Eleanor is an independent little girl. She is persistent and insistent on mastering daily skills. Such as getting dressed, which she can do herself. If I so much as touch her or her clothing during the process of dress she loudly protests and takes everything off to do it again. Herself. She likes to climb herself, put on her hat and helmet, feed herself, etc., occasionally she'll say 'hep-me' and allow a little outside assistance - on her own terms, like getting some milk from the fridge. Once she gets what she wants she says: 'tanks,' which is totally adorable.
It’s amazing to watch her grow and witness how different she is from her older sister. To this day, Eleanor has not sat still through an entire book. Book time involves pointing, moving, exchanging, etc. She prefers non verbal communication, pointing or patting to developing vocabulary. Eleanor is a mover, she is constantly on the go, and by 8am, if we are not on our way somewhere, she’s putting on her shoes and strapping herself into the pram or getting on the ‘happy bike,’ and headed to the gate. She is a tactile learner, touching everything including any new little person she may meet. She is fearless and a little thrill seeker: I’ve seen her turn her bike back up a hill to gain more speed going down.
However, in many ways, the girls are very similar. Both slow to warm up around new people, and Eleanor, just like her sister loves her bike. At 18months, she is still a little too small for the ‘big bike,’ however, just like her sister did- she loving takes it out, just to walk it. She’ll walk it up and down our yard and to the front of the house – I guess making sure it still gets it’s exercise. She’s started doing tricks on the 3 wheeled happy bike – standing on it, spinning around on the back wheels. She’s just incredible to watch, so knowing and clever in her movements.
We all enjoyed the rest of summer and a warm autumn with trips to the beach, bike rides, more running races, hikes, and a special visit from our friend Winston and Terri from Nevis.
We took a flight to Canberra for a visit with the Arney Grandparents and have enjoyed many visits from Grandma Susan. Ele says: Gannnnnnnma. She can also say Nindiii. Ele just loves her big sister. Loves holding her hand, cuddling, and now sharing a room. At nap time I’ll put them in together and Eleanor will quickly get into sleep position with a mischievous glint in her eye. G’night she’ll say, Goodnight says Indi. And as soon as I close the door I can hear them chatting, singing, playing until they fizzle into sleep or I come in again.
They are both very caring, kind girls. Indira, for the most part, looks after and helps Ele. Telling her she’s so proud of her when she does new things and helping her achieve new tasks. A new favourite activity in our house is chair climbing. The girls pull down a chair or two and use it to climb over and under and exercise on. Indi explained to me that Ele is a ‘climber, like dad.’
‘And I’m a biker,’ she continued. And she is, at three and a half Indi’s dream of getting a pedal bike came true. She got on it and rolled away. No training wheels. No crashes. Within a couple weeks she was starting on her own and today she is a very competent little rider. Rolling down ramps, riding standing, starting and stoping uphill or over bumpy terrain.
It surprises me sometimes, how Australian Indira is. The other day she had some craft paper out and was roleplaying going for a surf. I’m not sure I knew what surfing was when I was 3. On her own, Indira has started calling Eleanor ‘L.’ We call her Eleanor or Ellie, but in the Australian fashion, Indi has shortened her name some more to just a simple L.
Indira’s friends at school are boys, I think because she likes to play outdoors with them, running around and imagining games. I took her to the underwear section of a department store a while back and told her she could pick any ones she wanted. After about 20min and a very careful examination of every pair (they had to come off the shelf and be closely considered), Indira finally landed on her favourites. The choice was not rainbows and unicorns or trucks or patterns, they were solid navy blue. Her favourite colour. She likes her constants, the other day telling me: ‘you know mum, the world just is the way it is.’ I responded that imagination could change things and she said, ‘no mum, the sun comes every day and so does the moon, and it just will. The world will just be like this.’ I realised it was her way of pulling down a big constant, so yes, the world is just the way it is.
This conversation was during Indira’s first ever bike-packing tour, where she rode a massive 10km on her own and the two of us camped under the stars. It was a very special two days with a sunrise walk on the beach and hot chocolate at breakfast.
Eleanor just finished breastfeeding which as opened up the opportunity for me to spend more time with just Indira. Ele, weighing in at 12KG at her 18month check ranks in the 90% and at 83.5CM is in the 75% height rank for her group – she’s doing just fine; besides still not sleeping through a night. We’ve discovered she’s low in Iron, so now with supplements have our fingers crossed that will help with sleeping a night through. Maybe it’s just her active nature.
until next time – love from the Rivers, here are some more photos of the past few months: