At just over 2 years old, Allegra has impressed me no end with how she has welcomed baby Claudia into our family with open arms, big sloppy big sister kisses, and lots of gentle tickles. She really has taken to her role as a big sister like a duck to water and seems to have genuinely adored her little sister from the moment she arrived in the world: how lucky are we?!
But lately, and I don’t know if this is just a girl thing or an age thing or it’s purely been sparked by the arrival of a baby in the house, she has been melting my heart daily by showing me just what a little mother she has become. It is so adorable and so very sweet.
When baby Claudia cries, there is Allegra, by her side in a flash, to offer some words of comfort: “there there Claudia” she’ll say, “it’s all-wight” (sic), and she’ll gently stroke her cheek and coo and aaah to soothe her. Adorable.
If she comes across a discarded dummy in the house, she’s quick to pick it up and come running to me with it: “mummy, mummy” (or sometimes “Bianca” or “mummy Bianca” – a disturbing new development, she seems to want to call me by name, I don’t like it!), “Claudia’s dummy” and she’s very concerned about making sure that the dummy is returned to Claudia’s mouth (often whether she wants it or not!).
If it is nap-time or bed-time, there she is again, by my side, “Allegra put blanket on” she’ll say, as she then drapes the blanket (or sometimes just a muslin cloth!), over baby Claudia, patting it down gently and saying “aaaaahhhh, there we go”. And of course then there’s the soothing lullaby that must be sung, her favourites to sing Claudia to sleep (ahem, well not quite) are Hush-a-bye-baby and Twinkle Twinkle, which she sings enthusiastically and (sort of) tunefully at the top of her voice. She hasn’t quite grasped the concept of a gently sung, soothing bedtime lullaby but it’s the thought that counts right?
It’s not just Claudia that she’s mothering either. She has two baby dolls, Stella and Annabelle (both came with names…), and she’s frequently putting them down for naps – we’ve let her have Claudia’s moses basket to use in her bedroom now that she’s out-grown it and she loves that – and covering them up with blankets to snooze. She’s frequently pushing them about in her pram or getting them dressed, or undressing them to change their nappies – always remembering to put cream on their bottoms in case they get sore apparently! And then of course there’s the importance of feeding baby her milk…
In fact, we had a really lovely moment last week together. I had prepared Claudia’s bottle and as I sat down on the sofa to feed her, Allegra came running over with her baby and her baby’s bottle – “I feed baby her milk too mummy” she said, as she clambered up on to the sofa beside me and set about feeding her baby. So there we were, two “mothers” with our babies, and she looked a me and smiled, and I thought wow, you really are a special little girl, and one day (frightening though it is to think this far ahead), maybe you’ll also be somebody’s mother too. And what a brilliant little mother you’ll make.
I have been shortlisted in the FAMILY category for a BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Award 2013 (aka the BiBs)… me!! moi!!! yours truly!!! I know… I’m as surprised as you, trust me. But honestly, I’m chuffed and really honoured to be shortlisted. If you’d like to vote for me, in the FAMILY category, no pressure or nowt, but if you fancy it and have 30 seconds to spare, then click on that there rather subtle link above…. Thanks! x