Just as I arrange myself on the ground I hear little footsteps flying up behind me. First one than the other girl lets out a loud whooping roar. “Get her!!!!!!” As is not surprising, these bear-cub girls of mine pile on top of me with abandon. What is surprising is who lands first. The Quail giggles as she feels the full impact of her sister land on her back flattening us both. The wrestle. They rascal. They run together now. That Quail, she pretty much keeps up with her big sister these days, and together they slow their play, their pace when they can manage for their littlest sister who this time, thankfully has stood to the side with her hands entwined behind her back eyeing the pile up. They do this so routinely that I don’t think much of it other than to quip the old stand-bye at this point of how one day we’ll give birth to a sweet little girl.
“She was really sensory seeking today. That’s unusual for her.” Ginger the occupational therapist we’ve come to love tells me about her session. As I feel the hackles go up on my neck, ready to defend the Quail against yet another label, I, instead share back how earlier at lunch she and her sister had taken to imitating each other as they pressed up against Lovey and I throughout our lunchtime in the restaurant booth. I commented how Zuzu is prone to do this with me. That I often think she would still reside in my womb if left to her own devices, this almost seven-year-old of mine. I tell Ginger how it was noticeable that the Quail was imitating her sister with this behavior during lunch since she isn’t usually one to do that and how once Lovey left the booth briefly Zuzu slipped under the table to her sister’s newly vacant side and commenced a round of in-house dog-piling with her always-willing-partner-in-crime.
As we talk, Ginger points to the Quail who by this time has worked a large heavy wooden box across the floor and continues to press it into circles across the sleek, new floor. We pause and then Ginger goes on to say that they went ahead and did a number of sensory based activities in both OT and PT to help her center herself and afterwards she worked for a long time in quiet concentration on her table work.
Later that evening as Zuzu pushes her kitchen chair as close up to mine as she can manage without getting scolded to put it back in its place, I think back to Ginger’s explanation of the good the sensory pressure did for the Quail and find myself wondering over her sister. These sisters- they are so alike in the most unexpected of ways.