We are long overdue a bit of a PMM showing off post, so close your eyes now if this is the sort of thing that makes you feel like punching a wall.

Ariel, Ariel, Ariel. She is soooooo fabulous and cute. She is going to be two very soon now and she just gets more and more wonderful and clever and lovely every day.

Today she wanted to take her Pink Rabbit to nursery and insisted that she was going to take him even when I suggested that maybe he didn’t want to go, and that he might not like the other children. But when I said (paraphrasing): “Darling, you can take him if you want to, but the other chlidren might want to play with him and you will have to share Pink Rabbit with the others. Do you really want to take him?” she looked at me thoughtfully and then put him face down on the sofa and said: “Bye-bye Pink Rabbit, Pink Rabbit sleep now.”

How cute is that? How clever of her to understand something so complex! What a brilliant solution she found for poor old Pink Rabbit!

She is getting absolutely amazing with her language, and is stringing not just three or four words together in a sentence, but using her words to express all kinds of ideas and emotions.

She tells me when she is happy or sad. And she understands that other people have emotions too, she can extrapolate what she feels to understand that other people can feel the same way. So, sometimes when I cough or sneeze or something, she pats me and looks at me with a worried little face: “Mummy poorly?”

When I cut my hand last week I explained to her that it hurt and was bleeding because I had cut it on something sharp – ha, good time to try a lesson on why Sharp Things are To Be Avoided. She understood right away and kept poking the cut and saying “Mummy sore, sharp, mummy, sore.” I could have done without the poking (!) but she has clearly taken the lesson to heart because tonight she was looking at a screwdriver and asking what it was and I told her that it was a sharp thing for mummy to use, at which she said “Sharp” and put it back down again straight away.

At night before she falls asleep, she often seems to relive her day by talking about the things that made an impression, and reciting odd snatches of what she has been doing. It is lovely to lie and listen to her as she is going through her day. I wish I could bottle the exquisite pleasure of that moment, stopper it up and keep it as a precious substance to remember in years to come.

To give you a little idea, here is more or less how it sounds:

Bye-bye Ga-il, hello, hello, pain-ting, blue, blue, yellow, pain-ting, where’s mummy?, mummy, mummy poorly? mummy crying mummy crying crying mummy [I intervene to comfort her as she is sounding a little distressed – Mummy’s happy, I’m not crying] mummy happy, Ariel happy, happy, green, blocks, dinner, dinner, toast, don’t wannit, pain-ting, got-gots [socks], radio, radio, mummy help, radio, tick-tock, ick-ock, tick-tock, bonggggg, bongggg, tick-tock, night-night Mo, night-night mummy, night-night rabbit, rabbit, bye-bye Ga-il, hello, lellow, nice, mummy nice, Ariel nice, Car-Bear nice, rabbit nice, Ariel nappy, blue nappy, Ariel crying, story now, Toffee story, rabbit story, toilet, toilet, more poo-poo, toilet now, Twinkle Twinkle, ‘winkle-‘tar, tinky-winky, la-la, tinkle tar, baa baa black sheep, hello mummy…

Other clever things she can do:

  • As you can tell from the above, she is starting to toilet train herself. She knows when she is about to do a poo and tells me – increasingly often, she does this in time for me to get her on the toilet before she does one! She knows when she has done a wee and says “Wet!” and she knows that it is good to do a wee in the toilet, but she doesn’t yet tell me clearly in advance when she is going to do a wee.
  • She knows most of her numbers (although not yet the right order) up to about twelve, and knows what “two” means – still hazy on what other numbers mean.
  • She knows all her colours and, just tonight, understands what “colour” means i.e. if I ask her what colour something is she no longer just repeats “colour!” but tells me that it is green, or orange or whatever. She doesn’t always get her colours right, but she gets them right often enough to convince me that it isn’t just random.
  • She is the tidiest little girl on the planet. She loves to put things away, always insists on putting her shoes in the basket when she takes them off. The other day while I was making dinner she announced “Mummy, tidy!” and she had got out the dustpan and brush and swept up some bits from the floor into the dustpan. Today she came home from nursery with a sticker for helping to put all the aprons away. This evening she was playing with a flannel and suddenly went into the kitchen and started using it to wipe the floor (!) When we went to Ikea the other day, I bought her a little present of some bright green washing up gloves – and she was absolutely thrilled and wouldn’t take them off for ages!
  • She understands about time – she understands “now”, “soon” and “later”, she knows that it all has something to do with tick-tocks. She understands “wait for a minute” or “I’ll be back in a minute” and knows that a little patience is all she needs.
  • She absolutely loves to draw. She understands that she must draw on the paper, not the table or the carpet. She draws scribbles, circles, round-and-rounds and sometimes she will draw something, point to it and then say “Apple!” or “Duck!” (You’d have to be an expert to tell otherwise.) She also points to blank spaces on the paper and says “Mummy, pear!” when she wants me to draw, say, a pear.
  • Sometimes she says “Mummy, name!” and I have to “draw” her name, or mine, or somebody else’s (“Mummy, Robin name!”). She points to the letter “O” and says “circle” and tries to draw one. She sometimes calls it “O” and the other day she was looking at a letter “S” in her book and said “sssssss!” (although in fairness I think it was because the shape reminded her of a snake).

She is also learning to jump, which is just the sweetest thing ever. She will stand on the bottom stair, or on her step, or a kerb and will call “Mummy, jump!” I then have to hold both of her hands and she makes a great show of bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet preparatory to making a great leap – and then carefully steps down one foot at a time. Then she beams at me and says “Yay!! Again! Again!”

I try very hard not to laugh at her but it so comical and adorable that sometimes I can’t help it.