Tuesday, 26 January 2016

One Step Beyond

We can now officially call ourselves the parents of toddlers!

Eliza is now properly toddling about the place, and has all but given up on crawling. She very cutely waves her arms about in front of her as she goes, like she’s doing a little bodypopping dance. William is very solid when standing still, can go quite a way when holding a hand, and can manage a few steps without support (and looks very pleased with himself when he does), but still prefers his super-fast crawl and his penguin-waddle knee-shuffle for getting himself about.
We’ve bought them their first shoes - cue the obligatory big shoe/little shoe photo:
This means we can go for wanders outside - we all made it down to the end of our road yesterday afternoon, probably about 100 metres, and they were very excited to see a big red bus. Eliza only needed a hand-hold to guide her (and - I like to think - so that she knew we were there); William had great fun examining the latches on neighbours’ gates and cruising along their front walls. How long before we're merrily splashing through muddy puddles on countryside walks, I wonder.
And it's not just toddling that they can do now!

They’re getting really good at feeding ourselves without too much mess (E&W I mean - I still regularly spill stuff down my shirt). They love their porridge in the morning, shovelling it in like Gregg Wallace with a chocolate dessert. And for the first time ever the other day, we had a finger-food lunch where every morsel went into their little (or not so) bellies - nothing rejected, nothing splattered on the floor/walls/cat/me. And they merrily guzzle water from their Doidy cups - they do those little "Ah!" noises like us adults do when we have our first sip of tea in the morning.
STOP PRESS: I think typing the previous paragraph has tempted fate - for dinner tonight, Eliza chose to eat her cheesy scrambled egg only if it was presented on a small square of toast. She picked the egg off the top of the toast with her fingers...and come the end of the meal the toast went uneaten. Hopefully it was just a momentary fussiness!

While they’re not yet properly talking, they do now chatter away in twinese pretty much non-stop, and have their own distinct ‘words’ - ‘ca’ is ‘look’; ‘!CA!’ (the only way I can represent it in writing) is ‘cat’; ‘gu’ is ‘dog’; ‘ba’ is ‘sheep’, 'kak-ka' is duck, and so on. They’re also really good at understanding us - they’ll fetch a particular book or toy if suggested; William will give Eliza her Fudge (her beloved cuddly rabbit) if you ask him to; and Eliza will go hunting for her brother’s errant socks.

They’re also playing with toys properly now, too. Stacking cups get stacked; cars get zoomed around the floor; little people are wibbled about like little people living their little lives. It’s lovely seeing the two of them playing together.
And William still really loves his books, and now manages to hold them the right way up!
It's been fascinating watching them develop these skills. Quite often one of them will do something new, perfectly - and then not do it again for days, sometimes weeks. And when they do it again, it's almost as if they're saying "Oh, this old thing - yes, I can do that, I just choose not to".

At the weekend, one of our neighbours said "They're just like little people now", which is quite a bittersweet thing. While I love all these new discoveries, and look forward to what's still to come, there’s a quite a big part of me that hopes they don’t get too grown up, too independent, too soon. I’m sure every parent feels that way - both excited to see them grow and learn, yet a little sad that they’re no longer the tiny little things that used to fall asleep on my chest in the wee small hours of the morning, or simply doze off mid-wriggle on the rug. Heaven knows what I'll be like when it's time for them to leave home!

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