Back in 2015 I wrote a post about the antics of my adrenaline junkie baby. Her love of the wild side of life and ability to make us laugh, scared and shocked at every turn.
Almost three years have passed, so like every high adventure action epic, it’s time for the sequel.
I suppose she has grown so much since then, when she was just 11 months old. But in all honesty, she’s still a little pocket rocket and recently had no problem squeezing into a borrowed pair of PJs, age 12-18 months. She’ll be four this autumn.
At the end of the last post I pondered how life would be when she was walking. I imagined she may be a bit of a handful, a ‘runner’ and definitely keep me on my toes.
In a way I wasn’t wrong, and over the years of her toddler days we had a few hairy moments in car parks as she found it hilarious to wriggle out of my hand and run as fast as she could, flicking me the bird as I yelled ‘STOP’ to no avail. (Okay, she didn’t actually, swear at me, but I saw it in her twinkling eyes).
There’s no doubt about it, this is a girl who likes to call the shots when it comes to hand holding, and it’s most definitely on her terms!
It’s hard to describe her as naughty, because in all honesty, one look at her and you would believe butter wouldn’t melt. She is positively beautiful in every way, and her huge brown eyes continue to melt hearts on a daily basis.
Ironically, she has an extremely sensitive and shy side to her personality; in the company of men particularly, or new faces, she can hide away between my legs and be reduced to tears at so much of too much eye contact. She fears people ‘laughing at her’ (hard not to sometimes with her outfit choices) and falls apart if anyone (other than us of course) even says ‘be careful’ as she thinks she’s in trouble.
But then, when she has found her comfort zone, and she’s ready to show her cheeky side, it’s like Jekyll and Hyde.
We have long accepted her headstrong approach to most things; sitting at the table, refusal to eat, sleep, go to bed, to generally do the opposite to what we just asked. All possibly normal things with young kids, but every now and again she amazes us with her ability to push things to the next level. And, to make us howl with laughter as we have come to always expect, the unexpected with this little one.
She’s never been one for early nights, but this is a girl who loves to live life to the full. Late nights are no problem to her at all, and we sometimes wonder where she gets her energy from. A child who seems to have all the energy on such little appetite is a bit of a marvel of nature.
If there’s one thing this girl loves and that’s some banging tunes. Her ability to cut some pretty impressive shapes is something to behold, and I have some pretty funny videos of her moshing out to Biffy Clyro on the dining table, wiggling all around to ‘Tequila’ and belting out all the words to The greatest showman, her current fave.
With some curious dance moves involving hip wiggles, pouts and struts, we have considered if maybe there’s been a little bit too much background music video than is healthy for a three year old. Parenting Fail.
I’ll never forget the day we walked through the Turner Gallery Margate and she was singing to herself the Strictly Come Dancing theme tune. A member of staff spun round to smile at where the sound was coming from, and the look on her face as she had to span down to ankle height was hilarious.
The mouse has still somewhat of a penchant for the impossible when it comes to escape artistry. Just last week she wriggled out of her car seat straps on the motorway, 15 miles from anywhere, letting me know by a cheeky “Mummy, look behind you!” and I turned to see her nose touching mine.
We recently had an afternoon at home (it was probably raining) and as we pottered and played together I popped upstairs to get something. Distracted by (probably my phone in all honesty) I heard a call “Mummy….”. What was that last part? “Mummy, I’m outside!”…a I ran downstairs to see a flash of pink disappear off the front drive through the wide open front door. How hilarious she found it, and how I did not.
Schemer or Schema?
We were introduced to the concept of Schemas by Nanny, and from a young age we identified the mouse as a child who seemed to connect to height – climbing, building towers…And to this date that urge to climb hasn’t waned. So much so in fact that we caught her having climbed from her bed to her chest of drawers and up onto her shelves. But she wanted to look at the Dinosaur fossil. Yikes.
Her favourite place to watch TV is standing on the back of the armchair, holding on to the window, and occasionally mooning passers by, and she worships at the shrine of soft play.
Another thing I’ve tuned into is her affinity as a positional schema. If you have a child who likes to arrange things – into lines, or bags, or place them all around the house in obscure places (she knows exactly where she has put everything). Whilst it’s the polar opposite of her sister and I, I’ve accepted that the chaotic state of her bedroom makes her happy. And we are all different after all.
As her personality has grown, so has her passion for fashion. Much like her sister who went through a extreme sparkle / pink phase, this girl would leave the house in full sequins, sunglasses and a feather boa given the chance. Hair style of choice is ‘down’ in a big way (the knot situ is bad come bedtime!). A big believer in picking battles, we have had some curious outfit choices; this is a girl who would like to dress every day as though she is Coco Chanel. Or, on other occasions on the team GB olympic team, as leotard is the current fave daywear. God help us.
Other favourite pastimes include prepping a full face of make-up pre school run, and we are big on nails too. Preferably rainbow coloured, or sparkly, and permanent.
Sometimes, dealing with the head strong tantrums and inability to conform can be frustrating. A total lack of interest in food has probably been one of the hardest parenting challenges to date. Or maybe t was the lack of sleep. Or maybe the (ongoing) potty training. But that said this is a little girl who responds clearly and obviously to positive parenting. She laughs in the face of shouting, and will offer to take herself to time out in order to escape the dinner table.
This little girl is one who needs cuddles, love and encouragement. Telling her she is naughty or a nightmare chips away at her and doesn’t actually achieve anything. She thrives on praise and being told she is gorgeous, clever, fun and a brilliant little girl. And that is exactly what she is. The kind of girl I’d like to be friends with, one who will always bring the fun and laughs, and who won’t fail to make you smile. I’m actually incredibly proud of the tiny little person she has become.
With the mouse we have come to expect the unexpected, and she will often surprise me with her ability to be a total heartbreaker when I’ve been perhaps dreading something. Perhaps a big food shop together, a long day with no plans or a time I really need her to be quiet and well behaved. I have to be mindful to not push a preconception on to this actually, very sweet and adorable little girl.
And so the adventures of Dangermouse continue. With another whole year and a half ahead of her before she has to conform in a classroom environment, I’d love to see her confidence grow in some situations, and it wane in others. I’m just incredibly grateful that as her Mummy I get to invest all the time in the world into getting her ready for that milestone, to take all the best in her colourful personality, and fill her with the self belief she sometimes needs to thrive.