Dear Miss O,
My talkative little toddler. Our engaging little explorer. How I am enjoying getting to know you. You are an astonishing mimic, parroting back complex words and phrases eagerly, gobbling up language so that you can tell us exactly what you think about everything (and you think a LOT). I find myself startled daily by the conversations I'm having with a 16-month old.
You weren't keen on being a tortoise for Hallowe'en and kept pulling the hood down, but the next day you brought it to me.
Me: You want to be a tortoise?
O: (beaming) Yes!
Me: There you go. One little tortoise.
Me: You want the hood up this time?
And off you trotted, happily disguised as a reptile.
When Little R was a nursery on Wednesday and we were still housebound because you've had hand, foot and mouth, you dug these colourful scarves from your sensory box to play with. Lots of "boo!" and "where?" play. Lots of hiding and giggling. I love that you know what you want to play with and invite me to join you in your world. You also love to sing songs together. Wheels on the Bus is still your favourite, along with Row Row Row. You're a fan of Wind the Bobbin Up too.
You love to care for your babies and animals. "Tunty" (monkey) and "Bilba" (Baby Wilbur) are your favourites. You give them cuddles, shoulder carries ("dowdas") and plenty of food and milk. Here, I'd brought through some melon as a mid-afternoon snack. You carefully selected a piece, but then took it straight to monkey. Later that day, you were walking round the downstairs with "Bilba" wrapped in your arms.
O: Milk! Milk! Mummy... milk?
Me: Oh... does Wilbur need his milk?
Me: Can't you find it?
Me: Hmm... I'll look upstairs. (found it, brought it to you) There you are!
O: Tan-to! (Thank you)
You still haven't 100% got the hang of drawing and crafting. You do like a bit of "painting" with chalk or pens, and on this day, with paint. But inevitably it ends up in your mouth. This gory looking mouth was quite apt, as we were doing Hallowe'en craft at the time! Earlier today you appeared in the kitchen with purple chalk running down your chin and in between your teeth. You just do have a thing about eating weird textures. And you're very honest about it. You'll secretly nibble something, then come and show me your big wide mouth. And when I say "You shouldn't eat crayon/chalk/paint/pencils/sand/mud, should you?" You reply "No!" in a really serious voice.
It's ok though, these eyeballs for our Hallowe'en potion mixing were edible!
You're quite bonkers a lot of the time. Out in the garden in your dress and wellies (LOVE a dress and wellies combo) you chose to slide as far down as you could and balance. You thought it was great fun. Other gymnastic tricks you like are bouncing so high on your trampoline that the whole thing bounces off the ground, and putting one hand on the toilet seat and one on the boxed in piping next to it and lifting your feet off the floor. You can even hold yourself on a bar with your hands by your waist and your feet off the floor! You have some serious core muscles, and you're so motivated to learn new tricks.
Having had enough of the sliding game, you invented a game which kept you and Little R engaged for a good ten minutes. Run to the dry riverbed. Select a large cobble. Run to me saying "eee eee eee". Present me with the cobble. Rinse and repeat. In the end we were all laughing, but none of us were quite sure why!
(Irritatingly, we've got to that time of year when photos get all blurry again, because the light levels are too low for a fast shutter speed. Boo.)
And this I love. Both of you sharing your love of books. Little R knows your favourite books so well that I often spy or hear you from afar.
R: O! Come here. Sit by me.
O: Yes. Book.
R: I'll read it to you. Sit down.
O: Duck! Quack quack!
R: Yes! It is a duck. Well done!
O: Cow. Mooooo.
R: Good girl!
Love you two.