2 years, 1 month, 14 days old
We’ve been a little concerned about Arwen’s way of dealing with things she’s not happy with recently. For about a week, her response to anything she didn’t like was to shout “bollocks!” Obviously, this is not something we wanted her to do, so we did that parent thing of completely ignoring it, in the hope that if she didn’t get a response, she’d stop doing it. This approach seems to have worked as we’ve hardly heard it at all for the past few days, apart from a beautifully judged example this evening when she saw that her ice cream had dripped on the floor, nearly causing Daddy to pass out with the effort of not exploding with laughter. At least she understands how to use it in the correct context. Anyway, she now appears to have replaced it by blowing a raspberry whenever she’s unhappy with anything, which is less offensive, but much wetter. To the point where she blew a huge wet raspberry at me the other day, then when she stopped, with spit dripping down her chin, she remarked “that gross.” And she was right.
One thing she’s certainly becoming is thoughtful. Her answers are now much more considered than they’ve ever been before. A couple of days ago, I asked her whether she was getting out of the bath. A stupid question, I know, given that I would have had to physically lift her out so it wasn’t really her choice, but that’s parents for you. I asked, and the response I got, after a short pause, was “Erm, no.” Serves me right for asking a stupid question. She’s also discovered the idea of possibilities. Now everything she’s wondering is voiced with a maybe. “Going out. Maybe park.” If we’re getting ready for tea, “Maybe sausage.” Anything other would be a travesty.
A great thing that Arwen’s learning is politeness. She’s used “please” and “thank you” for a while now when prompted, but is getting much better at doing it herself, which is lovely. The only downside to having a child who uses good manners as default, is that soon we’ll stop hearing the beautiful response whenever you tell her to “Say thank you to the lady” of “Thank you lady!”, which makes me laugh every time. As I type this, she’s upstairs on the loo as Daddy gets her ready for bed. I just sneezed, which is always a very loud affair, (I tried to do it silently once at the theatre and I swear my entire face exploded and everyone in the theatre heard me, including Patrick Stewart and David Tennant) and heard her shout “Bless you!” It’s nice that she looks after me. She’s even polite on the pretend phone. On Friday, she walked into the kitchen holding the TV remote, held it to her ear and said “phone Nana.” She then gave it a second and said in a very singsong voice “Hello Nana, how did your day?” Her concern for others is heartening.
Another thing that’s very much developed recently is evaluation. She’s a big fan of jumping. Jumping onto things, jumping off things, jumping over things, jumping from one thing to another, jumping on the spot and any other type of jumping you could imagine. The best place in the world to jump is on Mummy and Daddy’s bed, obviously. She’ll happily jump on there and land on her feet, her knees or her face for hours. And you know when she’s done a particularly high jump as you’ll then hear a clear “That’s a good one!” It’s not just herself she evaluates either. This afternoon she was looking at the cat washing herself and pointed and said “tongue out.” I said yes, then told her that’s how the cat cleans herself, to which Arwen replied “clever girl” and gave her a round of applause. Because Arwen knows that even though cats may seem very self-assured, even they need a self esteem boost every now and then.