Friday, 27 January 2012

Two trips around the sun...

You charge, as in run with a purpose....
-And then deliver a big open-mouthed kiss on my lips and nose
-At animals screeching, and often scare them in your enthusiasm
-Away from daddy when he's seeking a scrum

You love....
-Our cat Rico, though remember he is not a horse for riding
-Your mom and dad (you've started to tell us and we freeze frame those moments in our heads)
-Bumper, Morris and your bed-time crowd - it's growing so popular soon there won't be room in your bed for you

You chatter a lot, like your mama, and are strong-minded, again like your mama...
-"LLC do it.  No, this way, not that way."
-"Rico sit on LLC's lap."
-"Want cake mommy."  Want kiwi and more milk." How do you ask nicely?  "Pease?"

Your fascinated with the art of dressing and undressing....
-Zipping up your boots
-Pulling down your trousers
-Wearing my high heels and your dad's slippers

You enjoy....
-Examining my teeth
-Swimming in the bath and jumping in the pool
-Drumming on that shortbread tin to hard rock
-Coloring, painting, mess-making
-Dusting the house with a napkin or baby wipe
-Singing 'Jingle Bells', your 'ABCs' and 'Row Row Row Your Boat'
-Laying on the couch with the fleecey blanket for a cuddle
-Rubbing lotion on my bump
-Role play, as in making food, taking care of Baby Petal, parading with your own pocketbook
-Reading - this week's fav is "Good Night America" (USA!  USA!)

You don't enjoy....
-Sock fluff in the bath
-Being confined in a stroller. It is no longer your friend.

Every day you....
-Call for us first thing in the morning,come in bed for a cuddle and then kick us in the face
-Learn something new and surprise us
-Issue your orders
-Bid the turtle and fish photos goodnight after bath
-Choose your bed-time story.  Or five.
-Make our hearts swell with love, joy and pride - I never really knew it would be this good but now I do....


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Late Night in Amsterdam

LLC started off 2012 with a few more imaginary stamps in her passport when we packed our bags and drove to The Netherlands for the PhD Conferral of my dear confidant, wedding photographer and friend TVC.  She's Dutch, and now she's a Doctor!

TVC's folks kindly offered us a room in their house just outside Amsterdam.  Kind, generous, and as experienced short-term foster care providers for babies and young toddlers, they welcomed us with open arms and we could not have asked for a more child-friendly and relaxing base.  LLC received scores of attention and food, discovered the joys of the iPad and made a great friend in TVC's sister D.  Chris and I were gifted a child-free outing to The Hague for some history (Peace Palace, home to the ICJ), art (Mauritshuis) and hot chocolate.  We also visited the interactive natural history Museum Naturalis in Leiden with LLC where she posed with a gorilla and clambered over rock and earth exhibits.

Then to top off all the excitement, LLC attended her first academic ceremony in the company and saving grace of raisins and partied until late in Amsterdam.  Not too shabby for an almost 2 year-old.

I really enjoyed catching up with TVC, her boyfriend, family and friends that I've gotten to know over the years.  LLC drank in the experience with her usual adaptability and interest in the new.  I've always said she is spirited, but with this phase of toddler-hood this spirit seems continually on the rise.  I'll leave you with this image.

It's after 9pm and we are in a bar in Amsterdam post PhD officiations.  LLC has had a long day of ceremonies and celebration and is full on couscous and apple pie but showing no signs of tiredness.  Chris and I turn our backs for only a moment and turn around to find her charging at TVC's boyfriend's grandma with wielding a balloon and roaring.  It's a friendly but aggressive roar and we need to move quickly to restrain her.  Fortunately grandma takes it in good spirits.  We choose that moment to bundle a protesting LLC into her stroller and break through the bar's buzz into the crisp January night.  It takes a 20 minute walk down and around one of the Central Canals for LLC to drop off.  Chris and I smile at her defiant lips, pursed in sleep and enjoy our quiet family moment. 

Then baby #2 starts to pummel me from within and I need to pee, so we dash back to the bar.