On Wednesday this little one, the one that was really born just yesterday, my baby, will be 2 years old. TWO! I find it so hard to comprehend that I will no longer have a 1 year old, no longer a baby and that pretty much all of the baby stages are well and truly behind us. But then in the same breath I can’t believe she isn’t two already. Having walked so early she didn’t actually stay a baby for very long at all and has always been a physically confident child.
She is the child who climbs out of the highchair, who climbs to the top of the big slide at the park while you’re not looking and doesn’t give it a second thought to follow her 6 year old sister or ever doubt she can do it too. In fact she is probably the one leading her. She is always on the move and rarely ever sits still for any real length of time, bathtime is about her limit and even then she will be heading over the side when she has deemed to have had enough. Thankfully, and touching all the wood around, she doesn’t get out of bed as we definitely feared that she would be the one to wake you up at 2am standing by the bed whispering in your ear – or maybe by ramming a tractor into your ribs.
This week I have given the kitchen an overdue makeover and so Roma and I were in the garage looking for paint. It didn’t take long before she spotted Eva’s old scooter sitting innocently, forgotten against the filing cabinet. The garage is where we house every item we have ever bought for Eva to try and encourage her physical side. Because as a stark contrast, Eva could not be less bothered by anything physical.
She didn’t crawl, she bum shuffled, she reluctantly walked at 14 months, she never ever got out of her highchair and wouldn’t even entertain the idea of going off on her own in softplay never mind up a huge slide. She could never scoot, didn’t really take to roller skates and although she absolutely loves the idea of it all and we still take her out on her bike today, she is just much more content to read books. And in her 6th year I have learnt just to allow her to, because she knows her own mind and because as long as she knows the opportunity is there and that we know she is physically able to do these things, I really want to respect her decisions as a person. She will kick a ball, run in puddles or squelch in mud, just always on her own two feet!
Roma on the other hand could barely get the word scooter out of her mouth before she had picked it up and was carrying it over an old pushchair, some wellies and an umbrella strewn on the ground to get it onto the front and ride it. As far as I am aware she has never really been on a scooter but she sure knew what to do and before I knew it she was off the drive and up the road shouting “bye mum” casually behind her.
The look on her face when said “can I go ALL the way up the road?” was just a picture. She scooted and smiled, fell off and got right back up again, never ever letting her tiny little fingers lose grasp of the handles.
She was so utterly obsessed that even though her little hands were freezing and her nose was a bright shade of crimson she wouldn’t let it go, she wouldn’t go inside and didn’t want to let it out of her sight. She asked, or should I say cried and stamped her feet, that it didn’t go back in the garage where I explained that it lived because she wanted it in the house where she could see it. Having compromised on leaving it at the front door for a while she dragged it to the garage to take photos with it and to take it down the slope of the drive and feel the momentum under her feet towards me. I literally have never seen her smile so wide. Not only that she had found it but that she could do it by herself too.
My little daredevil, the one who will have perpetual bruises on her legs, will likely be our first experience of a broken bone and will almost always have this huge smile plastered all over that little face.