The surprising patience of a 15 month-old

I’ve noticed lately how Zuzu is quietly becoming self-reliant and- a shocker, given her older sister’s temperament- patient. Eric tried to do something for her the other day, I can’t remember what, but she made it clear that she wanted to do it herself. I said, “She’s an independent girl.” He replied, “That’s all we have around here,” mimicking Katie, “I’ll do it myself.”

She voices frustration often enough, but I’m struck at her persistence as she tries to figure things out. For instance, Katie still gives up on forks and spoons and uses her fingers to feed herself. Zuzu will work and work and work to stick food with a fork and eat it that way without getting upset or giving up. She doesn’t eat as much because of it, but she just works on it and sticks it out. Tonight, she had a washcloth and kept trying, over and over, to set it flat on the floor to put a stuffed animal “to bed” on it. That was cute enough as it is- another sign of what a little girl she’s turning into and something she’s been doing more and more often, along with “feeding” babies bottles. But, her right hand was making it difficult for her to grab it by two corners, and yet she kept working and working on it.

Her calmness is a welcome contrast to Katie’s fast temper and Zuzu’s tantrums are so mild and short-lived in comparison to her big sister’s. Eric and I were talking the other night about how lucky we are to have such beautiful children, both with such fantastic personalities. It’s clear Zuzu still has some challenges ahead with the weakness on her right side; she was playing with an open DVD box this morning, got it wedged under her legs, and managed to shut it on her right fingers. Her arm was too weak to yank it out of the box and we only noticed when she started to scream in pain.  If her motor skills delay persists for awhile longer, and we do have work to do to build her strength, I think her patience will serve her well. It just might also be a lesson to us to let her keep working, working, working on it, until she gets it figured out.

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