Letter to my baby

Dearest Evelyn,

You turned one last week. One! A whole year you’ve been with us. Incredible. I guess I can’t call you a baby anymore; you’ve moved on to being a toddler.

You’re a sweet kid. You’re very personable and sociable, which is nice. You like a cuddle, from just about anybody, but you’re also pretty good at telling us when you want to stop being cuddled!

You can be very independent, and you’re certainly as strong-willed as the rest of the women in this family! We’re going to have a merry old time when you get older. However, I think it’s a good thing on the whole; the world is a tough place, and it gets just a little bit easier when you can stand up for yourself.

The things you love right now include grapes, tearing pages in books, and reaching for things you know you’re not meant to have. Yes, you know! You might be only one, but you’re a smart cookie!

The only thing I’ve found that you won’t eat so far is scrambled eggs. You’re perfectly happy with fried or poached eggs, though.

You are walking incredibly well already, and have been for quite some time. You haven’t really crawled at all for a month or so, maybe even more. It’s a bit soon to expect speech, but you make a lot of different sounds and you’re very good at communicating what you want in various ways, both verbal and non-verbal.

You’re capable of sleeping through the night, but you often don’t because you’re teething. Your teeth seem to take a very long time to come through, and hurt you for the entire duration. I feel so sorry for you… but also for me! Your teething means that I don’t get much sleep! But it’s ok, I know it will pass, and one day you’ll read this and feel horribly guilty.

All in all, you’re a sweet and happy child, a wonderful addition to our family. I can’t wait until you’ve got all your teeth and stop bumping your head, and we can start to enjoy whole days with no pain!

Loving you all your life,

Mum

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Conversations with a toddler

For quite some time now I’ve been documenting snippets of conversation between Elspeth and myself. I thought it might be fun to compile some of the more amusing bits here!

13th March 2011

Aidan: What’s daddy’s real name?
Elspeth: Mummy.

8th March 2011

Ellie: The cat, the cat!
Me: What cat?? *can’t see a cat*
Ellie: The gone cat.

29th March 2011

Ellie: Cuppa tea! Cuppa tea!
Me: Do you want mummy to have a cup of tea?
Ellie: Yes!
Me: That’s a good reason for me to have a cup of tea!

8th Sept 2011

Me: Time for a bath!
Ellie: Moo moo, I’m a cow!
Me: Cows need baths too.
Ellie: No they don’t, just Ellie.
Me: Well, ok, are you going to be Ellie so you can have a bath?
Ellie: Ummmm…. yes!

5th May 2012

Ellie: I’m taking my little dog for a little walk.
Me: That’s nice, everyone should have a hobby.
Ellie: I’m not a hobby!

9th May 2012

After giving Elspeth a small amount of his chocolate mousse, Aidan said to Elspeth, ‘No more of that, or you’ll be bouncing off the walls.’ She replied, in a reproving tone, ‘You shouldn’t bounce off walls.’

21st May 2012

Ellie: What’s that cat doing?
Me: Sitting on the roof of our shed.
Ellie: Will he come down?
Me: I don’t know, you’d better ask him.
Ellie: Can you come down here, cat? Come on, I’m down here. Down on the ground. Come on, come on, quick sticks!

23rd May 2012

Ellie: Giraffe sneezed!
Me: Did he put his hand over his mouth?
Ellie: Giraffes don’t have hands.
Me: So what did he put over his mouth?
Ellie: His tail.

Milestones and acheivements

Elspeth

A few weeks ago I finally decided it was time to properly potty train Elspeth. So I said to her, ‘No more nappies during the day, it’s underpants or nothing from now on.’ She threw a tantrum, but I’m bigger than her so I won. And we’ve had remarkably few accidents! She rarely needs reminding or prompting, she goes on the potty by herself, and often asks to use the toilet too. So that’s good!

Evelyn

In the last week or so, Evelyn has figured out crawling! She’s getting around like a champion now, and follows me around the house all the time. She is also starting to babble, making quite a few nice consonant sounds – ‘ba’ and ‘da’ and ‘ga’. She’s done the occasional ‘da-dee’, which Aidan is happy to claim as her first word. There are also some ‘hiyas’ and ‘yeahs’.

Me

I’ve been studying hard and I’ve just about finished my most recent unit – Worlds of Early Modern Europe. Next week I start on the Fall of the Roman Republic.

Adjusting to sisterhood

When Evelyn was born, Elspeth was two years and two months old. That’s two years and two months of being the only child. Her entire life. Having a baby in the house was a big change for her. Not just a baby, but a baby that she had to share toys with, share her parents with, and share playtime with. It was tough for her, I know that, even though we made every effort to make it a smooth and pleasant transition.

Move forward six months. Evelyn can smile and laugh, can sit up, and generally looks and acts more like another person, somebody Elspeth can understand. The sibling relationship is getting better.

Elspeth still thinks that any toy Evelyn has is the most desirable thing in the house, but it isn’t too difficult to steer her towards something else just as fun. She isn’t a big fan of touching the baby intimately – no kisses or hugs, but she’ll pat her on the head, tickle her toes, and poke her in the belly. She will fetch toys for Evelyn upon request, and they are always suitable, appropriate toys, and often the ones that Elspeth knows belong to the baby as opposed to the “communal” toys. Most importantly, Elspeth displays no resentment or animosity towards Evelyn.

Evelyn, for her part, was born into sisterhood and knows nothing else. She is an avid observer of all that Elspeth does. She laughs at her big sister’s antics, and listens when she talks and sings. She has no hesitation in touching Elspeth, grasping her and often pulling her hair, much to big sister’s disgust, but that’s just the exploring of a baby and she’ll grow out of it.

All in all, I think the sibling relationship is going quite well, and I anticipate it getting even better as they become more used to each other. They both seem very happy, and are generally lovely children.

Where they’re at

Being the beginning of a new year, I thought it appropriate to do a post about my children and their current states of development. This is something I hope they will look back on in years to come!

Elspeth, two and a half years old

  • Loves to wear purple dresses
  • Still obsessed with Winnie the Pooh
  • Cheeky and playful, tries to play tricks on people
  • Very good vocabulary and sentence structure
  • Starting to make up words for fun
  • Recognises a few written words like ‘Ellie’ and ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’
  • Loves books and stories
  • Excellent imagination, which comes through in her games
  • Going through a bit of a boundary-testing, tantrum-throwing stage
  • Fussy with food, won’t eat a lot of things
  • Favourite food is vegemite sandwiches
  • Still not potty trained
  • Runs around singing songs, including making up songs; some tunes are recognisable even when she uses different words
  • In the new year (very soon) I want to get Elspeth toilet trained, eating real foods, and sleeping without a dummy

Evelyn, three months old

  • Capable of rolling over (but forgets how sometimes)
  • Lots of smiles and laughs, especially first thing in the morning
  • Sleeps well, but not all night yet
  • Babbles, very chatty
  • Can’t quite sit up, but is making the effort
  • When she wants something, her shriek is ear-piercing
  • In the new year (very soon) I’d like Evelyn to be rolling over regularly and beginning to eat some solids