Lightning Who?

2 years, 4 months, 26 days old

There hasn’t been a blog for a couple of weeks because a fortnight ago we were on holiday in what Arwen adorably kept calling “our Scotland house” and last Sunday was Bonfire Night, when the call of brightly coloured explosives was far too great. Arwen enjoyed it, except “I no like big fireworks” she told us afterwards, despite staring enchanted at all the ones that went off.

We did have an issue the following day though, when I was awoken at 6am by her screaming for me (which never normally happens), and when I ran in and asked what was wrong, I was told in distressed tones “It all come out of my mouth!” And by that, she meant she’d been sick all over her bed. The poor love has been under the weather for most of the week after a horrible vomiting bug. Seeing her ill was awful, as was trying to get anything done while she told me at two minute intervals that “I no be sick.” The problem being that every time I heard the word “sick” I ran over to her with a bowl. I also found out that a toddler can never own too many pairs of pyjamas as we had to wash lots. Even her very favourite “Lightning The Queen” ones. We know he’s actually called Lightning McQueen, but she’s quite insistent.

She’s often very insistent, in fact. She was determined to wear her sandals a couple of days ago, despite the fact it was cold out and had been raining heavily the day before. When I told her she couldn’t wear the sandals, she threw them angrily to the floor and shouted “What my gonna wear then?!?” Erm wellies? She was also insistent on Thursday that she wanted to “watch something on the radiator” and was furious when I tried to explain the impossibility of that request. She’s very clear about what she does and doesn’t want. A while back, trying not to give her the option of saying no altogether and thinking I was being really clever, I asked her whether she wanted to go on the toilet or on the potty, figuring she had to answer with one of those options. I was wrong. She actually answered with “I don’t like those choices.” Which was fair.

Next week we have the health visitor coming out to check Arwen’s development as she’s nearly two and a half(!!!) and we have to fill in a questionnaire about her. I was reading it on Friday and one of the questions asks whether she can make 3-4 word sentences. As if on cue, Arwen, playing with her Halloween torch and projecting a huge image of a pumpkin on the ceiling, shouted “Wow, look at size of that, Mummy!” So it’ll be a tick in that box then. She wouldn’t get a tick if there were a keeping secrets box though. Wednesday was my birthday (feel free to send me a belated present) and because Arwen obviously chose and wrapped the presents herself with no help at all from Daddy, she spent the time between me being handed a present and me finishing unwrapping it attempting to tell me what was in it. The conversation went along the lines of:

A: Here you go Mummy. *passes me a present* It a little…

Me: NOOO! Don’t spoil the surprise!!!

And talking of surprises, she nearly jumped out of her skin today at Speke Hall when a plane flew over after taking off from Liverpool Airport, which is right nearby. Arwen jumped then announced “that plane flippin’ loud!” True dat.

Smells like what??

2 years, 4 months, 6 days old

This blog is going to be shorter than most for one very simple reason: I am an idiot. Throughout the week, as Arwen says things that make me laugh, I jot them down on my phone, then on Sunday nights, I go through what I’ve written and attempt to piece together something remotely amusing. Yesterday though, I dropped my phone in the sink, so now it’s totally dead and all those notes have gone.

Anyway, perhaps the biggest thing this week is that Arwen used the “w” word. And I don’t mean wanker, though she does use that when pointing to pictures of anchors in books and I swear on my life that is all her and has nothing to do with us. No, she used the far worse “w” word. The one that all parents dread. On Wednesday, she asked me “why?” Twice. She hasn’t done it since, but I know it’s only a matter of time until I spend all my time trying to explain why the sky is blue, why poo smells like poo and why the new kittens on our estate can climb onto our garage roof but not down off it again. Once that hits, I think I’ll decide that being a stay at home mum isn’t for me any more.

