Where did my little girl go who hated cleaning her teeth? She has disappeared and in her place is a child who won’t let us forget that it is a task that should be completed every evening. I’m not complaining by the way. I am merely surprised at the complete turn around. We used to hold you down kicking and screaming and now as soon as you have your pj’s on it seems, we hear “Teeth. Paste.”. I suppose you are still not thrilled when we clean your teeth, you prefer to try and do it yourself, but you are all for the process if not the delivery.
When we fail to take notice of something that you want for yourself or to do yourself, you are happy to remind us. You pound your chest with an open palm and repeat “you, you”. Which makes perfect sense in your brain. When we speak to you, we refer to “you” all the time. Eventually you are going to have to learn the concept of “me” but until then, it’s very cute to watch you contradict us. We might suggest that we eat the rest of your snack and in return we get “No. You.”. Well, it’s cute sometimes. The rest of the time that you contradict us, it’s bloody frustrating!
On the whole though, it’s fascinating to watch you learn things. Like me, you get that face when you are concentrating fiercely on something. The one where the eyebrows come together slightly and the tongue pokes out the side of your mouth. Apparently this is the way I used to practice the piano all the time. I tell you, the tongue makes all the difference! You even do it occasionally when you drive your car. Backwards. Because that the only direction you can go at the moment.
Your dad found someone who was giving away one of those little plastic cars. The ones like the Flintstones used to drive where you have to use your feet to get anywhere. They seat one toddler comfortably and have a little side door so that you can climb in and out easily. It is your new favourite toy hands down. The coordination to go forwards however is a little beyond you at the moment and it’s easier to push with your feet which results in backward motion. You’re pretty good at directing yourself though. If you keep this up, reverse parallel parking will be a breeze later in life.
That is assuming you are not grounded when it comes time to get your license. You do have a mischievous streak to you. Although I don’t actually think you are consciously trying to be mischievous some of the time. Like the other night. You had been drawing on some paper in the living room quite happily. You really like drawing and you had a whole bunch of crayons and such on the floor. Then you moved towards the kitchen and out of my line of sight. I could still hear drawing sounds so I didn’t think much of it for a minute or two. Then I got concerned because whilst I could hear drawing sounds, I couldn’t hear your father (whom I had assumed was in the kitchen) chatter with you which I would have expected. So I went to investigate.
You were quite happily sitting on the floor making great big squiggles and zig zags all over the lower wall between the kitchen and the living room. You managed to fill up about a meter square of wall with drawing. I suppose I should be grateful though because you limited your medium of choice to a lead pencil. Something that is fortunately easily removed. And when I say easily, I mean through the assiduous application of a rubber eraser (and some elbow grease) to the affected area for an extended period of time. It took a lot more effort to get it off than it did to put it there in the first place Genevieve!
And when you are not drawing or driving and your parents are having relaxed parenting moments where we employ the services of the sparkly babysitter (we let you watch tv), you have been getting into your ABC kids shows. The favorites are clearly O-nau (“O” as in orange and “nau” as in naughty also knows as Octonauts), Thomu (Thomas the Tank Engine), Hoot (Giggle and Hoot) and Ple Ple (as in peo”Ple” repeated, or Iggle Piggle from In the Night Garden). It still gets your dad every time that you can’t or don’t want to say “ThomAS” and it took him a little while to recognise the Night Garden reference but you like to watch all of these. Sometimes immediately after one another. Sometimes wanting to switch before an episode has even finished. And depending on what we are trying to do when you are otherwise occupied, we oblige. Because if we don’t, the next request is probably going to be “cuddles!”.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love your cuddles. You give awesome hugs. Especially your squeezy ones. And sometimes kisses go with the hugs which makes them pretty special as well but I gotta tell you, it’s very hard to fold laundry when you are in the middle of a cuddle. And cooking dinner is somewhat challenging when you have a toddler attached to you. You don’t really care though. You now want cuddles all the time. Even (or perhaps sometimes especially) when you are belted into your car seat. I wouldn’t say you are like a limpet exactly, or even that it is a separation anxiety thing. You just love cuddles. Kind of like the way your dad just loves when you are over tired.
I think your dad should have been born a European because he seems to have their inclination towards food and mealtimes. He has no problem eating dinner at 9pm and still would if it weren’t for the fact that I refuse to eat this late and you should not. There are plenty of your friends at kindy who are safely tucked into their beds by 7pm. I have long accepted the fact though that sometimes were are not even home before 7pm but I do like you to be ready for bed by 8pm. The major snag in my plan is that this is heavily reliant on cooperation from your father.
He cooks dinner and he does bath time so when he then takes his time, things get later and later. You get more and more tired but conversely, you also get more and more animated. Your cheeky side comes out and your dad just loves laughing with you over dinner, chasing you around the house and wrestling with you on the bed. So much so that he prolongs the process of the pre-bath warm up as long as possible. Usually letting me get 90% to cranky. And then of course he plays along with you in the bath or the shower as well. I love that you guys are best buddies but sometimes I do just want you to go to bed! But it’s not your fault, I know. I am occasionally concerned that you are not getting enough sleep for proper development and all those boring things so hopefully we are not screwing you up too much. Sleep is a good thing my child. Remember that.