I used to write letters to Eleanor here on the blog every two months of her first year of life, and then at 18 months also. I thought it fitting to write another on her latest milestone: turning two years old and becoming a real little girl, no longer a baby. I sat down to write this mere hours before her little sister came into the world, and would change Eleanor’s world forever – making her a big sister and Mummy’s biggest girl. I could change a lot of what I’ve written here, given the past week and a half with Eleanor now as my biggest little, but I wanted to keep it just the same. Just as she was the day she was still the little girl, before she became the big.
Two years seems both a big deal and insignificant: two whole years with you in our arms, but a blink all the same when it seems you have always been here. And as always, I truly believe that you always have been – that baby blossom tucked away within us waiting to come join us. You are everything we imagined our first child, a little girl, to be.
At two years old you are still placid and easy going, not much phases you and you are a generally happy little girl exploring the world around her. The ‘terrible twos’ or toddler tantrums have begun to rear their head, but honestly nothing that Mummy and Daddy don’t work out together with our confused little poppet. I can almost see the fireworks going off inside that little (ok, no so little) head of yours. You are changing into a little girl and facing some big developments – there’s so much to learn and do and discover and challenge you when you are two! Mostly if you are confused or angry or have an emotion you aren’t sure what to do about, you throw things. Which pains Mummy so much! Temper tantrums and tears I can handle, throwing things I can’t. Thankfully it’s not very often, and I can see exactly why/when/how it happens. These toddler days are not just confusing for you, little one, Mummy is new at this too! You don’t quite grasp the concept of consequences yet, so disciplining you can be tricky – mainly because ‘discipline’ is just not something that we’ve had to deal with yet! A new year and new challenges indeed. Mummy and Daddy so want you to grow into a caring, kind, thoughtful little girl though who knows right from wrong and can make good decisions for herself. Please know that this is just what we’re trying to do, gently pushing and guiding you in the right directions, it’s our job.
You still don’t talk as much as some other two year olds, but your speech in the past month or so has definitely exploded. You have gone from saying just mum, dad, Tess, more, cheese…to all sorts of words that regularly get trotted out: book, brum-brum (car/tractor), toot-toot (train), boots, shoes, egg, clock, kids, cake, yay, yum, up, sit, yuck, poo, wet, me, you. You can often attempt to mimic any words now Mummy asks of you, the best bit of your new found speech development has been all these months of me asking you to say ‘please Mum’ instead of ‘more more more’ or the incessant ‘mum mum mum’ has paid off! Now if you really want something you say in your funny sweet little voice ‘peees mum, peees’. Your voice seems to have changed since you say more words, you are more a little girl saying a few word sentences even sometimes, no longer a baby babbling away, although mostly I am the only one to understand and translate for others! You can’t yet say ‘Eleanor’ which is a shame, you tap your chest and say ‘me, me’ a lot. And ‘Grandi’ is a favourite – except you can’t say Grandi! You do a funny horsey noise, clucking your tongue, which I finally deciphered means Grandi – I’m not sure why?! But sometimes you do it for ‘Grandad’ too, so it must be the ‘gr’ sound. Either way possum, we know what you mean. Mostly.
You like to help mum ‘dig dig’ in the garden, and visit our one lonely chicken who you call ‘buk buk’. For your birthday we have a farm themed party for our little dirt girl – it is freeeeeeezing cold, and snows the day before! Nevertheless, all the people who love you huddle in our cosy farmhouse and eat piggy cake. You get a ride-on tractor from Grandad, your ‘brum-brum’, which you think is pretty great. So far it’s been too cold and wet to do much outside play with it, but you do love to jump in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig in your pink gumboots. You also like to do drawing with crayons, but mainly getting Mummy to do the drawing. You still love books, lots and lots and lots of books. You want Mummy to sit with you on the couch and read books all day, one for Eleanor and one for Mummy though, you like to read too. Imaginary play has entered your world, you will often play with your toys animals as if they are ‘talking’ to each other: ‘hiiii!!!’ and being a mummy to your baby dolls is very important business.
