Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Archive for the ‘General thoughts’ Category

A Turn Of Phrase

Posted by Caroline on September 9, 2008

Quite aside from her ability to charm the socks off everybody she encounters, Emily has also developed rather a way with words in recent months. Not only does this make life a lot easier in ‘terrible two’ terms – the fact she can tell us what she wants most of the time means toddler tantrums are kept to a minimum – but it also provides ample opportunity for optimum cuteness – her little phrases and exclamations (‘oh dear me’, ‘what have we got here’, ‘what’s that noise, Mummy?’) would fill a slim volume.

One of my favourites, however, is her uncanny ability to guess how old everybody is. Ask her Mummy’s age, or Daddy’s age, or anybody’s for that matter and she will tell you that they “are 2”. Ask her her old she is however and it’s almost always “I’ll be 3…..”

Does this mean I am younger than my own daughter? Now that would be something…

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Who Are You Talking To?

Posted by Caroline on April 25, 2008

When you have a child, you’re prepared for certain eventualities. The fact that as a baby, they will wake you for night feeds, nappy changes and general reassurance. That when they get a bit older they may wake you for teething and illness. This is something you learn to accept as part of being a parent.

What they don’t tell you, however, is that your child may also wake you in the small hours by talking in their sleep. Such has been the case with Emily recently. Having become a fan of CBeebies and the many delights it has to offer (favourites including In The Night Garden and Charlie And Lola) it seems that she has now also taken to dreaming about her favourite TV characters.

A few weeks ago I was woken at the less than sociable hour of 5.30am by her shouting ‘BYE BYE PIGGLE!’ (as though having a conversation with Night Garden’s cuddly blue boat-dweller Iggle Piggle) before rolling over and drifting off again, completely unaware that Mummy was now wide awake, wondering where Iggle Piggle was and why he should be chatting to Emily at this time of the morning.

Since then she has told me in her sleep that she is talking to Iggle Piggle’s buddy Makka Pakka, that Mummy is going to sleep and that Daddy is taking a shower. On a number of occasions I have found myself heading for her room convinced she has woken up, only to find her fast asleep.

This week, however, she surpassed herself, shouting ‘CHARLIE LOLA!!!!!!!!!’ about five times at around 2.30am and leaving me to wonder what on earth was going on. Yet she just slept blissfully through until the morning, and when I blearily asked my husband if he had heard her the next morning I was informed that he hadn’t.

Well, I’m sure she said something then. Or perhaps I was the one who was dreaming…

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Words Don’t Come Easy

Posted by Caroline on November 28, 2007

Having mastered the art of walking, which she has now been doing for around a month (toddling along in the way that small children do, with her arms stretched out a la Frankenstein’s monster), Emily is now getting the hang of talking – and as such is learning new words on a daily basis.

Much of this is due to her extraordinary ability to repeat whatever has been said to her (meaning we have to really watch our language from now on since she is too young to understand that ‘Daddy’s special words’ uttered in response to bad drivers really shouldn’t be repeated in polite company), but every so often she’ll come out with something like ‘knock’ (at the door), ‘home’, ‘lunch’, ‘milk’ or ‘top’, and really take me by surprise.

Perhaps the strangest bit of repetition however occurred last weekend. Having been a bit under the weather this past week with a throat infection at the same time as cutting a couple of molars, Emily has been taking a bit of medicine recently, and at one point we jokingly asked her if she wanted Calpol or Medised. To which she suddenly replied ‘Calpol!’

This took us by surprise to such an extent that we then asked her if she wanted Medised to which she replied ‘Medised!’ very triumphantly. And then proceeded to walk round the flat shouting it.

Since then we’ve discovered that if you ask her whether she prefers one thing or another, she will inevitably repeat one of the options – usually the last one. And as such we have discovered she prefers pizza to pasta, TV to radio, cats to dogs, kiwis to pears….the list is endless.

It’s the medicine trick which I am most impressed by however – not even 18 months old and she is already recognising brands.

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What Do I Want? Er…

Posted by Caroline on November 9, 2007

Among Emily’s many new skills (for she seems to be acquiring them on a daily basis now) is indicating that she wants something – at least, sort of. About a week or two ago she began to demonstrate this new-found talent, which basically involves reaching her hand out and making a kind of persuasive sounding “UHHHHHHHH?!” type noise until she gets what she’s after.