I did have one brilliant conversation with Arwen this week that I can remember, though it’s highly unlikely she can. A couple of nights ago, I went in to check on her before I went to bed. She’s usually deeply asleep when I do that, but this time, as I walked in she said “On the floor.” I thought she’d maybe dropped one of her teddies and couldn’t find it, so asked what was on the floor. She replied “Kiss on the floor” followed by a really strange noise. I asked her what was the matter and got the entirely relevant response of “Yes.” So that cleared that up.

But the prize for creepiest thing she’s hopefully ever going to say in her life goes to our visit to Nana’s house on Wednesday, when Arwen, as usual, wanted me to smell all the flowers in Nana’s garden, while asking what they smell like. She pointed to one and said “Mummy smell that.” I dutifully did, and Arwen told me “That smell like flowers.” We then had the same conversation for the next four flowers in the garden (some of which were actually leaves not flowers, given that it’s late October.) She came to the last one and asked me to smell it. I did, then Arwen declared “That smell like blood.” I have no idea how to react to that, so I’m just going to leave you with it.

What that called?

2 years, 4 months, 0 day old

Ok, so we’re not at the “why” stage yet, but I think we may be on the brink of it as Arwen is all about questions at the minute. Her main ones are “What that called?” and “What that smell like?” Both seem like sensible questions, but it’s difficult to answer “What big park called?” with anything but “Erm, just the big park”, or “What little park called?” with anything but “Erm, the little park?” And “What that smell like?” can usually be answered quite easily (though Arwen often corrects whatever smell you’ve correctly identified to “No, smell like poo poo”) but when she asks”What that smell like in my mouth?” when eating a rice cake, that one’s a bit trickier.

And speaking of rice cakes, we keep a bag in the car in case she wants a snack when we’re driving, and Arwen has always called them “crisps”. Until about three weeks ago, when she inexplicably began calling them “criff-ebs”. Nope, I’ve no idea either. As a child who very much takes after her mother, lots of her conversations are about food: what we’re eating now, what we’re going to eat, and what we’ve eaten in the past. It’s the last one that she gets hung up on though, as shown on Wednesday, when she suddenly started talking about what we’d done the Sunday previously. Her reminiscence went like this: “We go out on our bikes. No have ice cream. Just only dinner.” I don’t think she’ll ever forgive us for making her eat homemade sandwiches when there was clearly ice cream on sale nearby. She’s been talking a lot about things she’s previously done recently, and last week pointed at a park we were driving past that she’d been to the week before and said “That park. I used to be on that.” It’s such a strange construction for her to come up with, and oddly wistful.

But maybe it was just copying off us. She’s certainly copied me a few times this week, glancing around the bathroom during her bath on Saturday night and exclaiming “Oh my god, look at all this mess!” in her best exasperated Mum tone. She also knocked over her keyboard on Friday and shouted “Oh my god, it incredible that!” I think I maybe say “Oh my god” too much. She definitely doesn’t get all her phrases from us though. I can categorically state that I’ve never refused to continue eating an apple because “It quite bit stiff” or proclaimed “I’m a grown up girl!” at every opportunity. Though when she was sitting next to Daddy yesterday morning and said “You farted. I sit with Mummy”, it’s likely she’s heard me chastise him for exactly the same thing.

What has been nice this week is that for all the tellings off I get from Arwen pretty much all the time, it turns out she sometimes actually wants to spend some time with me by choice. On Thursday we’d been making Mr Potato Heads and when we’d finished, I told her I needed to go and wash up. Arwen looked at me imploringly and said “No, stay here in my world!” And I did. It was much more fun. She also made my heart melt on Friday when we were in the car and she wanted her playlist on. Unfortunately I couldn’t plug my phone in as I was driving, so we had to sing her favourite songs instead. We got all the way through Let It Go with no problems, followed by Get Back Up Again (her favourite from Trolls.) She then asked me to sing the song from How to Train Your Dragon. I told her I didn’t know the words, so I couldn’t do it. Arwen told me “You can do it. You best dragon Mummy, like a blue dragon.” I’m pretty sure that’s the greatest compliment I’ll ever get in my life.

What’s bigger than a fish?

