Eleanor's friend down the street gave her a pillow pet for Christmas.
(Short digression: I really haven't written about Christmas, and I'm not really sure why. It was wonderful, we had a great time, we all got many lovely gifts. So I'm not sure why I've just not felt like writing about it. Maybe because it's over and I just need to accept that? But anyway, maybe I'll get around to Christmas in February or something.)
The pillow pet was one of the first gifts that Eleanor got, and is one of her favorites. We love how much she loves to sit on it and read. When Keith took this picture, she had gotten herself all situated. She carefully placed the pillow pet on the floor in the dining room. Then she went and grabbed a pile of books and laid them out in a tidy row. Then she proceeded to go down the row, picking up one book and "reading" it (she has them all memorized, including our tone and inflections in dialogue), and then moving on to the next one.
We had a good 15 minutes of time to cook dinner together and talk about the day! This ability to entertain herself has been happening more and more lately. It's amazing and wonderful and also makes me a little sad. I'm absolutely certain that her overwhelming need for me is going to drive me crazy .... until the day that it's gone. Until the day where she gets dressed, goes to school, comes home from school and goes straight to her room to read or whatever, or—even worse—doesn't even come home after school, because she's at a friend's house or some activity. So I go the whole day without seeing her.
Once that happens, I'll remember these days with longing. Like today, where she offered her hand and said, "Mama, I'll help you up so you can come play dollhouse with me." These days where I'm her favorite playmate and my boring, repetitive stories delight and entertain her.
Of course, once she moves on, we still have some pets that will need us. I've been meaning to write this post for ages, but since that first picture with the pillow pet, we've found someone else in the house who loves it just as much, if not more.
Gomez is laying on the pillow pet constantly. Wherever it has landed, she seeks it out. Except, at the moment, she's curled up in my lap. It's good to know that the cat thinks I'm better than the pillow pet!
I do want Eleanor to learn to entertain herself and be independent. The best-case scenario is that tonight she pulls out the pillow pet for a solitary reading session .... and then comes and takes my hand to help me up, so I can play with her.