More and more our little girl fills our home with babbling jabber. At first her coos were hardly conscious, then they were experiments with sound, and now it seems like they are expressions in a peculiar language all her own. At the dining table, bath time, bedtime and playtime, more and more she seems like another shining kiddo adding to the activity!
She’s become a very stable sitter. She can even go from lying on her stomach to sitting up with ease. She also pulls herself up in the crib or on a toy until she’s upright on her knees, surveying the scene. On the floor she constantly pushes up to her hands and knees. She can crawl backward from this position, but she is considerably frustrated by the fact that she can only crawl forward the tiniest bit. This girl longs for mobility!
Recently she’s begun making little popping sounds by opening and closing her mouth. We make a game out of it by doing it back and forth to each other. She also enjoys peek-a-boo games and riding beside Luke in the Costco shopping cart double child seat!
Her favorite toys are Luke’s favorite toys! In particular, she likes his black Duplo fire hose. If Erik’s watching them and Luke takes that away from Eleanor, I always rush in thinking she was hurt because she cries with such anguish.
She loves solid food. Three times a day, during each of our meals, she clamors for it and then relishes a little bowlful, or often two. She’s so enthusiastic that it can be hard to tell which items are her favorites, but perhaps sweet potatoes and avocadoes rank near the top?
You may think that we already have a ridiculous number of variants on Eleanor’s name. But we have to report Luke’s very own version. According to Luke, her name is ‘Eldor’. Erik thinks it may be elvish.
Luke is such an affectionate brother. It’s precious to see him give her spontaneous hugs throughout the day. And she laughs and gurgles with glee each time. But what starts as tender can veer toward traumatic quickly. So vigilance is crucial to prevent the klunk of a seated Ella being pushed over onto the floor!
Now that Eleanor responds to Luke more, he is much more frequently drawn to play with her. I love to see that, but their play hasn’t yet decreased the effort that either child requires. It only adds. At this point, Luke and Eleanor can both safely play by themselves separately while I keep tabs nearby. But Ella whines unless she’s playing near her big brother, and Luke likes to get reactions from Eleanor (especially when I’m not giving him attention). And so they inevitably end up playing side-by-side – thus requiring constant active supervision. Even to leave them for a moment would risk Ella getting hurt. When is it that two children bring economies of scale?
Eleanor usually takes two naps a day, and I’ve been doing better at getting both kids to nap at the same time in the afternoon. I cherish the little dose of afternoon peace and productivity this gives me!
We also finally are consistent at getting them both to go down for the night in the same room. We put Ella down first and then do Luke’s bedtime routine out in the living room. Very conscientiously, he tells us ‘shhh!’ as we approach the bedroom door. But that doesn’t mean he’s quiet once he lies down. Still, he’s become more mindful of his noise levels and only occasionally do we need to rush in with consequences because he’s climbed into his was-sleeping now-screaming sister’s crib.
For all her tough I-can-take-on-a-toddler spirit, Eleanor is still a sweet cuddlebug. When Erik comes home or I pick her up from the church nursery, she lays her head down on our shoulders to say she missed us. What could be sweeter than this little girl?