2 years, 3 months, 22 days old

They’re hasn’t been an overall theme in how Arwen’s been talking this week, other than she’s been doing a lot of it. As we headed towards the library on Friday, she saw a tree with lots of big apples on it, and I didn’t get a word in edgeways as she very excitedly told me to “Look at those apples. They on a tree. They very pretty. Look at size of they!” I’ve never heard her say so much in one go, but to be fair, they were quite impressive apples. In fact, she’s been talking so much recently that a lady stopped us in Tesco on Friday and said how lovely it was to hear a little one chatting so much, and gave her 50p for some sweets. Nobody’s ever given me 50p for sweets just for talking about some cardboard on the floor, but hey ho.

There have been a few lovely phrases this week when Arwen’s meaning has been clear, but her wording slightly strange. She yawned on Thursday then told me “I did a big yawn in my mouth” just in case I wasn’t sure where exactly yawns come from. Later that day, she asked me for help putting her shoes on because “I quite struggling.” She’s got some phrases down perfectly though. Today while having a rest from riding our bikes round Delamere Forest, Daddy finished a can of Coke, then jokingly threw it on the floor. Arwen looked at him scandalised and told him very forcefully to “Put it in the bin!” She obviously forgave him for his bad behaviour though, as later on he was struggling with something I didn’t quite catch, and I heard Arwen tell him “Don’t worry, I sort you out!”

Unsurprisingly, many of our conversations have continued to be about poo. Arwen sat playing with her toys on Wednesday, when I heard the dreaded phrase “I pooped.” I asked her to clarify whether or not she had actually pooped before I stopped the washing up to deal with some imaginary poo, only to be given the very vague “I probably pooped” as a response. As the probably turned out to be definitely, I took her upstairs to clean her up and was appalled by one of the worst smells I’ve ever encountered. I pointed out that it stunk, and Arwen was quick to absolve herself of responsibility for the smell, claiming “That my poo poo fault.” So nothing to do with her, obviously.

Arwen continues to love books, and was happily asking and answering questions as we read Lost and Found last night. As the (SPOILER ALERT!) boy and the penguin sail off at the end, the image shows some whales swimming beneath their boat, so Arwen pointed out the fishes. I told her they weren’t fishes, and knowing she knows about whales from other books, asked her what was bigger than fishes. She thought for a moment then said “Erm, Nana?”

And finally, I had a lovely bit of validation this week. Sometimes as a parent, it feels like your dedication and devotion isn’t appreciated at all. But a couple of days ago, I gave Arwen a big hug and told her I loved her very, very much. She hugged me back and gave me the life-affirming response “You alright too.”

Tiny Dinosaur

2 years, 3 months, 15 days old

This week has continued the theme of Arwen saying grown up things that sound ridiculous when uttered by a two year old. As we left Quarry Bank Mill today, as well as shouting “Bye!”, “See you soon!” and various other phrases to Granpa, she also decided to add “Nice to see you” in a rather formal manner as he walked away. I’m surprised she didn’t offer to shake his hand, too. Mind you, he also got in trouble today. When he pretended to try and steal her cousin’s shortbread, an eagle-eyed Arwen looked scandalised and shouted “It not yours!” She’s very clear on the rules of property ownership.

She’s also clear on her taste in music. As well as loving the Jeremy Vine Show jingle, on Tuesday she was in the car and Yazz’s 1988 classic The Only Way Is Up came on. This led Arwen to nod her head to the beat, repeatedly point her finger in the air like every drunk man at every gig ever and declare it a “bangin choon”. We’ve also made, which we may well come to regret, a playlist with songs she likes and have been putting it on throughout the week. Which meant when I was trying to get her pyjamas on this evening, she was just bouncing around shouting “Bare cessities!” And her necessities definitely were bare.

As ever, there have been words and phrases this week that appear to have come from nowhere. Quite why she spent Friday afternoon shouting “Piddle!” I’ve no idea, nor have I any idea where the following conversation I had with her just now, when trying to get her to sleep, came from:

A: What big dinosaur called?

Me: A tyrannosaurus rex.

