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21 already

October 17, 2013

Amazing … she’s 21 now … a toddler not a baby, stepping up and clambering on through all the stages with ever increasing pace. She’s as feisty and independent as if she was 21 years rather than 21 months old.

The last few weeks have seen a growth spurt (about 2 inches taller), and massive language development alongside a nod toward the terrible twos and a widening in her song repertoire. Hope is very much her own person and has started to make ever more independent decisions and is very clear about when she does and doesn’t want me around. So much has happened that I have to abridge and summarise but that’s better than forgetting!

Once I’ve tuned into Hopeish each morning, I’m amazed by how many words she now has, it must be in the hundreds and her understanding of so many more … learning is quite extraordinary.

  • “bye Mummi bye” … and waves when she wants me to go away or she wants to play on her own or sit with someone else
  • “itsy Mummi itsy” … on the beach when I put her nappy on and didn’t check where the sand had gone first following a bit of naked play! Bless her she walked in so many odd ways before sitting down and shouting “nappy off” and then following a dunking in the ocean said very happily “not itsy” once the itchy irritation of the sand had gone away
  • ABCD … she can sing a long to the song and is intent on drawing ABC in the sand or on paper, she can also recite the alphabet with prompting until the letter F and recognises words
  • 123 … she can count to 10 now but always misses out number 5
  • “b’ful” … she said when holding a pink bougainvillaea flower (“fowr”)
  • “Hope hold it Mummi, Hope want to hold pot” … she asked for some cereal when we were stuck in a traffic jam and I handed her a couple of cheerios over to the car seat, she pushed my hand away and insisted on holding the little Halloween pot they came in. The first time she’d said “hold” and now it is repeated constantly, “Hope hold teddy/eeyore/batsit(rabbit)/hat/sock/spoon etc  etc”
  • “no … Hope NEED corn” … her Auntie Clare took her to the shop and having fed Hope two slices of ham as she sat in the shopping trolly she pottered around collecting groceries, Hope kept shouting “yum yum yum” all round the fruit and veg section and then when Clare tried to walk past the corn on the cob section things got heated!
  • sandy “seeeeeeaweed” collection … Hope loves the “beech”, the ocean, the paddling, the waves and the sand and digging, but her particular favourite activity is collecting seeeeeeeaweed. The kelp is washed up all along the Southern California coast and at the end of each feathery section is a long pod that pops loudly when squished. Hope loves picking up the seaweed and trying to pop it or asking me to, and she potters along the beach swinging seaweed and stopping to assess whether new bits are better than existing bits and is never happier than when examining the little popping pods just at the shore line.

    My mermaid collecting seaweed

    A mermaid collecting seaweed

  • “do it do it” …. ever more demanding with her requests and urgency, she generally likes to do everything herself or at least to try, and then when her fingers can’t quite manage to unscrew the lid or pull the pith from an orange she shoves it in my general direction saying “do it”
  • feeding the dog … Hope has met a few dogs this summer and loves patting them, her recent favourite was a red setter / lab called Brodie who she fed treats to putting them on the flat of her hand and then giggling joyfully when the dog ate them
  • loving her new shoes … pink with buttons on
  • kicking the guinea pig and hitting her new friend Isis … not all joy and jollity, the guinea pig incident  took a long time for me to recover from and is something that she has been talking about ever since. Just yesterday a whole continent away from the unfortunate rodent she was standing with her hands gesticulating wildly in the manner of an Italian politician telling her friend all about how she said sorry to the piggy pig and how it saw her feet. She also gets frustrated much more easily now by things not going her way and when her little friend took the proffered piece of seaweed last week, Hope was enraged and hit her. More apologies needed and kisses but definitely something to watch.
  • sharing less … she offers things without wanting them to be taken, and increasingly holds onto toys, food, random objects firmly saying “Hope, Hope” … again I guess to do with her great age
  • loving more, pointing to people or teddy bears who she is about to kiss … she may be sharing less but she is ever more affectionate
  • “see Mummi see” … Hope wants to see what’s going on, generally involves being lifted up or dangled at an odd angle or raised up high to investigate what’s on the ceiling
  • “bottom” … when her very windy tummy makes itself known (not sure what to call them, don’t like the word fart but not keen on windy puffs, pops and so on, so just talk about her having windy buttocks!!
  • “Mummi nappy” … I had to put in a panty liner and she spotted it …
  • “Hope want ‘rita” … as she strained to reach the ice in my margarita … see I told you she was 21!!

So there we have it, at 21 she absolutely knows her own mind and is already running me ragged but she makes me smile constantly and even in the middle of the night when I’m aching with jetlag and utterly exhausted from lack of sleep because she’s been awake singing for 3 hours, even then when I’m about to crumble and get snappy, she’ll suddenly stop the singing or chatting and bend forward and kiss me or say, “Mummi” or tickle me and all my aches and pains vanish.

Excuse the inarticulate nature of this post, very jet lagged following a long flight back to Blighty but not wanting to fall too far behind and seizing my moment while she sleeps.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2013 2:24 pm

    Wonderful that you record all your memories for Hope. I have done a similar thing with the massive amount of photographs I took, recording every stage and important event of little Haley’s ( now 14 ! ) life. So wish I had written stories to go along with them.. Bless You Hope and Roy, Ellie…

  2. October 17, 2013 4:10 pm

    Enjoying reading your blog, I am so looking forward to the talking stage 🙂

  3. lins22 permalink
    October 17, 2013 8:33 pm

    I vaguely remember “poofff” for fart sound. It usually summed up the disgraceful accompanying smell too! Glad you have all this time with Hope. I started proper work when twins were 3 (ish I kept no records), and am very glad I devoted my life to them so much at the outset. Suddenly, they are nearly 20 (omg!) and have been very independent most of that gap. Knock on door. “Are these your children? I found them walking up the village street, hand in hand, looking for Jack and Jill.” I fitted a very loud buzzer so the front door could not be opened without my knowledge. They were 3.5-4 years old! Things went downhill (or uphill) from there 😉

  4. downssideup permalink
    October 18, 2013 12:32 pm

    Poor Guinea pig. Our Chihuahua sometimes comes in for similar roughness. Such a lovely post. I remember a very loud Mmmmmm for Moo. Gorgeous times. Much love H xxx

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