Amy has changed so much over the last couple of months, this has been particularly noticeable over the festive period. The Christmas holidays have been an absolute joy for Amy. To spend so much time surrounded by the people she loves has clearly been a real pleasure for her and she has loved every minute of it.
At 2 years and 2 months old, Amy regularly communicates in full sentences and I couldn’t even begin to count the number of words she knows and confidently uses. Her language skills are immense – both her understanding and her speech. She is constantly talking and is able to hold a fully intelligible conversation with anyone who is happy to listen to her! She has moved from being understood by those who are “tuned in” to her to now just being able to make herself understood by just about anyone. A perfect example of this was when we visited an old friend of mine at Christmas and Amy, through her tears, was able to say “I trapped my finger in your drawer” – aside from the fact this was already an incredibly accomplished sentence for her age, it was all the more impressive for the fact she was able to say it to someone she barely knows, whilst crying!
Her relationship with Ben and Chloe continues to blossom. She still calls Ben “Benny” and will often refer to them as “BennyCowee” when she’s talking about them eg “Me walking pick BennyCowee up from school?” She loved having them both at home for two weeks over Christmas and spent a lot of time playing imaginary games with Chloe, dressing up and looking after their babies together. We have just started to let her play upstairs a little with them too but I’m still quite conscious of not being able to see what she’s doing! For the most part they do play really nicely together however there will always been the odd occasion where the big two complain that Amy is spoiling their game – but I think that’s just part of being the little sister isn’t it!
I’ve recently noticed that Amy’s imaginary play has stepped up a level – not just playing with her brother and sister but also independently. When I was busy cleaning upstairs one morning I overheard her playing with a little LEGO car in Chloe’s bedroom, chatting away to herself “Come on, we going shops now get some dinner“. She loves to play with her baby – pushing her in the pram, feeding her in her highchair or carrying her to school in her baby carrier. She loves to make dinner in her play kitchen and to chat on the phone “Hello, it just Amy. You coming see me? I talking my Mummy“. I’m quite sure that Ben and Chloe have had a heavy influence on her imaginary play.
I think by far Amy’s favourite thing about Christmas was just how much time she was able to spend in the company of her most favourite person – she was genuinely more excited about going to see “my Ganny” than she was about Father Christmas coming! She particularly made me smile when we were on our way back to Manchester after the best part of a week at my parents’ house; Amy had been sleeping in the car and woke up to find it was dark so she announced “It dark, quick we go back Ganny’s house!” – she had obviously got used to sleeping there and thought that it was bedtime and we should go back! A couple of times over the following days she mentioned going back to Mum and Dad’s.
Amy’s “Mummy’s Girl” behaviour has not waned any. She still clings to my legs when I’m trying to get jobs done around the house insisting “I want you, you sit down with me Mummy?” but then as soon as I do sit down she’s off doing something else, she just wants to know I’m there and watching. She enjoys a good cuddle and will happily sit snuggled up next to me to watch TV (mainly Bing on repeat), making sure that she has moved my arms to just the right place for her ideal cuddle situation. This would be fine if she would actually sit still but she does have a tendency to climb all over me – pushing, shoving and elbowing at will which I’m afraid I do find myself losing patience with at times. (An elbow in the boob will do that to a woman!) She’s super affectionate and tells me countless times a day that she loves me, “Me love you always“, “I love you Mummy” or “Miss you Mummy” – which is quite frankly adorable. Especially when she grabs my cheeks to make sure I’m listening to her!
I must admit that I’m equal parts nervous, excited and sad about Amy starting playgroup later this month. I think it will do her good to have some more independence in a more formal setting. She has, of course, been going to her childminder since she was a baby and this is a really safe and secure place for her emotionally, a home from home if you will. Playgroup will be a little different – more children, more adults, more expectations of her. She’s absolutely ready for it and I’m hoping it might just ease a little of her need to be attached to me at all times (although I’m equally prepared for the fact it might just make things worse). I’m excited for her to make new friends and have new experiences, and I’m also excited for the few hours a week that I get to myself – time to catch up with the cleaning and my work. Of course I’m also sad. I’m sad that my baby girl is growing up and will need me just that little bit less (yes I know I said I was looking forward to that too – I’m allowed to contradict myself I’m sure!), her starting Playgroup is a very definite move from toddler to little girl in my eyes.
My Grandad would be so proud of how much Amy loves to walk, she is able keep up a decent pace and walk to school and back now without too much fuss so we tend to allow her to do that assuming the weather is OK and we’re not in a rush! We still take the pushchair with us if we’re going out and about as it means we know we can keep her safe, we have somewhere for her to rest if she’s tired and also if I’m on my own it means I know where she is! She still enjoys being carried on my back (or even sometimes my front if she’s feeling poorly) but she’s getting big and whilst she does still fit into the carrier comfortably, the length of time I can carry her for is steadily decreasing – I find my right arm tends to go a bit numb if I carry her for too long. (Which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is a lovely sensation!)
Amy is beginning to show some signs of moving towards being ready for toilet training – she will tell us if she has pooed or is “just wet” though isn’t particularly bothered if we change her or not. (Changing her nappy means staying still for far too long in her eyes!) She went through a phase in the Autumn of mentioning going to the toilet but nothing came of it and I certainly wasn’t going to push the issue in the winter! I would imagine unless she shows any clear signs of being ready we’ll probably wait till the Summer holidays to try and address that one!
Her big girl’s bed continues to be a success – although she does occasionally actively choose to sleep on the folded duvet which we’ve put on the floor next to her bed, just in case she ever fell out. She takes her pillow and duvet down and sets herself to sleep there, I can only think it must be really cosy! Chloe had a little sleepover in the middle of December and they both decided to sleep on the floor together – funny girls! Amy still needs a good couple of hours sleep in the afternoon, though can survive without it if need be. She would rather not go to sleep, telling me “I no want go sleep, I stay downstairs with you?” but can usually be settled with a reminder of what will happen when she wakes up – going to pick Ben and Chloe up or having some juice and a biscuit. She always wakes up bright as a button and full of cuddles and love
I’m told on a regular basis how cute Amy is and how she’s always so happy and smiley – which is lovely as of course I think the same, but that’s just Mummy Bias! I wonder what I’ll be saying about her in another two months when I write her next update!