A: Tysaurus rex. What little dinosaur called?

Me: Erm, a velociraptor?

A: Lossiraptor. What tiny dinosaur on our roof called?

Me: Eh?

And as always, this week has also involved Arwen teaching us things we really should, as adults, already know. Yesterday as we drove down the road, a police car went past, with its siren and lights going. Arwen shouted excitedly, as she always does, “Flashing lights!” I clarified for her that it was a police car. She then told me angrily “No, it a car police car.” When I seemed bemused by this, she happily explained “That a car police car.” And that was the end of that. But her most obvious explanation came on Thursday when I was immensely stupid. I heard a bang from Arwen’s bedroom and a bit of a cry. I went in and she told me she’d hurt herself. So I did the obvious thing and asked where she’d hurt herself. She stared me straight in the eye with a look that made it clear I was an imbecile before saying simply “On the floor.” And once more, a two year old made me feel like an absolute moron.


2 years, 3 months, 9 days old

I didn’t write a blog yesterday as I was busy getting over the fact that I abseiled down Warrington Hospital ( if you’d like to donate to raise funds for the maternity and neonatal units that ensured the wonder that is Arwen made it into the world!) I’m sure I can be forgiven for that. Arwen seemed to enjoy standing watching, shouting “Spider Mummy!” which I think is a compliment.

This has been a week of shouting, mainly. Not sure why, but that’s just how it goes with a toddler sometimes. She was very angry when I called her Stinkyhead this morning and shouted “I not stinky!” She was also quite put out that the cat wasn’t fulfilling her duties as a cat, merely purring rather than anything more vocal, so Arwen shouted at her to “Say meow!” And then there was Daddy not playing along with whatever game Arwen had made up, meaning she angrily shouted “Daddy do point!” at him.

But as well as the shouting, there’s also been some learning. The bit I’m most proud of is the fact that she’s learning to use the “th” sound, a very difficult one to master. I only noticed because she sticks her tongue right out between her lips at the moment when she does it, but now she’s very clear when she wants to go for a “baTH”, not a shower. And it’s not just Arwen who’s been learning. We drove past a converted brewery a few days ago, and Daddy looked over at the houses opposite and wondered aloud whether they had anything to do with the brewery. Arwen looked over and told him with some authority “These houses. People live there.” So that cleared that up. We’ve also been watching a bit more Harry Potter, which led Arwen to watch Harry walking through the maze at the end of Goblet of Fire and say in a concerned voice “It coming.” I asked her what was coming, and she told me “Erm something strange.” She wasn’t wrong.

This has also been a week of emotional highs and lows. On Friday night as I put Arwen to bed, she took my hand and said “We are bestest friends.” which was just delightful. However, this was also the day when I took Arwen to the toilet, despite her telling me she didn’t want to go. I know, I’m a terrible parent. And Arwen clarified that for me when she stood by the cubicle door and sighed “I hate my life.” No anger, no frustration, just a simple statement of fact.

But back to the shouting. I lifted Arwen up on Thursday morning to take her upstairs to get dressed, thinking she’d seen me move to pick her up. She hadn’t, and I made her jump, which led her to shout, in a tone I can only describe as vexed, “You idiot!” There was a similar feel to her tone this evening when I again told her she should go to the toilet when she didn’t want to. I told her I was sure she must need a wee, to which she replied “Nonsense!” I then got thoroughly chastised for laughing.

However, the quote of the week was directed, as it often is, at Daddy. Part way through their shared bath on Saturday, Arwen took the flannel and placed it over Daddy’s crotch with the words “Cover daddy’s foof.” She then expressed concern over her own lack of foof, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Playing Bubbles

2 years, 3 months, 1 day old

There wasn’t a blog last week as I’ve had a bug and felt rough since last Saturday. And Arwen’s had a cold for most of that time. It hasn’t been the best of weeks. It’s also involved watching far more telly than normal. When I asked Arwen whether we should watch something while I sat and felt sorry for myself on Monday, she gave the response I expected: “Watch Danger Mouse.” But then she was concerned about what she’d asked for, and made sure she added “And Penfold!” Well, it isn’t the same without him, is it? On Tuesday, we watched Harry Potter while I sat and felt sorry for myself, and Arwen was fascinated by one scene in particular, shouting “They flying!” Hoping to instruct her in the Potterverse, I pointed out that they were in fact playing quidditch. But I obviously don’t know as much as I thought, as Arwen looked at me as though I was an idiot and said “They playing bubbles.” So that’s that.

