On your bott

Today my baby is one week away from 20 months. She’s definitely not a baby anymore. Sometimes I look at pictures of her as a baby and I don’t quite recognise her. I know she is Thea, but in my mind’s eye, Thea has looked like she looks right now from the moment she was born. Her massive hazel eyes are framed by ridiculously long lashed (both inherited from daddy) and they are very solemn in company and very mischievous when we are on our own. In company she clings and often refuses to crack a smile; at home, on our own with daddy and the dogs, she is all laughter one moment and fury the next. Today she lost her temper because she couldn’t reach to put a cup on the radiator. Why did it have to go on the radiator when there was a far more appropriate and accessible table right next to it? Only Thea knows.

We bought her a slide for Christmas and she came down to find it next to the tree on the morning of. There was no surprise; she just casually walked up to it like it had been there forever and started playing as though a slide in the living room is the most normal thing in the world. After she’d had a few goes, she decided to mix it up, and stood on the top, laughing at how clever she was. We wagged our fingers and said “no, no, no – on your bott, please” and down she sat. Until the next go, where she stood again. “No, no, no,” our fingers wagged. “On your bott.” And so it continued, until she seemed to forget about standing up and slid like a normal person until bed time. The next day she climbed the steps and stood, looked me in the eye, wagged her finger and shrieked “NO NO NO!” then sat down and slid, cracking up at her hilarity. My parenting style, mocked by a toddler.

The other day she took me to the fridge and said conspiratorially “Djhoc djhoc.” (This means chocolate.) “No djhoc djhoc,” I said. “Have your lunch first.” Big eyes stared up imploringly through the long fringe her daddy won’t let me trim. “Djhoc djhoc.” I shook my head. “No, darling. No djhoc djhoc.” She stared up, then brought out the big guns. “Pliz.”

She got her djhoc djhoc, obviously. .y parenting style, defeated by a toddler.

She’s just too cute.

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