Nicholas is the only one of the The Six that I wasn’t sure if I could successfully parent. This is because he has eczema and every time we saw him he was so red and swollen and blotchy and I had no idea how to take care of skin like that.
The first time we had him over for the weekend he was only 17 months old. We weren’t actually sure how old he was. He cuddled right up to me which in hindsight is not a good thing since I was more or less a complete stranger to him.
When I look at pictures of Nicholas from the first few months we had him, I have to wonder how much pain that sweet little boy was in because of his eczema. It took a bit to get it right, but it’s easy to take care of his skin. I needn’t have worried.
Nicholas loves cars. He loves Cars (the movies), too. When we first were placed with him, he called them kies. When he’s really tired even now he’ll call them kies. Same with wahwee (water).
Nicholas did not like baths when he first arrived. I think they hurt his skin. I started adding epsom salts (and some toys) to his bathwater and suddenly he began to love baths and would play and splash for a long time. We don’t need to add epsom salts anymore since his skin has healed so much over the last few months.
Nicholas is a pretty chill kid. He does hit when he gets frustrated by a sibling (usually Anthony and almost never the babies), but usually he’s just a sweetheart.
It’s hard to get a good picture of Nicholas. He’s pretty much always in motion so so many of the pictures we take are blurry.
Ever since he moved in with us, we’ve called Nicholas Nicky. His bio family calls him Nico, but he just seemed like a Nicky to us. He has no trouble with any of the names he’s called and answers to all three (as well as Nick-o-Nick or just Nick).
He’s a really good eater, but he has a bad habit of tossing his food on the floor before getting more food and eating it. Not sure why he does that. Kids are weird. He often goes around the table after dinner sample everyone else’s leftovers.
Nicholas shares a middle name with Cameron and Jamie. That makes two of our new kids who share a middle name with an older brother.
Nicholas can sit and play on his own for so long. He’s got a crazy long attention span.
He loves one-on-one attention. Pre-COVID we’d often take one kid out with us. Nicholas got to be the one to go vote in the primaries this year. He was so good waiting in line and charmed everyone. And then they gave him a sticker so it was pretty much a perfect adventure.
I worked hard to get Nicholas to like olives. At first he thought they were gross, but since I like them he wanted to keep eating them and eventually he decided he likes them a lot. My dad likes pickled anything so sometimes the two of them have a feast together.
He talks so much. He’s been speaking in sentences since soon after we got him in January. Some of the things he says make me laugh so much.
For a while I kept saying how he talked so much and everyone else was like he really doesn’t. It turns out he was mostly just speaking to me. Now he talks to everyone.
Nicholas loves his biggest sister. When he actually stops moving for a little bit he likes to climb into her lap and cuddle. Bonus points if she’s willing to take selfies with him.
When you have little kids, silence is not golden. Silence is scary. One day the toddlers were quiet for a few minutes and we found them fully clothes in the tub with half a roll of toilet paper and the water running. Silly boys.
Nicholas has grown so much since we got him. He’s gone up a shoe size. The babies now wear the clothes he arrived in.
He’s super interested in using the potty. He’ll usually go when we ask if he wants to. Sometimes he takes off his own diaper and demands to go sit on the potty.
Ever since we got Nicholas’ skin under control and stopped his eczema flares for the most part, I’ve just been amazed at how beautiful his skin is. We worked hard to get it here.
When the toddlers arrived, they were very attached to their blankies. Over the months they’ve needed them less and less and now they mostly just stay in their beds.
It is not unusual to find Nicholas sitting and looking at a book. He will page through them one page at a time and spend a long time inspecting the pictures on each page.
Nicholas likes bubble baths now. We have to be careful since any soap at all left on his skin will leave him prickly and itchy, but it just shows how far he has come since any water made him scream.
His favorite toy on the playground at preschool is this ride on toy. He drives it around and around and is just so happy.
As part of his love of cars, Nicholas has claimed our minivan as his own. He’s pretty convinced it belongs to just him. He also often hugs our giant van good-bye when we drop him off at school.
Nicholas turned 2 the beginning of July. He’s just such a happy child. Life really is good for this guy.
We gave him a little police car for his birthday. Of course he was thrilled because it’s a car. We haven’t even had to put the batteries in yet. He just likes pushing it around.
He thinks it is great fun, as most kids do, to steal people’s glasses and wear them.
Books and cars. The two true loves of this guy. It certainly makes him an easy kid to buy presents for!
In August he moved up to Room 5 in preschool. He has easily gotten used to working in centers and even doing a little seatwork, tracing and making art projects.
When the COVID lockdowns happened, Anthony stopped going to preschool for a while and Nicholas’ body reacted by increasing his eczema flares (his are very related to consuming too much gluten and also stress). I think he had just gotten very used to being the big man on campus in charge of the babies and didn’t like his position to be disrupted.
I love it when the kids lay in their beds and “read.” Sometimes Nicholas will fall asleep looking through a book.
After several months with us Nicholas’ hair was getting pretty long. He sat so nicely watching Cars while I put lots of braids in his hair. He was so adorable and it lasted several days. A couple weeks ago we cut his hair all one length, but I’m thinking we’ll let it grow out now that it’s all even because he is so cute with the braids.
His two favorite books! He just loves that little blue truck. One book we gave one of the twins for their birthday and the other my parents gave Nicholas for his birthday. Nicholas has claimed them both.
For Halloween, Nicholas was a skeleton just like his big brother. He refused to wear it for the parade at his school, but tolerated it for trick-or-treating. He thought it was pretty neat that he and Anthony matched.
This picture is Nicholas in a nutshell. Getting his hair cut, something many kids do not enjoy, but Nicholas, with his happy-go-lucky personality and zest for life, thought it was the best thing ever.
Welcome to the Duk family, Nicholas James Alexander!