Watching the way Sophie and Thomas are together often reminds me of watching my girls together. Sophie looking after and looking out for her little brother in the way that Jessica once did for her; Thomas’s adoration of his big sister, wanting to do what she does and play with her toys. And of course, just as there were with the girls, there are moments when they annoy each other and bicker. Thomas is now at the age when he asserts his own little personality (quite strongly at times – oh the joy of a toddler!) and gets annoyed if Sophie won’t let him play with her toys or takes a toy from him. Sophie gets frustrated when she’s trying to do something and her little brother keeps trying to tickle her or hand her a toy he’s not yet able to play with properly saying “Sophie do it!”
They both love watching Strictly and it is lovely to watch them dancing along to it together, just as Sophie and Jessica used to do. Sophie is more of a whirlwind than her sister was, so isn’t always so careful when it comes to picking up Thomas and spinning him around. I have to remind her every now and then that he isn’t a dolly! Although he is very tolerant when it comes to being pulled about.
As with the girls though, the moments when they are lovely together outweigh the moments when they annoy each other. Hopefully that will continue to be the case but I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs as they grow up.
There are moments too though when Sophie feels that bigger age gap between her and Thomas and misses having a sibling that is closer in age; that can play with her at her level. She’s so good at playing with Thomas but of course she has to come down to his level for them to really be able to play together. How different that would have been with three of them. I suspect there would have been many times when the girls disappeared off to play together upstairs, leaving Thomas to play with his toys by himself as well as moments when the two of them would have entertained him beautifully. And no doubt it would have come with a few more sibling squabbles and moments when the three of them would have driven me up the wall. I wish I could have experienced what three of them together would have been like – even if only for a short time. It breaks my heart that I’ll never know how it would have been with all three of them together.
I do love the fact that Jessica is included at times, such as Sophie’s birthday, where she asked to visit Jessica so she could share some of her birthday cake with Jessica. The way that Sophie will always include Jessica’s name when writing a birthday card – even when it’s to one of her classmates and she could just write it from herself. Her awareness that she is the bridge between her siblings; that she knew and loves them both. It means so much that Jessica is still so very loved and remembered.
Thomas (2 years 3 months)
- Has well and truly hit the terrible twos and we have the joy of tantrums whenever he gets frustrated about something.
- Is a little climber. Climbing his bookcase to reach the light switch is a favourite one at the moment.
- Loves playing with leaves when out on a walk.
- Is a little parrot, copying the things he sees and hears. Sometimes it’s very funny but it does also make me realise I have to be careful these days what I say when little ears are listening!
Sophie (7 years 0 months)
- Had a lovely seventh birthday and particularly enjoyed helping make her birthday cake.
- Enjoyed going on a scarecrow hunt over half term so much that she wanted to make her own.
- Moved up another reading level at school and is now on white books.
- Appeared briefly on the video for this year’s Children in Need single and was very excited to see herself on the TV.
Jessica (forever 6 years 7 months)
- It was lovely to find the last drawings that Jessica did at Junior Church along with a cut-out of her hands after coming across my rehearsal bag from the concert we were rehearsing when Jessica died.