Dear Lottie Bella: 18 months-old

Dear Lottie Bella

Gorgeous girl, you’ve been with us for a year and a half already. In lots of ways that has shot past, but in others, I can’t imagine our lives without you in them now. As always, there have been lots of changes and developments in you this last two months and you’re growing up so fast, I can barely keep up at times.

I think the main change recently has been just how much you are communicating and interacting with others. You’re getting much braver around strangers or people you don’t know too well and within minutes, you’ll have everyone you meet playing with you. You are quite a charmer and everyone falls in love with you very quickly, enabling you to get them to do exactly what you want them to (namely holding your hand so that you can walk and walk and walk at the moment.)

You’re also so much more mobile. You’re still not quite ‘properly’ walking yet, although you are fully capable of walking across a room unaided and are doing it more and more, you would never dream of walking outside or in unfamiliar territory. It’s a confidence thing with you and when you are good and ready, you’ll just wander off, I’m sure. There’s no rush, you’ve got the rest of your life to wander. If you have a willing victim (usually daddy) though, you will walk all day long, it’s your absolute favourite thing to do. You’re a champion crawler too and I just can’t keep up if you’re off somewhere.

Despite lacking in confidence with some things, you’re no wallflower and I never fail to be amazed at your adaptability and how well you cope with new situations. The last few months you’ve had some playdates with your auntie, uncle and cousin to get you ready for when I go into hospital to have your baby brother or sister. When we leave, you don’t cry, you don’t panic, you just carry on, calmly and quietly and enjoy whatever you’re doing. You’ve also moved into your new room, which is nearly finished and despite me worrying endlessly about unsettling you, you did not bat an eyelid. We put you in your cot, you had a look around and went straight to sleep and have been fine in there ever since.

In fact, you always sleep amazingly well. Recently you’ve been having a growth spurt have slept for 14 hours straight at night, waking starving hungry at 10am two mornings – I couldn’t believe it! You’ve also been throwing in the odd four-hour afternoon nap every now and then, and then going straight to sleep that night with no fussing or fighting. You take after mummy with that love of sleep – lets hope the new baby is the same.

You also eat really well and very rarely turn up your nose at anything we offer you. You’re not a fan of finger foods yet, and sandwiches are often chucked on the floor, but there’s no rush for that either. You’re beginning to spoon feed yourself now and will happily shovel yoghurt into your own mouth. You have more teeth and there are yet more close to the surface, but you never really fuss about those cutting either.

If you haven’t guessed yet – you’re the dream child to parent! Don’t get me wrong, you can throw a tantrum adn drop your lip with the best of them and I think there is a proper little temper in you somewhere, but on the whole you are content and happy and easy and a joy to be around. And you make me laugh on a daily basis!

This month you are loving:

Bath time – As you were late sitting unaided, until recently, you had a little support in the bath, so you always sat quietly and played with toys in the bath. We were a little hesitant to put you in the bath ‘freestyle’ as you seemed so happy in there, but oh my goodness, when we took the seat away, bath time became a whole new playground for you. You kick and splash and throw yourself around and squeal with joy, while I quietly have palpitations and daddy tries to stop you drowning yourself – you absolutely adore the bath and cry every time you are lifted out.

Walking – As I said, if you have someone’s hand or a walker, you would walk all day.

Being outside – It doesn’t matter if it’s the park, the garden, the street, if it’s cold, warm, or raining, you just adore getting out and about and exploring.

Reading – a few weeks ago you really discovered books. You’ve always enjoyed them, but now you will go straight to the bookshelf and bring book after book for us to read to you. You love turning the pages, lifting flaps and listening to stories.

Your new room – Your room is rainbow themed and has a beanbag sofa in the reading corner and I think if you could, you’d spend all day playing in there.

Cuddles – You have started to really snuggle in and have a proper cuddle with daddy and I now and I just love it.

Climbing – If you’re not walking, you’ll be clinbing – you adore the climbing frame at the park and lets just say there are stairgates top and bottom in our house now. And what’s a five-point harness designed for if not to escape from and stand up in your highchair?!

Playing – Your attention span is much longer now and you will happily play a game for 15-20 minutes before you get bored. Your favourites are the train set and your Mega Bloks.

I am just loving seeing the world through your eyes – every day is an adventure, everything you see is a wonder and everything you can get your hands on needs to be explored in great detail. You are an absolute delight to have around and despite you being part of the family furniture now, we still can’t wait to see you every morning and spend time with you.

By the time I write to you again, Lottie, you are going to be a big sister. Something I’m fairly sure you are going to take totally in your stride and you will be entirely unphased by. I am so excited to see you grow and blossom in that role and to see you build a whole new and wonderful relationship with your little brother or sister. There’s a part of me though, that also feels a little sad. For 18 months now, our days have just been you and I most of the time with daddy joining us at each end of the day. Some of those days have been long, tiring and testing, but do you know something – I would not change a single minute of them. The last year and a half have been so special and I will never forget our time as partners in crime, enjoying each other’s company, playing and having fun. I have adored getting to know you and watching you grow and develop into the most beautiful little girl I have ever known.

But never worry that even an ounce of that love and time will disappear because a new baby comes. My love will multiply, even if my time can’t and I will continue to adore you, to be excited to see you every morning and to watch you grow and develop by my side. Our dynamic is about to change hugely, but my love for you never, ever, will.

All my love

Mama xxx

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