(I'd post a picture of this, but obviously it wouldn't show much!)
About the time that Nathan was born, Elisabeth concocted an imaginary friend named Alan. Now, Jake and I aren't totally sure where the name came from, but Elisabeth told us one day that she wanted her friend Alan to come over and play. Who's Alan? Aparently she is a little girl with the following attributes:
1. A little girl
2. Age 5
4. Has a little brother coincedently born on Nathan's birthday
5. Loves barbies
6. Has a dollhouse
7. Frequently is sent to the "Thinking Chair" by her parents
8. Her little brother also lived at Primary Children's
9. Her little brother also had heart surgery
10. Her little brother has a feeding tube
11. Her little brother is named Ian.
12. Loves Polly Pockets and Disney princesses
13. Coincidently was hit by a car the day after Elisabeth was scolded at Primary Children's for running in the parking lot and not watching for cars. She was hit by a car and died according to Elisabeth. However, 2 days later Elisabeth decided that she was resserected and Alan was able to go back and live with her parents.
14. She likes to sleep on the floor in the hall
15. Alan is the mommy to a child that is Ellie's age (not sure how she came up with that one!)
16. Alan's mommy doesn't ever have to go to work
17. Alan's dad is a teacher
18. Alan can carry on lengthly conversations about absolutley nothing. Ellie will talk to her on the phone for hours!
19. Alan goes to school.
20. Alan's birthday is the same as Grandma Ellinger's and Elisabeth
Funny thing but I don't ever remember having an imaginary friend. Of course, I had Janice though. There's something to be said about having a sibling 13 months younger than you!
From what I've been told, Jake had some imaginary friends named Yum Yum and Yuck Yuck. (I'll have to get the full story on that one later and post the details!)
Alan is truly Ellie's best friend. In her own little way, this is Elisabeth's way of trying to understand what is going on in her life and to help her cope with it. I feel bad sometimes for Elisabeth... it can't be easy to have been an only child for 3 years and then suddenly not only have a new brother enter her life, but a new brother with a ton of special needs. I think sometimes she feels left behind when we have to take Nathan so often to different specialists and spend so much time teaching him to roll and talk and eat; things that most babies just pick up on their own. That being said, she has done amazingly well for the most part at helping care for him and be a good big sister to Nathan. Jake and I often joke that if Ellie doesn't kill her brother first, that she is going to be the reason he talks, crawls and eats.
For Christmas, Nathan is going to be asking Santa Claus for the Baby Signing Time DVD's. Its not that Jake and I aren't going to work hard with him to teach Nathan how to make the baa, maa, da etc. sounds... with the cleft surgeries and jaw problems Nathan has yet to make these normal sounds. He will be having a speech therapist come every week to work with him. However, I don't want Nathan to get frustrated in what he wants and I want all of us to be able to communicate better.
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