Tag Archive for child development

At Three And A Half

Long, slender limbs flash before me as they climb unaided into the bath. Gone are chubby fists and rotund bellies. Hair is long and requires brushing, parting, plaiting. Words became sentences, formed conversations and posed existential questions.

“I don’t want to grow up.”

“Why not?”

“Because I wouldn’t be able to have my small plate any more. I like my small plate. And I wouldn’t be able to wear my small shoes. I’d have big feet so I’d have to have big shoes.”

Said with such wide-eyed, innocent sorrow that we catch each other’s eyes above her head and want to laugh.

I don’t remember the thought of growing up feeling so scary. All the time they are changing and growing and amazing me and I want to tell them how big they are. But I hold back. Because of the small plate and the small shoes.

The magic of Christmas is alive and kicking now. They understand about presents and can almost keep a surprise. They understand that their desires can be catalogued and requested of a bearded man in a red suit. They talk about leaving out a mince pie and a carrot. They talk about their stockings and elves and flying reindeer. They manage eight days of advent before they eat the remains of their calendars – impulse control and the concept of delayed gratification still beyond their reach.

They love and squeeze and hug and blow you kisses and catch the returns in their hands, putting them in a pocket or sometimes in their mouths.

They burn with anger and injustice – the fire of small people who don’t have the means to regulate their own emotions yet – and they cry when things don’t go their way, when we’re out of red straws, or their banana breaks in half. And they cuddle in close and start to tell me their feelings. They tell me when I forget to use my words – when my temper slips out and I snap and shout. They remind me of my humanity and they accept my apology.

They dance and sing and play. They ask me what that word is, what that letter is, what this says. And I tell them. They ask why, but why, but why and sometimes I say I don’t know.

They light up the world with a fire that burns so brightly. My role is to keep that fire stoked, to feed it dry wood and keep it aflame. It’s a tough job, unrelenting, but the warmth and light from that fire is more than I could ever have dreamed of.

christmas card 2015

IMG_4349

IMG_4350

IMG_4145

Blue Moon

It’s been a while.  Far too long.  In January I started a post explaining how I planned to write at least one post a month in 2014.

Yeah.  That didn’t happen.  I mean, it’s already the end of February March!

And now it’s been so long that there is almost too much to say.  But I have to grab this moment because I am just overflowing with the amazing changes that the girls are going through and I can’t bear not to document it somewhere.

P1030425P1030466

Christmas was amazing.  It was so much fun with two 17 month olds.  But it’s since then that the girls have really blossomed.

Since Christmas their language has just exploded.  It started with them beginning to use words in other ways than just to name things. They learned opposites like hot and cold, up and down, light and dark.  They learned that by calling someone’s name they could summon them or get their attention and Claudia in particular learned that she could denote possession with somebody’s name – pointing at an object and saying, “Immie’s” or “Mummy’s”.

From that she started putting two words together.  No longer just “Immie’s”, it became “Immie’s cup”, “Mummy’s tea”, “Claudie’s shoes”.  And she understood how to say hello and goodbye to specific people by using their names.  She started saying things like “Thank you”, “Excuse me” and “Bless you” in their correct contexts.  She started using subjects and verbs and now she can be heard to say pretty much full sentences like the one she uttered this morning in the garden: “Claudie and Immie are swinging.”

Immie isn’t quite putting words together in this way, but her confidence is increasing.  Interestingly, when they were learning to walk, Imogen threw herself into it wholeheartedly whilst Claudia hung back and waited until she was really confident she could do it before letting go of the furniture.  Conversely with language, Claudia is steaming ahead, acting like a human echo machine and repeating everything she hears, constantly trying to communicate, whilst Imogen has fewer words and uses them more sparingly, but actually has clearer diction.  Their vocabulary is massive.  I have no idea how big it actually is, but they amaze me every day with the words and concepts they understand.

They recognise and name their toys and know the names of favourite books, even starting to “read”.  It is the cutest thing ever to watch them leaf through a book and give some indication of the understanding they have of what happens on each page.  Their capacity for memory astounds me.

Claudia likes to narrate everything she sees and does and every word or phrase ends with an exclamation mark. She can sort of count to ten if I say one first. She tends to skip five and seven but loves saying, “Eight, nine, TEN!” Immie can recognise pretty much every colour and enjoys pointing out the colours of everything she sees.

It’s weird being a parent, because on the one hand you know that the steps your child is making are something every single human since the dawn of time has been through, but it is still so fascinating to watch their language and understanding develop and grow.  The concepts they can now grasp are incredible and their memories continue to astound me.

Chatterboxes from Becoming Mums on Vimeo.

Of course this video just doesn’t do justice to the array of things they can say and do now, or how incredible it has been to witness each new skill, but it’s still pretty cute.

As you can see for the video (and may have seen on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook), Claudia broke her arm.  She fell off the sofa (Imogen may or may not have been involved) and we had a very long day at A&E, but she was so brave and barely cried at all.  Immie was almost more traumatised from being left at home with first a friend, then L, then Grandad, then Grandma as people rallied together to help us out.  She definitely missed her twin.  The cast should be coming off tomorrow and hopefully that will be our last trip to A&E for a very long time!

IMG_3528

 

%d bloggers like this: