In amongst all the grim lockdown drama, here are a few more little snippets of things that have happened over the last few months, odd little anecdotes from our lives. Spoiler alert – these are mostly boring stories about some adorable thing my precious baby girl did – I’m aware that when most parents get in the zone droning on about their little darlings, most people reach for the sick bag or nod politely while fantasising about pulling the fire alarm to make it stop. In other words, these anecdotes will be mediocre at best, and you have been warned – read on at your own risk.
Here they are, in no particular order:
My daughter was quite a fussy eater when she first arrived, with quite a limited range of things she would eat. Then suddenly out of the blue she became much more adventurous with food, and started trying lots of new things like eggs and melon and fishcakes and broccolli and hummous. I am not sure I can adequately describe the heady thrill of convincing a toddler to eat something new for the first time – it feels amazing!
A lesson in Hubris:
Too tired to wait for the evening’s washing load to run and hang out, you believe you have beaten the system by cleverly setting the delay timer on the machine so it will come on at 7am and the laundry will be done in perfect time to hang out to dry before your morning toddler group.
You smugly go to bed early, believing that you are winning the war on laundry and are amazing.
Only to be woken up at 4am by the sound of your washing machine starting up, and, unable to go back to sleep, you spend the next two hours lying in bed pondering how your laundry maths could be so, so wrong, while listening to the triumphant machine loudly filling, agitating, and draining just to spite you.
On a recent train journey I tripped over the wheel of the buggy coming down a ramp off the train, while wearing an enormous rucksack and laden down with bags. I fell down hard, and watched in horror as the buggy rolled away from me, my fingertips just grazing the handle as it rolled out of my reach and slowly headed towards the big drop on the opposite empty platform. Utter horror and fear pulsed through me, and I couldn’t even get up as the weight of my rucksack made getting off the floor almost impossible. Luckily there were plenty of people nearby and at least three dived for the buggy and stopped it – and then kindly helped me up. It was very frightening, though my daughter didn’t notice that anything had happened at all.
I am not a fan of baby talk at all, but there is one word my daughter consistently mispronounces in an adorable way, and that is her bottle, which she calls her “bopple”. It’s so freaking cute it’s frankly ridiculous but I secretly want her to call it that forever. Also once we were lying in bed pointing to and naming body parts (foot, arm, knee, etc) and she pointed to the stars on her pyjamas and said “star” so I pointed to the rainbow and said “rainbow”. As it happened to be on the knee of her pyjamas, she shook her head and declared it was a “kneebow”.
She has learnt that when her food is too hot we blow on it to cool it down, but has not yet worked out that this does not translate to other hot things. Recently she touched the radiator, and said “Mama it’s hot!” and then started blowing on it really hard. Cracked me up. Then the other day she was busy drawing loads of dots on a piece of paper. She then informed me they were peas and started blowing on them because they were hot too!
Before I adopted one of the most random things I worried about was smell. Everyone has their own unique smell, and we get used to our friends and families’ unique smells, but strangers often smell, well, strange. There is a lot of emphasis on smells for the children as a sensory link, so we were told to wash all our clothes and bed linen in the same detergent that the foster carer uses to try and make things smell similar for the child and make the transition easier. I often thought about how long it might take to get used to my kid’s smell, and what if they smelt weird or not nice? I have lived with more than one lodger with a rather pungent body odour that I never adjusted to, and some friend’s children smell pretty whiffy sometimes and was wondering how easily I might adjust to this.
However I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I LOVE my daughter’s smell. Pretty much from the word go, she smelled delicious. Her hair always smells amazing, but that’s mostly all her hair products that smell lovely. But every morning, when I wake up with her snuggled in my arms I can’t help but take a deep breath and just love the smell of her skin. Weirdly, she smells a little bit like chocolate, which seems impossible, and I figured maybe it’s just in my head, but she really does smell faintly of chocolate every morning – it’s the weirdest thing.
At least, it was weird and baffling until I remembered, 10 months in, that we use cocoa butter on her skin every night after her bath, so that probably explains why she smells like chocolate! Duh!
As her language develops, she has gotten more words and started using sentences, but I find it really funny and fascinating how her grammar has developed. She has grasped the use of the word “it” but seems to always say it right before the thing she is describing, rendering it pointless but amusing.