As I type this, Ez is screaming NOOO! at Declan, trying to protect his monster trucks, while Declan is attempting to climb over Ez, feet in the air, determined little bulldog look on his face. Something tells me this will be our lives for the next sixteen years or so ;)
The evolution of their relationship to this point has been so much fun to watch. The first few weeks after we brought Declan home, Ez was pretty petrified of his loud, attention-grabbing baby brother. Eventually Ez stopped crying whenever Declan cried, and started trying to console him, which was the sweetest thing ever. He'd get right in Declan's face and give him a big smile and a few pats on the back. This almost never stopped Declan from crying, but Ez's protective big brother instincts had fully kicked in, and he became fascinated with his baby brother.
Eventually Declan grew aware enough of his surroundings to realize there was a tiny little person running around screaming like a madman most of the day, and he decided this was his most favorite person in the world. Before he was mobile he loved watching Ez's every move. If I happened to be holding him he'd strain his head around me so he could keep big bro within view. You could tell just by looking at him that he was recording and memorizing every little thing Ez did, so that one day he could do it too. I'm convinced this is the reason why Declan was such a loud baby, always yelling to let us know whether he was happy or upset.
Fast forward to now, with Declan crawling and standing up, and their relationship has reached full on love-hate status. Ez loves goofing off for his brother, he loves the blatant adoration Declan has for him, but sharing his toys? Not his favorite thing. Many a fight has already been broken up over this matter. Before you go feeling too sorry for poor little helpless Declan, let me tell you, that kid already knows how to fight back. Since he's a baby, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not consciously stirring up trouble, but I think he probably is. If Ez tries to swat him away, Declan will grab Ez by the hair with his little iron grip and stare at me with the biggest smile on his face while Ez screams in pain. If Ez pushes him down, away from his toys, Declan stands right back up and grabs two toys while staring him down. And I'm fairly sure that when Declan sounds the alarm to let us know that Ez is assaulting him, he does it a little too loudly and too quickly, because he's already figured out how to manipulate his baby status to get his way.
I can only imagine what these two are going to get into, and the heart attacks they'll give me over the next few years, but I love that they have each other. I can already tell a difference in Ez being a little less shy and a little more assertive toward other kids. And something tells me Declan wouldn't be nearly this mobile at this age if he didn't have his big brother to keep up with. I love these two so much, and while I know they'll have plenty of sibling squabbles I hope that they'll always have each other's back and be each other's biggest supporters when it really matters.
Here's a little look back at the first 8 months of their relationship, as well as a short video. My favorite is around 2:45 when Joe is helping Declan walk, and then Ez insists he needs help walking too. Whatever one of them has, the other one wants. Always.