Eliana (5 1/2) and Stephen (4) are together a lot. When I had a crawling 6 month old and a toddling 21 month old I heard lots of reassuring “It will get better”s and “Oh, it’s great they’ll always have each other”s. At that time I didn’t believe it. I was too in over my head with diapers, sleep schedules (or lack thereof) and in basic survival mode to see past the next meal, let alone the actual future.
But here we are. Fast forward a few years and it did get better. And they do have each other. They really are best buddies…most of the time.
When Juliette (16 months) naps during the day it’s the older two’s turn to get more of my attention. But, of course it’s shared attention. Often this is when we try to have our project time. Stephen is still focusing on sharks and Eliana is all about parties these days.
I love that they have their own interests and passions. What I love more is how much they learn from each other and how much they can collaborate. Stephen has taught us all more about sharks than I ever, ever could have imagined. Did you know there are more than 500 kinds of sharks? There are 9 types of hammerhead sharks alone. Did you know there’s a shark that only grows to about 8 inches? These are the things I learn from my 4 year old, and that his big sister learns too.
While Eliana’s current interest of party planning doesn’t appear too academic, it’s amazing all the directions it is going. She is practicing spelling and writing, creating art, making up games and most recently learning a lot about money.
She wants a lot of party supplies for her next party and I told her she will need to pay for it. She’s researching prices (yes, she’s a pro on Amazon- a good thing??- well, that’s debatable!), she’s comparing and writing it all down and learning what the price actually means. She went to Target with me, her list of party supplies and $4.00. She had to put a lot back and make a lot of decisions about what she wanted most with the money she had. (Jewel-type stickers to decorate homemade paper crowns and balloons made the final cut!) She took her pen too, and right there in the aisles of Target she wrote down the prices of everything else she wanted so that she could save up. Talking to me on the way home she was shocked to find out how much she would need to do to buy everything on her list. When she figured out that she would have to fold 6 loads of laundry just to pay for the crazy straws she picked out I’m pretty sure she started reconsidering.
I often find Eliana drawing sharks and Stephen is now planning a (shark) party. They work next to each other on separate projects daily. They ask each other questions, give each other ideas and encourage each other. I can do so much more with either one of them if I am alone with them, but they would miss out on all that the other has to offer. So, even with all the sibling bickering and fighting I am glad they have the chance to work side by side.