Being a bit under the weather has also meant Arwen’s learnt new phrases to describe what’s wrong. When she got up one morning this week, she told me “My got water on my back”, which it turns out meant she was sweaty, and she looked horrified and shouted “My eye dripping!” when her eyes were watering. Happily it’s not all been doom and gloom, though. We had the radio on in the car a couple of days ago, and Arwen announced “My like this song. It really good. It cool.” And what was said song, that elicited such a gushing response? The Jeremy Vine Show jingle.

Arwen’s working on becoming more and more independent now, which is great to see, though mildly infuriating when it means I can no longer plonk her on the toilet and expect her to sit there while I brush her teeth, comb her hair and wash her face. Because now she can get down by herself, a fact she pointed out proudly the other day. The conversation went thus:

A: My got down myself.

Me: Wow, did you?

A: Yeah. It terrible high.

Though she enjoys being older and more capable, she’s also still very much aware of her age when she can use it to her advantage. Last weekend, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry, and Arwen wanted to try an experiment her 10 year old cousin had been waiting to do, which led to a bit of a huff. As we explained that at her age, Arwen doesn’t understand the concept of queuing yet and didn’t mean to push in, she looked at her cousin and shouted indignantly “My only two!” which kind of suggested that she knew exactly what she was doing…

As ever, she’s continuing to copy phrases, and it’s always strange to hear something that sounds quite grown up coming from her. Like yesterday, when we were waiting for Daddy in the car park at The Range (I should have known not to let him go in by himself. Arwen is now the proud owner of some Minion glasses) and Arwen said “Come on Daddy. Get a move on.” I’m not sure where that one came from, but I think we can all agree that the classic “Mummy like a bellend” a couple of nights ago didn’t come from me. But as well as being like a bellend, I’m also apparently a “good boy”. When I pointed out that I am, in fact, a girl, Arwen thought for a second and said “Mummy good girl. Like me.” Which would be nicer had it not come shortly after her wafting a teddy between her legs and shouting “My doing lotsa lotsa tumps!”

But my favourite thing from the last fortnight came last week when we’d just got in the car and the cat jumped on the roof and sat down. Arwen looked up at the sunroof, through which she could see that cat, and said “There cat.” I looked up and Arwen, realising she wanted to explain exactly what I was looking at, clarified with “There cat bum crack.” Which was nice.

No Pig

2 years, 2 months, 17 days old

It’s actually been a fortnight since I wrote a blog, as last Sunday was part of a Bank Holiday weekend, so didn’t feel like a Sunday at all and made me forget all about writing it. I’d have written it on the Monday, but Game of Thrones … And then I forgot. Anyhoo, Arwen’s been quite vocal about food recently. Last week we went to Quarry Bank Mill for a bit of a family day out, and Nana offered to buy ice cream. I pointed to each flavour, told Arwen what they were and asked what she wanted. She wanted “Raspberry nipple”. After that, we bought some plums fresh from the tree, which Arwen enjoyed. Later on when one of her cousins asked her where we should go next, Arwen got right in her face and shouted “Nice plums!” It wasn’t the answer any of us were expecting. And that night, still obsessed with food, I asked Arwen if she could have anything at all for her tea, what would she have. (Obviously I asked her this after we’d already eaten tea, I’m not an idiot.) She replied “Strawberries. Bread.” I checked whether she’d want anything else with the strawberries and bread, and she thought for a minute and decided on “Spicy sauce.” So that’s tomorrow night sorted, then.

