This time around I've had the luxury of home-churching so Eleanor hasn't even been attending until a month or two ago. I highly recommend it, even if nursery isn't part of the deal.
Now that Eleanor is officially old enough to attend nursery, I've realized that she isn't that little, maddeningly screamy baby that I brought home to our tiny Oakwood apartment a year and a half (and half a planet) ago. After I checked on her a few nights ago, I sat and watched her sleep. As she lay stretched out, deliciously soft and limp in deep baby sleep, I noticed her head and feet were only a few inches from the rails of the crib. When, between eight pounds and now, did she get so big?
Edwin has taught her how to make slurping noises and how to roar. Joseph taught her to flip her tongue while yelling. The girls have taught her 'mama,' 'dada,' 'uh-oh,' 'ball,' and 'poop.' I taught her 'shoe.'
She has discovered the girls' hiding places for their special treasures, the ones too precious to leave in the toy cupboard. On Halloween she learned that bright crinkly wrappers have yummy treats inside them and screaming might get you another one. She's figured out how to eat eggs with a fork and how to smear black bean soup everywhere with a spoon and how to make Mom yell really loud when milk is dumped on the floor. And she knows inherently, as all children do, what electronic devices are real and powered and which ones aren't.
One of my favorite times of day is cuddling her into the corner of my lap after she's zipped into a fuzzy sleeper and clutching her soft knitted blanket. We rock quietly together as I read Caps for Sale, Noisy Nora, or Where the Wild Things Are. Her chubby fingers turn the pages for me as I read, almost from memory, the same stories my mother read to me while rocking in another rocking chair in another place almost a lifetime ago. Then I will sing her a song or two or three before gently putting her down in her crib and waving goodnight as I shut the door.