(No, I don't know what went on with my numbering either. Boddle.)
"Pizza is nummy. Num num num."
"Mmm... ice cream very good too. Keep it coming."
You've taken to adorning yourself with necklaces and this is your favourite. The strap of the now three-and-a-half-year-old changing bag. Probably the grubbiest strip of fabric in the entire house! But it becomes you very well. And it jingles. All good jewellery should jingle!
It's all about in and out at the moment. Good concentrated thinking.
And climbing. It's also about climbing. This face is "Help! I'm stuck!" (for the fourth time in about thirty seconds!)
More in and out work.
And here we are, Little O, on your birthday. I'm sorry to say you experienced driving rain and what it is to be soaked to your skin. Unless we really do decide to elope to warmer climbs to escape the cruddy British weather, this is something you'll experience a fair amount in your life, but hopefully not on many more of your birthdays.
You enjoyed your birthday, I think. Master R helped you to open your presents (it was quite a challenge to rein in his enthusiasm). You love your skuttlebug, which was his gift to you. He pushed you along and you beamed happily. You can push yourself backwards, but you're frustrated that you can't quite work out how to go forwards yet. You like to "brrm brrm" on it. You loved your wooden blocks - you stacked them, shared them out, then tidied them back into the box (girl after my own heart!) You cuddled your baby doll (we've named him Wilbur) and sort of got the hang of putting him into his sleeping basket and putting his blanket over him. You were perplexed initially by the Elefun game, but you've worked out the fun bit is putting the butterflies back into the elephant at the end of the round. You liked your new dress, which you're going to wear for your party tomorrow - you kept scrunching the fabric over your legs. And you LOVED your music CD. We found and burnt to disc the songs from the Mini Disco on holiday, along with some other songs we know you like. You love to clap and bop to music. Especially the Hokey Cokey. At toddlers, you have recently taken to charging on foot into the middle for the "oooooh!" bit rather than letting me fling you in. You do it very dramatically, mouth wide open shouting "oooooh!" and your arms held back.
Let's be honest, you do most things dramatically. I think your eighth tooth is finally coming through, because you've been Miss Shouty today. Happy enough one moment, then roaring with anger the next. You found it extremely difficult to wait through Master R's swimming lesson (yours is right after). When I pulled you back from throwing yourself eagerly into the water, you clenched your fists, pummelled your chubby feet against the floor and screamed with frustration and disappointment. Several times today a disappointment had you collapsed in my lap crying bitterly. It's hard being one. And I sense it's going to be quite a challenge to help you through these challenges, with your determination and passion. But I watch you, marching around in your little size 2 sandals, showing off the goggles you've wrestled from your brother and I think of all the things you can achieve with that fiery spirit and persistence.
A year ago I knew everything about you, but that wasn't much at all. Now I have a much clearer idea of the person you are. And I look back at those early days and see the clues that were there at the time. It's been an incredible year. Incredibly beautiful and life-affirming. Incredibly exhausting and testing. We're learning and growing together. Thank you Baby O, for joining our family and making it the gigglier, crazier and better. We love you for everything you are.