Eric dropped the girls off to me at work yesterday, per our usual arrangement when he's teaching. Chloë was asleep, because it was a preschool day and she doesn't nap on preschool days, and despite her protests that she doesn't need one, she needs one. Maia greeted me: "Mom! Hi Mom! Daddy go? Toë teeping."
I talked back to her some and got settled in the driver's seat, and headed down the road toward home. Maia started singing: "Aay bee tee dee...you too, Mom!" So I joined in.
She knows most of the alphabet song, though "LMNOP" is rendered as "emopee," and she waited for me to chime in with S. But she did her best in her beautiful baby voice--toddler voice, really. Then she started again. "You too Mom!" So we sang, and sang, all the way home.
* * *
That night...no, I guess it must have been Monday night, because it was after Maia went to bed. Chloë and I were up, and she was looking at her spider counting book, which she made at preschool by stamping the appropriate number of spiders on each page. The front had three spider stickers on it. "That's the mama spider," she said, pointing, "and that's the big sister spider, and that's the baby spider. But there's no daddy spider."
"You could draw one," I suggested.
"I don't know how."
"I'll show you. We can practice on another piece of paper."
I expected her to say no, but she didn't. So we went to the easel, and I held up the spider counting book and demonstrated, then counseled her on how to draw a spider. "First a big circle for the body. Then a small one for the head. Then eight lines for legs. Four on each side." Once she had that down, we refined the legs by adding extra segments, and she added a face to the head all by herself. "Now I can draw one on my counting book," she said, and did, and executed it beautifully. She was so pleased to have the spider family complete.
* * *
We left the spider book on the table, and tonight when dinner was winding down she pointed it out, and the status of each spider: "That's the big mama spider, and the big daddy spider I drew, and the two small ones are the big sister and the baby."
Maia listened as she shoveled pasta into her mouth with her fork. Then she said, "That big Mama over there," pointing at me. "That big Daddy over there. That big sister over there." She considered. "Small Maia here, eating her food."