Sleeping is still second nature to you – although we do have a few rough patches, mainly when you are sick. Day sleeps as late as 5.30 have never really affected your bedtime, you’ve always been good at going to sleep by yourself and your cot has been your happy place (you thump around in there reading your books you can grab from your bookshelf, sometimes Mummy finds you fast asleep but surrounded by books!) Now Mummy is finding she needs yo wake you up at 4.30ish, otherwise you cry in your cot at bedtime at 7-7.30. Another adjustment. At your little friend Zac’s birthday party, whose mummy is also having a baby, he tells you that his cot is ‘for the baby’ and he is now in a big boy bed. For a few days after that you seem afraid to sleep in your cot. Oh possum, you are so distressed! You sleep with mummy and daddy, but even then you’re not very good at that, as you’ve rarely slept in our bed so think it’s a great joke! Eventually you go back to your snoozy bear ways, with Carrots beside you, always with Carrots. But some nights are looooong with you pulling Mummy’s hair in an overtired frenzy. Where has my placid Blossom gone?! I am certain you know that something is a’brewing, changes are coming, you are such a knowing little thing. Testing our boundaries at this big time of change is surely not a coincidence. Reassurance and patience is needed, for Mummy and for Eleanor.
When you’re not overtired and confused about being this new big girl, you love to help. “I help? I help?” is one of your most common phrases. You love to pass me the washing to hang out, and you always need to bring in a little bit of firewood when we get some by the back door. In the past week I’ve dragged a chair over to the bench for you to stand on and you ‘hallp, hallp’ me get dinner ready, you very much believe you can chop vegetables and use the Thermomix yourself.
Daddy has been working away on your new big girl bedroom, it’s nearly ready! Again, you want to ‘hallp’ him lots, but I’m not sure you understand that it’s going to be your bedroom. Sometimes you say it’s for the ‘bayyybeee’. Hmmm… When Uncle Tyler and Aunty Kate come to visit, with baby Hunter, for your birthday party, you are such a good helper and love Hunter (who you sometimes call ‘Ho-Ho’ like Santa!) But then they go home. ‘Bayyybeee all gone!’ you walk around the house saying, palms to the sky, it seems you believe that was the baby and now he’s gone! Don’t have to worry about that pesky baby anymore! Oh dear.
We basically don’t use the pram anymore, “I walk, I walk” everywhere we go…except you get tired and poor super-pregnant Mummy has to carry you when you refuse to go in a trolley. Generally though you are a very good girl in the shops and through the supermarket, walking next to me, eating your sultanas. Always eating sultanas. And biscuits. “Bik bik?” You still eat fairly well, although the brakes have most certainly been put on any vegetable of the green variety. Mummy is learning to choose her battles, you eat certain things with gusto (mandarins, kiwi, yogurt with your weetbix, steamed carrots and potatoes, pasta, eggs and any form of meat) so all is not lost. Maybe one day you’ll eat zucchini and broccoli again. Maybe.
Your world is about to change so much Eleanor Joy – I truly hope in the most amazing way. You are right on the very cusp of becoming a big sister, your life with just Mummy and Daddy in our little farmhouse on the hill is about to end…but on the other side I just know is this big new challenge that I pray you will step up to in your usual placid, nonchalant and easy going nature. Your obsession in ‘halllping’ Mummy I hope will come in handy, and your baby doll obsession too. You like to ‘rock bayyyb’ to sleep, and change their nappies. Surely you are going to ace this big sister gig.
I am holding tight to these last days with just you, my blossom, my baby, before I am suddenly the mama of two. Two of you. I can’t quite imagine. How will my heart hold the two of you and still not burst? And I am bracing myself for the inevitable: you will grow like a mushroom overnight and seem so big. Just this morning when you went with Aunty Mandy for the morning you seemed to come back all grown up…after just a few hours?! You are going to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming weeks and months, Eleanor. Not just in how Mummy sees you – but how you see the world around you, how you find your new place in our family, the big girl, no longer the baby. Goodness. So much to discover as two year old you, but I can’t wait to see you become the little girl I see glimpses of – still that placid baby girl, but with curiosity and empathy and adventure and fun sparkling in those big blue eyes too.
Keep blooming Blossom,