Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Language of SIsters

Sisterhood is a process, and it is unfolding every day in this house.

Elliot is constantly communicating with Maya, using hand gestures to say "Hey, I want that" or "Come here" or "It's okay, Maya"... or sometimes, "I really want a fist full of your hair," though we're trying to curb that one. Between her improvisational sign language (poor second child, I haven't even looked at the baby signing book!) and the growing number of actual words she knows, she usually gets her point across to her big sister.

So I should not have been surprised yesterday when Maya anticipated Elliot's needs before I did.

Tired and dragged down by the rhino virus (thanks preschool!), I was basically ignoring Elliot's pleas to get out of her high chair in my rush to finish dinner. She had cheerios and a board book. She was just fine.

I was even too tired to protest when Maya pushed a chair over, pulled out a sippy cup, and filled it with water from the door of the fridge.

Instead, I kept chopping my vegetables and internally practiced my 'calm-mommy' response: "Uh-oh, Maya, you should get a towel and clean that up." It takes a bit of practice to override the instinctive, "WHY?!" scream.

Then Elliot was suddenly content. Looking over, I saw Maya standing next to her, patting her on the toes while Elliot guzzled the fresh water. "See mom, she was just thirsty."

Her sister knew.

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