I used to write these letters to my blossom Eleanor every two months of her first year of life, and now it just seems to all be whizzing me by, these golden years, months, days, moments. I like to look back and read the letters and remember what she was doing at certain times as a wee one, so even if only myself and my mum find this mildly interesting, another letter to mark one and a half years here Earthside was in order. One day I’ll be old and forgetful and remember I wrote this thing called a ‘blog’ once upon a time…
You are now officially a toddler. You walk, and explore, and toddle. Officially. You started walking when you were 16 months and 3 weeks old, you didn’t take 3 or 4 steps here or there, you literally got up one morning and started walking around the house. Just. Like. That. It was very funny! You didn’t stumble or trip or wobble. You just walked. Of course you did. It was like you’d been practicing behind our backs the whole time, when I thought you wouldn’t walk for months yet! As always, in your own time, on your own terms, quietly.
Exploring the garden and the big outside world is your favourite thing. You follow Mummy around watering the garden, waiting for Daddy to come home. You love to sit on the driveway and play with the rocks, turning them over, digging them out, admiring them and arranging them, your precious rocks. We joke that maybe you will be a geologist. You get a sandpit for Christmas from Mumma and Opa and it is your favourite thing in the world to do – digging and playing and making so very much mess. It’s a whole new world for mummy too, now that you walk. I can ‘send you outside to play’ and you toddle off across the back porch and down the step, off to find big adventures for a little blossom.
You still don’t talk very much. ‘Mumumum’ and ‘dadadadada’ often, and ‘Testh testh’ for Tessa. You start to say ‘uh oh’ much more in context, which is very funny. And ‘all gone’. It’s always ‘all gone’, with very theatrical arm movements in the air. You say ‘gonk gonk’ for drink which is a bit funny too. Just in the past week you have started to say ‘cheese’, ‘more’ and ‘up’. You know exactly what anything and everything is though, you’re very good at following very specific instructions (most of the time) if Mummy tells you to go get something out of your room. You like to put washing in your laundry basket and then ‘run’ back past Mummy to give her a high five – great job Blossom! Your ‘running’ is a very hilarious waddle, bottom out, arms swinging furiously as you believe this to propel you faster, and little fast steps which actually you’re probably going slower than walking normally.
Toddler tantrums started after Christmas, but mainly I think because you were a bit overwhelmed by all the extra kids and cousins you had around you – and perhaps you learnt some bad habits! You are still not overly stubborn or ‘toddler fiesty’, but I have definitely noticed the shift in your mannerisms from baby nonchalance to toddler determination. After Christmas you seemed to have learnt to squeal too, no doubt from your older cousins, and sometimes you will sit in your highchair and just squeal for no apparent reason, you just like to test those lungs out! Mummy tries to teach you that you don’t squeal for just no reason. Yeah, right…
You start to love playing with your little baby doll and pram a lot more, your pretend play and mothering skills are coming along nicely! And that’s just as well, Blossom, because you’re going to be a big sister! We can’t wait for our family and love to double, but just can’t quite imagine how there’s enough room in our hearts for two of you. But there will be, and it will be the best. And you will be the best big sister. After not sharing very well at Christmas with your cousin Otis, who has a big sister he has to share with, we’ve been working on your sharing skills. It’s so tricky though isn’t it, Blossom? One of Mummy’s friends reminds her that it is not a natural thing to want to share, Mummy has to teach you.
I try my very best to guide and help you to become the little person I can see waiting in there, giving you enough rope, but helping you along the way too. It’s a constant balancing act of letting you go but holding you close. Speaking of which…you generally find human contact fairly offensive! You are not a cuddler. You would never let Mummy hold you to go to sleep, and getting a kiss or cuddle out of you is like pulling teeth sometimes! But I try and tell Daddy that’s ok, you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, that’s a good way to be Blossom. When you are in the mood you give kisses obligingly and frequently! Especially ‘fishy face kisses’ with Mummy at bedtime. We’re so funny!
We love you more than you could ever imagine, Eleanor Joy. Our baby blossom. Our honey joy. You make us smile and burst with pride and happiness every single day. We can’t wait to see you bloom even more as a little girl. I still whisper in your ear though, “Grow big, stay small…”
Keep blooming Blossom,