· Clothes pins continue to be a consistent favorite toy. She empties the whole bag and then sits surrounded by pegs which she then "sorts" into piles and readjusts and pokes into her shoes or other holes in the boat. When Leanne, a visiting YWAMer was aboard they sat for a very long time while Leanne had Eloise practice identifying the colors of the different pegs. Blue was the most successful color Eloise learned.
· Another way Eloise passes the time aboard is to sort clothes. She asks for shirts from her clothes bins. I pull out about five to ten shirts and put them in a pile for her. From there Eloise will collect the whole pile into her arms and take it to a different location, sit down and begin sifting through. She makes piles, inspects the various decorations or embellishments on the clothes, or piles them on her head. This morning, Eloise stacked three shirts on her head, stood up and started twirling around. A stack of clothes can occupy her for up to an hour.
· Eloise's sign language vocabulary is continuing to grow. She uses over 30 signs. "kitty", "poop" and "bread" are recent acquisitions. She now makes the poop sign often when she wants to be changed. She also says, "shh shh shh" when she is peeing in her diaper. Her interest and ability to communicate about this topic lead to a major milestone…..her first poop and pee in her own potty. The day before the big day she had given me the poop sign but I didn't believe her because I checked her diaper and it was clean. A minute later, it wasn't clean! I hadn't expected her to anticipate and know ahead of time. Well, on the big day, I heeded her when she told me she had to pee. I congratulated her and had the joy of seeing her be immensely proud of herself. She clapped her hands and squealed happily. Daddy showed up and she showed him and signed and squealed about her accomplishment. Only a few minutes later, I saw her "poop face" and said, "Eloise you're pooping." She got excited and I whisked her into the bathroom and we had success! More happy squeals and pointing and signing and clapping.
· OK, no more potty talk. Here's a sweet story. Yesterday Eloise and I were in a waiting room. She found some brochures and was sorting them and stacking them. As more people arrived, she started pretending to give them brochures, walking over offering them and then taking them back before the people could keep them. This is usually how Eloise "gives" things. However, a couple walked in with a tiny three year old girl that seemed to have some sort of physical disability or be in pain, a quiet unhappy girl. Eloise was her usual excited self when she saw the other "baby". She walked over and waved and smiled and tried to interact but the girl cringed away. Eloise came back to where I was sitting. I whispered to her that maybe the little girl wanted to have Eloise's flowers and she could give them to her. Eloise trotted straight over to where she was storing her plumeria blossoms and went straight over with outstretched hand to give them. But this was a real gift. She waited patiently while the girl grumbled about having her space invaded. The father of the girl received the flowers and smiled at Eloise. Elosie looked around and found a third plumeria blossom and went back to the girl and held it out again, patiently. I was very proud of her sweetness and humbled by her giving away something she really liked. It made me want to be more like Eloise, willing to give and be kind even if my offerings aren't met with thanks and appreciation.
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