Monday 10 September 2018

Ember Turns Two

Dear Ember,

You are two! I am a little sad about it, but mostly because I enjoyed the look of surprise on stranger's faces when I told them that the tall, chatty, confident, fearless toddler in front of them was only one. But I'm not as sad as your dad. I worry your ageing is going to send him into a mid-life crisis, he can't believe how grown up you both are now.

Two years old. It doesn't seem possible that you can have been with us that long. It still feels like only moments ago when we were waiting for you to arrive. And now, here you are, a two year old. You talk incessantly from morning to night. You narrate everything you do and repeat yourself until you think you have had proper recognition. If nobody answers, or if we dare to talk amongst ourselves, you will start shouting, "Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? MUMMY?" Your favourite phrase at the moment is "I'll be back in a minute," which you say whenever you leave the room.

You are such a delight to be around. Happy and loving and affectionate. You love nothing more than cuddling up and playing in bed or on the sofa. You always wake up in a good mood and go running off to find your sister. The other day she told me that she likes this age, that you play proper games with her and talk to her. And it's true. I hear the two of you laughing all the time. I hear you hiding from monsters and taking spaceships to the moon and taking holidays across the world. I am forever walking into rooms to find the two of you dressed in elaborate costumes, the playroom upturned around you, with huge smiles on your faces.

We spend our days just the two of us, six whole hours just for us. You mostly spend this time messing up the house, demanding snacks and playing. Just recently, you have figured out how to play alone. Now, you sneak off and tip out the jigsaws so you can do them by yourself. You creep into Ebony's room and choose books to thumb through. You leave a trail of destruction in your wake, toys scattered across the house and books all over the floor for you to slip on later. You are always falling and getting covered in bruises.

You are fiercely independent, you want to do everything yourself and we are not allowed to help unless you ask us, too. You get yourself dressed now, which means you often have back to front or inside out clothing. You also get yourself undressed which means I frequently walk into rooms only to find you are, once again, naked. You like wearing dresses and tell me that all of your clothes are pretty. If we walk through a clothes shop, you spend the whole time touching things and saying, "It's so cute, so cute. That's cute. That's cute." (pronounced coot, of course).

You love picking Ebony up from school. You are normally ready and waiting to get her long before we actually need to leave the house. You take a little bag of snacks with you so you can share them with her on the walk home. You are now at an age where you can tell your dad about your day when he gets home from work. You chat away to him, speaking in a high-pitched voice whenever you are acting out dialogue from your day. And when you find something you enjoy talking about, you chat about it for months. You still talk about Disneyland on a daily basis, telling me all about when Ebony met Minnie Mouse and you blew her a kiss.

You didn't have a big party for your birthday. It turns out a summer bank holiday birthday comes with its own problems, with all of your friends going on holiday over your birthday weekend. And you didn't get a huge expensive present, because we already have all the big things that two-year-olds like to play with. But I know you know how loved you are. I know you enjoyed a day out just the four of us more than the noise and chaos of a big party. I know you're not bothered about the present and that the real joy comes from unwrapping. I know that eating a slice of birthday cake was more than enough excitement for you.

Now, if time could slow down a little, that would be great. 

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