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10 things about Neave, age 2 and a half

Posted on: November 2, 2012

A day out in the city with your Daddy

The loves:

1. Every night you go to sleep with at least six books and DVDs. That’s six books AND six DVDs, and that means not much room for Neave to sleep in, since you insist on being tucked into your flip-out couch every night rather than your bed. We move you once you’re asleep. It’s all actually rather annoying because you’re very particular about which books and DVDs may be your snuggle buddies for the night (because they’re just so soft, right?), and if any of those items are missing, there is hell to pay. But the whole thing is so random that I can’t help loving it. You cute little weirdo. Your favourite DVD to take to bed with you is ‘Tangled’, the Disney version of the Rapunzel story. Only, you call it ‘Punnelz’!

2. You are talking so well now. You repeat everything you hear, whether you understand it or not. If the others are doing one of their daily protests (“What do we want? MORE FOOD, When do we want it? NOW!”), your voice is right in there, adding weight to the argument. I’m sure your siblings appreciate your support, even when you turn the argument on its head, or lose interest and walk away singing to yourself. You’re good at that, too. One of my favourite things you say is, “What’s this one, Mummy?” when you are curious about something new or different. So cute.

3. You still give the world’s biggest cuddles, although they are becoming a little harder to come by – you’re so busy playing. You give these gigantic squeezes right around our necks and cling on tight. You’ve also been known to stop what you’re doing, come over to your dad or I, give us a big hug and say, “I love you!” Pure bliss.

4. You say, “Yes, Mummy!” to everything I say. “Put on your shoes, please.” “Yes, Mummy!” “Let’s go now.” “Yes, Mummy.” I haven’t prompted you to, but I think you picked it up from my wanting acknowledgement every now and then from your brother and sister that they have heard and understood what I’ve asked them to do. Sometimes you say “Yes, Mummy”, and then realise what you’ve agreed to and then very quickly correct your mistake; “Shower time Neave.” “Yes, Mummy. Nooooooo, Mummy!”

5. You absolutely adore your brother and sister. For a while you were calling them both Tiernan (Your version is ‘Tee-ern’), then you switched to calling Molly ‘Mummy’, which was confusing for everyone. But now you’ve finally got it: ‘Mowy’. You love to hold their hands when we go out, and on the occasional days that you are home with me while they are in day care, you ask after them a lot; “Pick up Tee-ern now?” “Where is Mowy?”

6. You like to dress yourself! Sandals, nappy (pull-up), pants, shirt, the lot. Never mind if half of it goes on upside down and back to front, you are determined to do it all yourself. Which can actually be very frustrating, because it takes quite a long time to put a shirt on when it is upside down… however, if we let you try it yourself for long enough, you often give in and accept some help in at least getting everything on the way it is supposed to go. Little Miss Independence.

7. I love listening to you read books to yourself. You remember just enough of the words to make some kind of sense out of it. But you also like to embellish and add little extra waffle-y bits that I don’t understand. Pretty cute, all the same. Like your sister, you also love singing into Molly’s toy microphone, and your songs are full of passion and are sometimes very, very high. I think you will be a soprano in the choir when you are older.

8. Also like Molly, you love to get dressed up in the morning (in a pretty, pretty dress) and dance. Your favourite move is to stand with your hands on your hips and sway wiggle them from side to side. Spinning is good, too. I’m looking forward to seeing you start dancing classes with Molly next year.

9. You recently had to spend a few extra days at preschool and daycare, and you coped better than I expected. I had been dreading leaving you, especially at preschool, which is totally new to you, but after some initial tears I think you rather enjoyed yourself. Next year you will be going two days per week for real, so I guess it was good practice. At least you will have Molly with you on those days, too.

10. You are starting to get the hang of knowing when you need to go to the potty… You’re not actually doing it yet, much, but at least you sort of know what’s going on. As I have said before, you are completely in the driving seat when it comes to toilet training, kiddo, because I’m not pushing anything. I’m happy to follow your lead, but after the last two experiences of this, I’m going to back right off and leave it up to you. I’m pretty sure you’ll be out of nappies by the time you are, say, six. I’m confident of that, but let’s not push our luck any further.

All ready for Pyjama Day at day care

Okay, not so great:

1. Bed times are a nightmare with you at the moment. You come out at least ten times each night, with all sorts of different excuses like wanting a drink, wanting a kiss and hug, wanting another story, and, most recently, wanting to sit on the potty… for half an hour!!! Tiernan and Molly went through the same stage, too. With persistence on our part, and a lot of time (like, months), they eventually gave up coming out at all. But man, that doesn’t make it suck any less!

2. Lately when you want something, you want it right now. You used to be all mellow and patient, which I put down to you being the third and pretty much having no choice. But that’s all gone now. You’re more feisty and surly now. I blame toddlerhood. Maybe one day we will see the mellow Neave again? But maybe not: I think I got a glimpse of teenage Neave yesterday when we had to take Tiernan for a blood test and you were cranky and wouldn’t talk to anyone. You just had your bottom lip jutting out the entire time we were at the clinic, grunting and turning away from anyone who spoke to you. Scary!

3. You have this really annoying habit of trying to put my zipper all the way up whenever I wear a hoodie. You climb onto me and just zip away until my neck skin gets caught at the very top. OUCH! Thankfully it’s getting warmer and I don’t have to wear them much any more.

4. Like every toddler ever, you have discovered biting, pinching, scratching and hitting as a form of protest when you don’t get what you want. And – great timing – ‘time out’ just became really lame in your opinion, so you no longer sit there like an angel for the two minutes. Instead, you get up and run away for at least ten minutes, before finally submitting for the two. This makes ‘time out’ extremely time consuming. But, we will endure!

5. You used to eat properly. You know, chew and then swallow your food, before putting more in. Now you just shove it all in and attempt to chew, but more often than not you just end up choking and spitting the semi-chewed food onto your plate. Or the floor. Then you say, “I finished now”, and walk away. Not cool.

6. You are obsessed with your manky, old Dora t-shirt that was a hand-me-down from friends with an older daughter.  You have worn it so many times that it is now all stretched and stained, but you love it. If the Dora shirt is washed and ready, then getting you dressed is no problem at all. However, since there is a laundry turn around of at least three days in this house, then more often than not, the shirt will not be available to you. When this is the case, there is always a twenty minute battle to convince you to wear something different. Not fun at all.

But despite all that, you remain my little ray of sunshine, Neave. Love you lots!

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