Growing up fast

Allegra is now only a little under one month away from turning 2 years old: where did my baby go? Everyone of course tells you how fast the time goes once you have a child, but seriously, it has flown by in a blur. Yet in so many ways, I can barely remember a time when she wasn’t here with us, making us a family, and entertaining us with her funny little ways 🙂

She is almost 2, but going on 22 I think! She seems so grown up for her age and definitely no longer a baby! She’s developing her own little personality and it’s wonderful to see, although I hadn’t expected to need to draw on my negotiation skills quite so much at this early stage, but there is frequent discussion, debate, and compromise needed in order to persuade her to brush her teeth, brush her hair, get dressed (especially in anything that’s not either pink or Peppa at the moment!), eat her dinner, leave the house in her coat, get in the buggy… the list goes on and don’t even get me started on washing her hair! It seems no amount of negotiation will work on that front so usually I just have to go for it and accept there will be tears and try to get it over with as quickly as possible!

Enjoying a babycino at lunch

Enjoying a babycino at lunch

Even at such a young age, I feel I am already getting a glimpse into the future and what kind of young lady our little girl might turn out to be. She’s certainly a girly-girl so far and I find that fascinating, how she has gravitated towards pink and princesses and handbags and shoes, oh, and mummy’s jewellery (!), without any particular encouragement from me or anyone else around her. She has trains to play with and cars, and books about dinosaurs and boats, and other such “boy” interest type stuff, but time and time again it’s all about the princesses and fairies, the pretty dresses and shoes, oh and marching up and down the house with her sparkly silver handbag – worn cross-body, a la tween stars Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus (as yet, thankfully unknown to Richmond toddler who has yet to discover the allure of the tween popstar, which means that mercifully she is also oblivious to 1D and Justin Bieber!) – packed full of essentials from her hairbrush (rarely used) to her Iggle Piggle phone (a free gift from a magazine, used frequently).

When she’s not sashaying across the house like a fashionista in her Cinderella shoes (full-on sparkly numbers that Nonna bought for her for Christmas, adorable!), handbag swinging from her hip, and Iggle Piggle phone to her ear, then she can usually be found busying herself in her play kitchen, cooking up some dish or other, or making “a cup-a-tea” for teddy during a picnic on the rug in the front-room, or taking care of her baby doll, making sure she’s had a nappy change or giving her a bottle of milk or rocking her while singing “hush-a-bye-baby”: I’m seeing more of this nurturing side of her personality since our new baby arrived, which is adorable to watch.

Shoe shopping

Shoe shopping

Then there’s “the chat”. Allegra has always seemed pretty advanced for her age when it comes to language, she’s already displaying her fiercely independent streak with her favourite phrase “Allegra do it!” and some of the things she comes out with just crack-me up, not to mention make her seem old beyond her almost 2 years! Latest example: not so long ago, on holiday in Devon, we went to a gorgeous seafood restaurant where as part of a goody-bag that Allegra was given, she received a set of fish top trumps cards. They’ve largely sat unused to date, but recently she’s shown more interest in them and Richmond Daddy has started teaching her the various names on the cards. She can now identify and proudly point out squid, mussels, prawn, queen scallop (!), and red mullet (!!) – comedy! Grandad has now also got in on the act, trying to teach her some more of the names on the cards, but he started out at pollock, which I think is quite likely a recipe for disaster…

We haven’t started potty training yet, but Allegra seems to be taking matters into her own hands on this front already. In the last few weeks, she has frequently declared “toilet” mummy and then frog-marched me into the bathroom, pulled down her trousers, stated “nappy off” – to which I assist in the removal of (although worryingly I know she is more than able to remove nappies without assistance… the memory of the poo in the bed incident still haunts me to this day…) – and then I am instructed, by her, to put her on the toilet, at which point she then goes “ssssssssssss” (to make a wee-ing noise I assume), followed by “all finished”, and then we have to remove her from the toilet, put back the nappy and trousers, and continue about our day. She’s only once actually wee-d on the toilet, but clearly she’s building up to it: self-training, love it!

Domestic goddess!

Domestic goddess!

And now she’s in her “big girl’s” bedroom. Still in her cot – no need to put her in a bed until ABSOLUTELY necessary I think – but no longer in the nursery room, and she’s loving it! But again, it makes her seem far from our little baby any more and closer to the grown-up girl she’s becoming, and now baby Claudia is here with us, Allegra seems even more like a big girl than she did just a week ago, which is bittersweet. Before I know it, she’ll be heading off to university, getting her first job, shopping for mortgages to buy her first flat, and getting married and starting her own family: eek! Best not to get ahead of myself, she’s still not yet 2, we have many many more years ahead of growing up to do and I can’t wait to see what they bring.

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