Of course, this is fine if you can work out what she’s after (usually something she isn’t supposed to have such as a phone charger, pile of loose change, glass of Coke Zero etc. etc.) but isn’t quite so easy when she just reaches out her hand and gestures vaguely in the direction of the rest of the world.

The other day, for example, I had pretty much emptied all the shelves in her room before it became apparent it was her shoes she wanted, while a similar incident while she was sitting in her high chair having lunch a couple of weeks ago resulted in my moving everything off the living room table and giving it to her.

Surely it can only be a matter of time before the phrase “I want……(add in as appropriate) makes its appearance? At least by the time it does we will have had plenty of practice responding to it.

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All strapped up!

Posted by Caroline on October 15, 2007

Recent events have led me to wonder whether there is such a thing as a seatbelt or strap that an inquisitive toddler can’t undo of their own accord. If there is, I’d be interested to see it, and particularly discover whether Emily – who has recently turned into something of a mini-Houdini – could actually wriggle out of it.

I realised just how good she was with straps when I took her out for a Mummy-daughter lunch at a nice North London cafe last week. Instead of the usual high chair, she was given a booster seat at the cafe, and appeared to be very excited by this – and indeed, was happy to sit there for a while throwing packets of sugar around and eating more of my lunch than I did.

Until, that is, I was foolish enough to turn my back on her for two and a half seconds, in which time she had somehow managed to undo the strap on the seat and begin clambering on the table to see what else she could find. Quite how she managed it I have no idea, since even I found it rather baffling for a while – but naturally I was having none of this and immediately returned a protesting Emily to her seat, and strapped her back in. Two minutes later she had slid so far down in the seat as to resemble a mini version of Youtube’s ‘Fat Kid On Rollercoaster’ video. And got stuck. And shrieked.

Perhaps my daughter is practising for a future career as a stuntwoman?

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I’m Not A Baby, Mummy….

Posted by Caroline on October 15, 2007

I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s time I changed the name of this blog, since it’s become ever more apparent to me that my daughter is no longer a baby, such is the rate at which she is growing up.

Recently, her new found skills include feeding herself with a spoon (and actually getting the food in her mouth rather than scattering it all over her face, the highchair or any other available surface), combing her own hair (or at least trying to), cleaning her own teeth and even helping me to dress her in the morning. She also joins in with certain nursery rhymes and chatters incessantly. Some of what she says even makes sense.

Of course there are certain things she no longer does – it’s been months since she fell asleep in my arms, for instance, and playing on her playmat is a thing of the past (so is keeping still for more than half a second, for that matter), and naturally I miss those little things, but can’t help but feel excited about the things which have come in to replace them. Emily may not be a baby any more but she is turning into a rather delightful little girl instead.

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Feed Me!

Posted by Caroline on September 16, 2007

Over the past couple of months, Emily has gotten the hang of finger food, and is now something of an expert at scarfing down cereal, breadsticks and anything else which will comfortably fit into small hands.

Recently she’s extended this talent to feeding herself off a spoon, which inevitably means that yoghurt, fruit and other food guaranteed to leave a nice pattern on the carpet is flung about without due care and attention, but the look of pride on her face when she successfully swallows a spoonful of food is worth all the mess.

Her favourite thing, however, appears to be not to feed herself but to feed other people. I’ve lost count of the number of times she has held out a Cheerio or a bit of toast in recent weeks and refused to budge until I have opened her mouth to put it in. However much I try and persuade her it is her food, she’s having none of it.

And any food will do – even cereal which has been dropped on the floor, kicked in to the corner and covered in fluff (which she mysteriously finds delicious). This morning I found myself picking a batch of discarded Cheerios off the carpet before she could eat them, only for her to pick them up and start feeding me with them (hmmmmm…….)

Perhaps my favourite moment though was the one last week when I was lying on the sofa watching TV, and she strolled over and began feeding me small pieces of toast. Now that is the kind of life I believe I could get used to.

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Clickety Click

Posted by Caroline on August 3, 2007

It’s fair to say that Emily’s teeth are rather like buses – having waited ages and ages for them, two have now come along at once. This means she now has a grand total of three gnashers – one on top, two at the bottom – and it looks as though another one is set to join them any day now.

Quite what she makes of these new arrivals in her mouth is anybody’s guess, but she’s certainly putting them to good use chomping on breadsticks, carving up mouthfuls of toast and eating anything else within sight that requires a bit of bite. 