Language paragraph! Arwen’s quite good at pronouns, and can correctly use “I” and “me”, though for some reason she prefers to refer to herself in the third person. Recently though, “I” and “me” have both become replaced by “my”, so she comes out with odd phrases like “My looking at it.” I’ve no idea where that came from. She also sometimes struggles separating words, and thinks common phrases are just one word. So when I put her to bed at night and she asks me to stay with her, I usually tell her I’ll stay for two minutes. That usually leads, when I’m about to leave, to “Nother one two minutes”, which always makes me smile.

Whenever Arwen and I draw, she always wants me to draw a pig, which is handy, as it’s the only animal I can make vaguely look like what it’s supposed to. In fact, maybe that’s why she asks me to do it – she’s seen all my other attempts at animals, and this is the only one that doesn’t give her nightmares. Anyway, she asked me to make a pig out of Play-Doh the other day. Not too hard, I thought, and I gave it a good go. Arwen took one look at the finished product, squished it and said “No pig. Don’t work. Arwen broke it.” I’ll stick to drawing from now on. She also wanted me to use the cutters to make a man, then immediately decapitated him, declaring “Arwen killed man’s head off.” Which is slightly disturbing.

She’s also still happily hearing things we’ve said and repeating them. When she’d been a bit of a pain a few days ago, she obviously heard me telling Daddy about it when he came home, as one of the first things she said to him was “Arwen bit arsey.” She’s also very much aware of what bogeys are, and when she’s got sleep in her eye, she’ll immediately tell you that she has an “eye bogey”. Makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is her behaviour the other day, when she said to me “Arwen got bogey in my eye.” I did that parent thing of replying “Have you?”, to which her response was “No! My run away!” And she legged it, laughing her head off.

As a two year old, Arwen is quite rightly obsessed with bums and their produce. Sometimes she proudly owns hers, sometimes she doesn’t. When there was a loud parp sound last week when Daddy was putting her to bed and there was only the pair of them there, Daddy asked what that noise was. Arwen’s response? “Somebody farted.” True enough, but not quite taking ownership. Whereas the day after, I realised from the smell that she’d done a dirty nappy and told Arwen I’d have to change it. I then had to walk behind her and her stink all the way up the stairs, while she pointed to the bulge in the back of her pants, announcing “There my poo poo. Right there. Smell like poo poo. Pwoar, smelly!” And she was right.


2 years, 2 months, 5 days old

This week, Arwen has learnt to be assertive with other children. On Tuesday, we went to Speke Hall, and Arwen was about to go down the slide in the play area, when an older boy attempted to go in front of her. In situations like that, she normally holds back and waits, but this time, she was having none of it. I was about to step in and ask him to let her go first, when I heard my teacher voice coming from my two year old’s mouth, shouting “Wait, boy!” And he did. She carried on in the same vein at the swimming baths on Friday. She’s often made a grab for floats, balls and swimming noodles while in the pool and we’ve told her not to, as they’re someone else’s. So when she saw a kid heading for her ball, she made sure she got her message across by shouting “Someone else’s ball!” as loud as she could.

She’s not just been bossy though, she’s also learnt the encouraging bit of the teacher voice too. I ironed a shirt this morning while Arwen had her breakfast, and finished to a cry of “Yay, Mummy did it! Mummy finished!” which is how all ironing should end. Another new voice she’s learnt is a voice of wonder. We sat her on the side in the kitchen on Friday and popped some corn in a pan. When the first kernels popped, she nearly jumped out of her skin. But then she was fascinated. We asked her what was there, and a little voice, full of awe, whispered “popcorn!” She’s never been so amazed by anything before.

She does need to work on her naming of things though. A pigeon flew close past the car on Saturday and I asked Arwen what it was. She told me it was a bird, then said that it was a pigeon. She then asked me “What pigeon called?” so I told her I didn’t know and asked her what we should name it. Her response was “Pigeon Poo”. And I clarified – that isn’t a pigeon called Poo, it’s a pigeon called Pigeon Poo.

