E’s development continues at a breakneck speed (not literally, thank goodness) since she started talking. Three weeks in and she’s already got a great vocabulary including numbers (to 20 (sort of)) and colours and food. She also repeats what I say very easily – today, at Hardwick Hall, I told her that Bess of Hardwick had her own coat of arms rather than her husband’s because “she didn’t give a toss.” “Toss,” came the reply. Luckily the man in the street last week didn’t hear us both comment on how awful his shiny suit was…
With this has also come her desire to express her independence in other things. A few weeks ago she started refusing to go in her high chair, wanting to sit in the grown up chairs instead. This was all very well but she can’t reach the table and no-one, but no-one, sells booster seats. I ended up buying three foam cushion pads from Dunelm (other fabric and general household tat stores are available) placing them together under some washable fabric and making her one myself.
She also flitters between her desire for a drink and her desire to drink out of a big cup. So far this has led to several spillages (just water) on me, the carpet, the sofa and down her tshirts. She hasn’t quite grasped the concept of the open top to the drink yet. I’m fine with letting her learn this, her father has fifty fits over the furniture. It’s just water.
This is a really exciting part, I think. Every day brings something new – new words, new things she’s learned but not had a chance to demonstrate before, new desires – and it’s visible to us. She seems to absorb all we tell and show her like a sponge. With this in mind we have to watch our language but are taking advantage of her receptiveness to teach her important life skills – today I demonstrated how to dance on and off a kerb like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, as well as impressing on her that the thing to do when confronted with a bare bottomed statue is to pat it.
I also find that she’s becoming more resilient physically. She and I spent ages yesterday at the playground in the park before anyone else arrived playing on the zipwire. She can hold on all the way now – whether I’m on there or whether I’m running alongside holding her on – and when we both fell off onto our backs she laughed and laughed rather than being surprised and crying like she would have a few months ago. Last week she walked all the way round town and sat on the bus seats like a big girl instead of being in her pushchair and was obviously proud of herself for doing so, looking up at me and beaming and saying “‘K!” to my asking “OK?”
Each new phase of her childhood seems better than the last.
(My apologies if this is a bit soppy – but I’m really amazed how much I enjoy this.)