I think in most of my stories, Z comes off as a bit rough around the edges. He is. He's a boy, though, so I figure some of that comes with the territory. However, I think I've also mentioned what a good teacher he can be and how sweet and gentle he is -- deep down.
Today, was a good reminder of this side of him.
I had some things to get done so he offered to play with E for a little bit. He and H have been each earning half of what S earned to assist me before she started SOM. They are working their buns off for that $2, too! Both boys like to help with E, but Z is actually more of a natural with her, while H is more of a natural in helping me with the housework (I'd never have imagined, but it's true!).
But anyway, so Z was playing nicely with E in the room where I was. We had the gate up so she wouldn't leave the space and head up the stairs. Nova has recently decided she won't be stopped by any baby-gate. She just likes laying at my feet, so she keeps leaping over the thing when she's ready to rest.
Today, she leaped over and E happened to be near the gate and Nova cleared E's head as well. But the whole ordeal really frightened E and she started crying (note: E is very easily frightened by things, but this would have scared most people short enough to have a dog leap over them suddenly).
Z picked her up and comforted her. I watched out of the corner of my eye as he took her over to the animal pictures on the window that she loves to point at and talk about and he reminded her of their names and sounds and she calmed down.
Then he knelt on the floor near where Nova was snoozing now and said, "Nova, do you want to say sorry to E for scaring her?"
Nova actually licked E's hand.
Z said, "I think that means Nova is sorry. E, are you going to forgive Nova?"
E reached over and petted Nova's fur gently.
I mean, what a special teaching opportunity! And he grabbed hold of that moment and just used it for all it was worth. Teaching a one-year-old (and the dog) about apologies and forgiveness. Sad to think my instinct was just to yell at Nova and send her out of the room!
I turned and told him how proud I was of him and what a good daddy he'll make one day. He beamed!
In the meantime, E had been really tired all morning, but she didn't want to sleep. Now that she's one, she assumes it's time to shed that morning nap and just take one long one in the middle of the day. I'm fine with whatever, but the transitional times are always a little rough.
Z asked, "Can I try putting her to sleep? She keeps rubbing her eyes."
I said, "I don't know if you can because she likes to tug on my hair when she's settling. You don't really have tuggable hair."
He said, "But if I try, is that okay?"
It was about 10:30, so I said, "Sure. She is tired."
So he sat her on his lap and she fiddled with a toy car and sucked on her pacifier. By 10:50, she was out like a light.
I had left the room for a few moments at that point so he put her down on her blanket and let me know she was asleep. I was amazed.
Even H, who overheard that Z had put E to sleep, said, "Great job, Z!"
I love to see our boys stepping up the way they have been lately.