She also managed to offend Daddy this week. On Thursday, our friend Lindsey was visiting, and as I put Arwen to bed, she was contemplating hair. She stroked my hair and said (not at all in an attempt to make me stay in her bedroom with her, you understand) “Like your hair.” So I thanked her. Then she continued. “Mummy hair. Arwen hair. Lindsey hair.” There was a short pause. “Where Daddy hair?” A question Daddy started to ask himself a number of years ago.

Mind you, it’s not just Daddy she’s got it in for. On Thursday morning, as I put her on the toilet, she did a big wee, looked over at me and said “Missed!” And that’s when I realised that not a single time when she’s weed on me has it been an accident. She’s been aiming for me all along.

Down the slide

2 years, 1 month, 27 days old

Arwen is definitely going through what some would call the terrible twos, but I prefer to call shouty screamy times. She gets irritated by little things and angry when we can’t use telepathy to magically understand what she wants. Today she angrily told me that “Arwen hat too tight!!!” She wasn’t wearing a hat. Happily though, these grumps never last long and always end with a hug. On Monday morning she had a tantrum about the fact that she wanted to wear her Minnie Mouse t-shirt, so I got her Minnie Mouse t-shirt out for her. This was apparently the wrong thing to do as she absolutely didn’t want to wear the Minnie Mouse t-shirt and was furious at my assuming that she did. She shouted and went red in the face for a while and I simply sat and watched her until she ran out of steam and said “Arwen silly. Arwen just being silly.” At least she recognises it, eh?

Today we went to a park, which Arwen absolutely loved. So much so that she obviously got angry at the idea of leaving, and didn’t look in the slightest bit fazed when we started to walk off and told her we were going home. In fact she watched us and said “Arwen stay forever park.” So that was a definite backfire. As a two year old, she believes that parks are the best places in the world and excitedly talked me though what she was going to do there before we left home this morning. My favourite was “Arwen go to big down the slide.” I love that sentence for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s probably among the longest she’s ever come out with, and it shows she’s getting the hang of the future tense (though some people argue there’s no such thing as a future tense in English, but let’s not get all caught up in that debate right now) and it reinforces my belief that she genuinely thinks a slide is called a “down the slide”, which is hilarious.

It’s great knowing that your child is saying the wrong thing but not correcting them because it’s funny. This morning we brought out the plastic horse and played a few games of “buggeroo”, and she’s recently broken her pair of binoculars, which she always called “noculars”, so now when she looks through one of the lenses, she refers to it as “a nocular”. Though that one makes actual proper sense. Unlike her rousing call of “schloss!” when she chinks her cup against yours. We know it’s German for castle rather than cheers, but it’ll be brilliant when we get finally get round to taking her to Germany on holiday.

She’s working on her negotiating at the minute too, and is always calm and polite when doing so. I asked her where she’d put my bedside clock this morning, an item that constantly turns up in surprising places and has the alarm going off in the middle of the night, and she replied “Arwen can’t member. Arwen just can’t.” I love that she seems to have really tried though. She’s also got very sneaky about not going to sleep when she’s supposed to. She knows that no parent can resist being asked for a hug, and very much uses this to her advantage. As you’re about to leave her bedroom at bedtime, she’ll shout out for a “Hug!” Once you’ve done that, she’ll ask for a “Big hug”, followed by a “Little hug”. And then she moves onto “Cuddle”, Big cuddle” and “Little cuddle”. If she ever gets her hands on a thesaurus, we’re screwed. Sadly though, her negotiating skills only go so far. After trying unsuccessfully to get a deer to hug her at Dunham Massey on Wednesday, she finally dropped all pretences of diplomacy and simply shouted “Curses! Give me hug!” Weirdly enough, it didn’t work.

And finally, we were walking down the stairs on Wednesday morning when she nearly made me fall down them laughing. There was a little parp sound, so I asked “Did you just trump?” to which she replied “No, Arwen fart.” She then paused for a split second, sniffed the air, and declared “Smells like weetabix.” And it did.