Monday, March 24, 2014

What Calliope Has Been Working On

Calliope and Eleanor are heavily into puzzles. First the Ravensberger ones, where the pieces pop out of random places in the cardboard frame. Now they've moved on to jigsaw puzzles. First four piece, then six and nine piece. Now working fast and furious on twelve piece puzzles. Twenty-four piece puzzles are just around the corner. Calliope has one twenty-four piece giant floor puzzle of a firetruck and she loves it, but she still needs some help with it. But the smaller ones, they can both do without help. It's just in the last week or so that they are actually looking at the colors and designs on the puzzle pieces versus just the shape of the puzzle piece. For a couple of months, we were talking to them about matching the border of one to the border of another, or looking for two pieces with red in them... without result. And then suddenly, a switch flipped, and they get it.

So focused and intent upon their work. Half the time, they choose to work on the same puzzle together, chirping, "Can I help you?" until the other, maybe, looks up from her absorption long enough to say yes. They are decent about taking turns, too. They don't exactly alternate, but they don't fight too much over turn taking, either.

Helping E with her coat. Whether she needs it or not.

I love watching them together. It's a little bit like twins, I think. Of course, they don't share parents. But they are together forty hours a week (Calliope has an additional ten hours in the morning with the nanny while Eleanor is home with her daddy). They interact with each other in such a different way than with their peers. They talk to each other... but only seem to notice the other's attempts at conversation about half the time. They fight over toys, mostly when the moms are around. They hit and push each other. Yet they are thrilled to see each other each morning, especially Calliope, and are sad to part each evening, mostly Eleanor. (Poor Amy has to fight to get Eleanor into her stroller each evening. A couple of weeks ago, Amy threatened to leave without Eleanor... and Eleanor said "bye." Amy asked me, "What do I do now?" I said, "I think you have to leave." So she left. I got the girls into their PJs and read nighttime stories and still Eleanor showed no sadness. Finally Amy gave up and came back and asked, "Who won that one?" and I laughed and said, "Eleanor, definitely.")

And both act out way more when her own mother comes home.

But together, out in the world? They are united. An unmistakable team.

When she's not working on puzzles, or "packing up" the doll stroller plus tote bag plus doctor kit for the long trek from her bedroom to the living room (which she calls either the "reading room" or the "riving room," I'm not sure which), she wants to use her markers or my pens.

Calliope is very focused on drawing and "writing." She now understands that marks on paper represent words, and likes to practice her own writing. She will work laboriously over a tiny, careful mark on a piece of paper... then look up and exclaim "that says 'Calliope!'"

She just learned to draw spirals. Only she insists they are "spiders," not spirals.

Listening to music on the iPod with Susie has greatly increased her repertoire of music. This is her rendition of Freres Jacques.

I found her reading The Very Busy Spider out loud to herself yesterday. She had nearly every word correct. But is most definitely nowhere near actually reading. Despite her interest in the concept -- she'll point to an "L" and say, "Mommy, that says T for Calliope!"

I know it's very early and that I shouldn't worry that Eleanor already knows several letters. And that some of her friends and peers knew all their letters by this age. My goodness but it's a constant battle not to compare one's child with everyone around her, isn't it?

So I will brag about the fact that my child is very generous. She's an extremely talented share-er. And also a pretty fantastic climber. Can't wait until we are back at the playground on a regular basis. Hopefully spring will arrive one of these days. I wish that money were more available and I could afford gymnastics classes as she's pretty limber and strong for her age but it's not in the cards for a good long time. I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that I'm not looking for a future Olympian, just a happy and well rounded child. Which is quite an achievement in itself.


  1. you have an awesome kid! I hope you are very proud!

  2. She is clearly thriving! Yes, hard not to compare/contrast and just be thankful for the little beings we've got, isn't it?

  3. It sounds like she (and you) are doing great! :-)

  4. LOVE this post. That is one special friendship. I wish E had something like that especially since she won't likely have siblings. Her current "best" friend is my friend's son...but he's 8 & we only see him once ore twice a month. But they are so precious together. I dread the day he gets his first girlfriend. It'll break E's heart :(

  5. I love to hear what Calliope (and other kids) are up to. Yes, it can be difficult not to compare, but it seems they all have their strengths and "areas in which to grow". And they all end up catching up to each other eventually (barring any actual reason why not). I love that Calliope is so good at sharing - I think that's quite a feat at her age!

  6. How nice to have such a lovely close relationship at an early age.