In the mornings, Matt and I frequently wake up to 3 little boys lounging in our Master suite "sitting room" watching morning cartoons. By frequently, I mean EVERY morning, with the rarest of rare exceptions (I think they all slept in one time, once). Once we are all up and moving, showering, getting dressed, Mitch will eventually pipe up on the monitor. I will change him, let him down, and soon enough, we have 4 boys, all hanging out in the master bedroom. None of them will go downstairs without an adult, or at least 1-2 other brothers. Eventually, we are all dressed and ready for breakfast, so we begin the descent down the stairs as a family. Mitch has decided that he can walk down forward, like his brothers (he can't). So, I have to hold his hand. Curtis instantly observed his baby brother's habit, as well as the fact that he cannot walk down alone. Being the naturally inclined helper that he is, Curtis will frequently hold Mitch's other hand so we can both assist him down the stairs, safely.
Today, as we headed for the stairs, Curtis was carrying his LeapPad and charger, which required usage of both his hands. My hands were full as well. Curtis noticed, even before I did, that Mitch was balking at the top of the stairs, waiting for the normally present, helping hands, so as to avoid the (more appropriate to his age) backward crawl down the steps. Curtis looks up and him to say simply, and apologetically, "I am sorry baby Mitchy. My hands are full I can't help you down right now." Mitch seemed to understand, and slowly turned around, checking a few more times, just to be 100%, completely sure that, in fact, no one was going to help him walk down the stairs, and finally, crawled down on his own.
Curtis has always been, and seems as though he always will be, concerned for others. He is a social being. He likes peace, and happiness, and love, and friends. Our close friends have a 22 month old daughter, whom he attends to quite nicely whenever she is over, by carrying toys for her or showing her things. Once, her father declined ehr request to be picked up, so Curtis, who happened to be standing near by, said, "I'll pick you up, Claire Bear." She said, "Ok" in the sweetest voice, and sure enough, he lifted her on up (for about 5 seconds.) His smile is ever present and so warm and welcoming...until he gets hurt. Or sick. Then, we see it. That other side.
What goes up, must come down, right? I assume he is dramatic, and acts sicker, and more injured than his siblings with the same ailments, simply because he is more sensitive, in general. He wants to be happy all the time. So when he drops a brick on his toe, instead of shaking it off and continuing to run about, ignoring the throbbing pain, and swelling, blue hemorrhage underneath his big toenail, he wanders about, WAILING. For hours. Days even. This boy has come the closest to getting a trip to the ER, simply because of the dramatic responses he has to most minor illnesses and injuries. For the past 4 days, he will have periods of forgetting the black toe, but as soon as you get near it, mention shoes or socks, tears well in his eyes. He begins breathing faster. He panics. This does not happen only with physical pain, it is the same with emotional distress. Of all 4 boys, this one has the temper. The anger that takes over, makes him lose all sense of self and what is right or wrong. You can see his face turn red, he will hit, bite, strangle, kick, stomp, squeeze whoever it is that has driven him to this point of no return. There is no stopping him by talk, you have to physically remove him from the situation. Luckily, it takes A LOT, a lot, a lot to get sweet, loving Curtis to this point. I can count on my hand the number of times it has happened thus far in his 4 year life span, but I do fear those future bar fights. He will protect his loved ones to the bitter end, and though I hope to help him learn to control it...somewhere, in the back of his head, will always be that temper, waiting to be unleashed.
Thankfully, most people will never experience the Hyde side of Curtis. And the infrequency makes it nearly negligible. This sunshine, love of a child brightens everyone's day. Even his teachers will admit so. Also, I've been told he has at least 2 girlfriends in his current preschool class (as reported by the girls, of course. Like Curtis remembers names!!!) he turned 4 in November and remains in the 50-75th percentiles for height and weight. He loves to dance, jump and move his little, muscular body. Don't tell Brock, but Curtis is way better at the physical games on the Wii. When you practice moving all your parts all the time, you learn coordination and control. He loves batman. He loves clothes. He loves music and has an ear for it. He just keeps growing and becoming his own person, everyday. Keep it up Curty-man. You seem to be doing alright.