But we discovered how else she has been using them when we went into her room one morning to be faced with a mysterious clicking sound. What it was, we couldn’t figure out – until we realised that it was Emily moving her top and bottom tooth against each other,  something which seemed to intrigue her almost as much as it intrigued us.

In fact she was so taken with it that she’s started doing it on a regular basis, prompting other people to ask “What’s that noise?” And judging by the looks on their faces, they are as baffled by Emily’s peculiar new habit as we were. 

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Shake It!

Posted by Caroline on May 23, 2007

Among Emily’s many new skills is the art of shaking her head. As you might imagine, she is very proud of her ability to do this, so much so that she tends to do it as a response to every question.

 Which of course leads to some interesting conversations, namely: “Do you love Mummy?” (shakes head) “Do you love Daddy?” (shakes head) “Do you like anyone?” (yet another shake of the head followed inevitably by a cheeky little smile)

While Emily thinks this is all incredibly funny, I’ve started using it to my own advantage recently. Hence conversations along the lines of: “Should Mummy stop eating chocolate?” (shakes head) “Should Mummy stop buying new clothes?” (shakes head). And so on.

Perhaps most baffling, however, is the shaken head response to the question “Would you like a birthday party?” True, it would save us some money if we were to respond accordingly….except of course we’ve taken that one with a pinch of salt.

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Canadian Baby

Posted by Caroline on May 6, 2007

Are we there yet……?As I mentioned in the previous post, we’ve just returned from a trip to Toronto for a family wedding – which not only marked Emily’s first trip abroad but also our first holiday with a baby in tow.

Naturally, this presented a lot more obstacles than previous holidays when our chief concern was getting a parking space as close to the terminal as possible so we didn’t have to walk too far. Before setting off this time, though, we had to sort out everything from making sure there was a bassinet on the plane for Emily through to finding out just what brands of baby milk were available in Canada (and whether they would come in ready to feed format like the milk that we use here).

And then of course there was the small matter of working out the difference between a crib and a cot, and which one was actually the barred bed she is accustomed to sleeping in here (incidentally it’s called a crib, for those who might be planning a transatlantic jaunt with a little one in tow).

Having sorted all this out – and packed enough milk, jars of food, clothes, toys etc. to keep all but the most discerning baby occupied for the duration of the trip, we encountered our first problem at the airport, when it became apparent at the gate that there was no bassinet on board for our daughter. As it happened, however, the flight was far from full and so Emily had her own seat instead.

And as you might imagine, this was actually a lot better – and little girl had a wonderful time, standing up on the seats, waving at passengers, grabbing every inflight magazine, airline safety card, food tray and sickbag within reach, and at one point apparently trying to climb inside the seat back TV.

Unfortunately, she was having such a good time that she forgot to take a nap for the entire duration of the flight (which was approximately seven hours) and as such went into screaming meltdown for the final hour, thus ensuring that almost every passenger on board was of course looking in our direction. Fellow parents had advised me to feed Emily on takeoff and landing to prevent her ears from popping – in theory this is a good idea, in reality trying to get a screaming, wriggling baby to take a bottle while trying to stop her from jumping out of your arms the minute the landing gear comes down isn’t entirely practical.

Unsurprisingly, she conked out the second we were on the ground, and slept all the way to our hotel – upon which time she woke up, seemed rather perky and was officially, from that moment, on Canadian time (which was more than could be said for her jetlagged parents).

And for the next six days, she had a wonderful time, smiling at random Canadians (many of whom stopped to tell us what a ‘cute’ daughter we had), being thoroughly spoiled by her family (many of whom were meeting us for the first time), trying all sorts of new food (cheese omelettes, hash browns etc.) and sitting patiently while Mummy and Daddy went about the awkward business of buying her summer wardrobe. Oh, and she saw a bit of Toronto as well. And managed to sleep through the entire wedding ceremony.

On the return flight she once again had a seat, and spent a good five hours clambering all over it before exhaustion took over and she nodded off. She was still asleep when we landed, in fact, and looked utterly bemused when she woke up in the terminal, as if she couldn’t quite work out what she was doing in the middle of an airport in her sleepsuit at 10 o’clock at night.

In fact I’m still convinced that when she woke up in her own cot the following morning she thought that perhaps the previous week was just a lovely dream.

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