To My Littlest Lady
You are 18 months old (actually thanks to French Wifi issues this post is being published late and today you turn 19 months, but hey who’s counting – I mean except for me!) Whilst it feels like you are growing in front of my eyes at a rate of knots and I wonder how you are a year and a half already, I literally cannot remember or imagine life without you in it. You are the liveliest little thing whom I often refer to as the sunshine in our family because that is exactly what you bring and I am pretty sure that everyone you come into contact with thinks the same.
You are at the sweetest age right now and although I remember this with your big sister it doesn’t make it any less special. The feeling that it was amazing to watch you learn about the world, to go through everything for the first time and for me to be present in that moment with you. I can recall the moments with Eva but I can no longer feel them. How it felt when she said a word or a phrase for the first time, I know I was proud but I can no longer feel it. I am loving that I get to feel it again now with you, to soak it up and know this is part of the amazing journey we are on together, a journey with no real destination.
I want to remember all these little things that you do, the character traits that make you so wonderfully unique but change so quickly. To write them down or record them before it is too late and they have made way for more adorable yet more grown up ones.
What I don’t think will ever change is that you are so funny, you have mischief in your eyes, are so full of character, will do anything for a laugh and are truly an absolute joy to be around. You are definitely more mischievous than your sister ever was and I think that comes with the fact that she laughs at you even when you are doing something you really shouldn’t and this of course makes you do it even more. Because you will do anything to make her happy, to make her laugh and it will be interesting to see how this transpires as you go through this life together; I can see you knowingly getting into trouble for the good of your sibling relationship and I know that even now I find it hard not to see the joy in that (being the smallest of three sisters myself!)
You are a complete chatter box and have started to say three and four words together, this astounds us every day as you seem to just say more and more and copy everything around you. One of your most frequent phrases though is “Roma do it” – you are so fiercely independent, wanting to do everything that Eva does and more. I never really know if the parts of your personality would always have been you or if it’s all part of being a second child, having someone around all the time and to look up to, to aspire to be like despite the 4 years difference.
When it comes to your sister. I cannot even start to explain how much you absolutely adore her. The two of you do everything together and you will follow her around in every situation, asking for her if she isn’t there, crying if she is hurt or upset and wanting to cuddle and kiss her. You truly do think she is the best person ever. The “Vava” nickname of the past that I thought might just stick has made way for the full pronunciation of Eva now, this little ordinary moment signifies just how fast time is flying by and there is no longer any baby left in you.
You are a very placid little girl, you will listen and understand when I explain what is happening and are generally a very good girl. But my little lady when it comes to sleep, now this is the part where I sell you to the next passing family that look loving and kind! You know, who might just look after you whilst mummy has a few weeks of uninterrupted sleep and is not reaching for more coffee than I have ever drank before! Now of course I wouldn’t actually do that but the problem with you is that I just never know whether you are going to go to sleep straight away or with protest. I sometimes feel like I am failing you, like I should know what you need to be settled and happy in sleep, throwing caution to the wind and going out of routine doesn’t seem to help either and I feel like I have tried everything. I know we will come through this in time but I wish I could do more, I just wish I knew, I know you are doing your best and Mummy is too.
Come morning time, irrespective of how much sleep you have had you are always bright as a button and ready to play. You are a cross between a mini Mummy, always holding a soft toy tight, wrapping it up to sing and shush to sleep, and being a total tomboy who is obsessed with cars, bin lorries, airplanes and your beloved tractors! You also love to accessorise, favouring hats and glasses which you are rarely seen without. Even on the school run you can be seen with one colour in the morning and another in the afternoon shouting “gasses on” as we are ready to leave the house!
As a little sister to a school child you spend most days in and out the car, whilst you have never really been a massive fan of the car this is now much better and you love the radio, shouting “up please” when you like a song. You will sing and dance and after walking at 9 months you are a physical little one who isn’t daunted by much. You can climb anything, take stairs in your stride and love to shout “ready, steady, go” whilst running at full pelt from one end of the room to the other no matter what is in your way. Even better if your sister is joining in.
The influence that I think your sister has on you is that you also have a love of books and reading. She will sit and read to you and you are transfixed by it. You now ‘read’ to us too. You have somehow memorized some books and will finish the end of the sentences at bedtime. Eva did the same thing and it is just so adorable. Almost as much as you counting every time you head down any steps. 1,2,5,8,9,10!
As much as I would relish a cuddle with the baby you once were I am so proud of the little girl you have become. The road to have you in our lives was not an easy one but I cannot imagine even a day without you in it, you make the world a brighter place and you make our family complete. You have brought more joy than you will ever know and although you are a Daddy’s girl through and through I will forever be thankful to have you in my life every single day.
Tonight as I put you to bed I notice the little things that have changed, the fact you no longer want to sit on my knee but next to me, how you have to hold the book yourself, how you join in with the bedtime stories and how you no longer fit lying down in my arms. But you now fit perfectly with your long legs wrapped around my waist, your arms cupping around my neck and a tired head sat on my shoulder. It might be different, but it is just as amazing. There will forever be a space for you on me, whichever way that will be.
Happy 18 months baby.
Mama loves you. Thank you for being you.