On weekday mornings, while C is at school, B and E spend the hours knocking around the house together. In general I would say that much as they cherish her, the boys are closer to each other than they are to their sister–but as fall and winter have passed outside our windows morning after morning, I have watched the bond between my younger two strengthen and flourish. They still bicker, largely because she has discovered that taunting his inner Pharisee is endlessly gratifying entertainment, and they regularly decide that no toy on earth is more desirable than the one in the other’s hand. But they also keep each other company, and look out for each other, and want to know where their pal is at all times.

B turns the pages as they listen to a story on tape. It only took a little coaxing to get him to give her a good view of the book.


She holds her own in the car-playing department:


They have matching bright eyes, and the sweetest of goofy grins:


And they are (usually) quite willing to dispense snuggles:


And what does a tutu-wearing, glitter-booted, fur-framed pink apparition on a tricycle need…


…but a gallant gentleman to escort her around the driveway?