Picture me as a nervous 17 year old learning to drive. I don’t seem to progress with my abilities (or lack of) behind the wheel. My driving instructor puts me in for my driving test. I fail. I immediately improve. Who knows why or how this worked but it did (my failing my second test was all my own stupidity and I should really have passed that one but for one moment of madness. However, I still vow that better, non-nervous drivers are the ones who don’t pass first time and I’ve not yet found anyone who contradicts this theory.) Anyway, back to the point.
The health visitor last week suggested E should really be talking by now and offered to refer her to a speech therapist. I told her that we weren’t concerned by this and she gave us a couple of months to see how E develops – she will then phone us to see if there is any change and only then refer E if needed.
Rather like her mother needing a test to boot her forward, E has seen this visit as a chance to start talking. This week she’s said her version of Ready Steady Go, yuck, hot, bye and eyes. Her pronunciation’s not perfect but she’s only started this week. What these words say about our usual standard of interaction is another matter, but she’s started and I must say, it’s really sweet to hear her.
This is only the latest of the breakthroughs in her development that we’ve experienced recently. The most exciting, the most gratifying, and the one I’m most concerned about changing is bedtime. Every night for the last three weeks, E has had her bath, got ready for bed, had her milk and then pointed at her bed. We lie her down in it and she waves goodnight and settles herself to sleep. It’s AMAZING. All those nights when all I could hear as I stood over her cot holding her hand was the parenting guides saying “you must let her do this alone, you’ll make a rod for your own back, blah blah blah…”, all those nights seem far away now. E is happy enough in bed, confident in herself and in our love to settle herself to sleep. It’s lovely. (We keep telling ourselves this is probably a phase – if I blog in future about the nightmare of bedtime, please remind me of this post.)
We’ve known for a while that E comprehends a lot – we know from books that she points to things and knows what they are and so on – but her understanding of wider things is also noticeably changing. You can ask her to put things in the bin and she does, today she got a nappy from her changing bag and pointed upstairs to her changing area. This may not sound like much but I was really pleased at her!
All this, plus her constant love of stair climbing, and her new trick which is using her toes and fingers to count, makes her seem to have grown up so fast since she turned two. She’s a proper little girl now so me still calling her my baby girl is long gone.
I still do, of course.