Dear Lottie Bella
Three. It sounds so much older than two. Three years old is a little girl, no longer a baby or even a toddler, but a fully fledged child. And if I’m honest I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for that. But what a gorgeous little girl you are growing into darling.
I did my usual sob on the eve of your birthday. Time passes so quickly, and I just want to hold onto every last minute of you being little, but also of watching you grow up. It’s bittersweet and every parent will understand that feeling.
You’ve had a lovely birthday. In fact, you’ve sort of had three days of celebrations already and there’s another to come on Sunday when we go to the zoo to see real life chimps. I cannot wait to see your face. We had a family day with cake and presents and fun, but it had to be the day before your real birthday, as daddy had to work on the big day. So we then went to soft play on the real day with our lovely friends (it poured with rain, totally unlike the day your were born). And today we have been to a teddy bear’s picnic in the woods with lots more of your friends. What a lucky girl you’ve been with so much love and fun.
The last six months since I wrote to you have seen such a huge leap in your development. You are now signing so much more and trying so hard to talk. You have a few words and are saying so many more sounds. I love to see your delight when you manage to make the sound you’re trying to make or when you learn a new sign. You’ve also just started to ask for things with Makaton, which will help so much as I hate to think you can’t express what you want sometimes.
You have really developed some strong friendships now, especially with Sam, who says you are his best friend, and you nod very enthusiastically and sign yes over and over when I ask if he is your best friend. There are also some other close bonds with Edie, Verity, Alexa, Bea, Alessia, and I’m sure many more, some that I don’t know about because you can’t tell me who you play with at preschool. It’s so lovely that despite your lack of speech, your personality obviously shines through, as you seem to be well liked and love to play with your friends.
Your bond with Frankie is really growing now and you really look after her and play so nicely with her. You are also forming strong relationships with lots of family members and often ask for nanny and gangad when we get in the car.
We went to Center Parcs again since I last wrote to you and you had a whale of a time. It was nice for you to have Frankie walking, so you had a little play mate. You just love being out and about and exploring there, it’s lovely to see you so free and happy.
Your sleep continues to be amazing – you still haven’t dropped your afternoon nap and 99 per cent of the time, you sleep through the night, even when Frankie is crying next door. Eating is a bit more of a challenge. Your menu is quite limited, but when you do like something (mainly pasta, grapes and gingerbread men), you eat really well.
Recently you’ve been loving:
Daddy recently started taking you to swimming lessons on a Sunday morning. Despite being a bit unsure of it all at first, you really quickly got stuck in and now you cry when we get you out of the pool at the end. You absolutely love it.
Monkey the toy is your absolute favourite. If monkey can do it, you can do. He has convinced you to have your hair dried, eat new things, wave, so many things. You also love monkeys in general, hence the birthday cake.
Come rain or shine, you adore being outside. You’d play out all day long if you could. You often ask to go out now, saying ‘gar gar’ for garden.
You love to dance. The louder the music, the better. And you don’t care where you are, you’ll dance anywhere.
You love all animals and just adore going to the farm. You make lots of animal sounds now too, and know nearly all the makaton signs.
You love that dog of yours. Anywhere he is, you’re not far away, and as soon as we get in the car to go home, you start asking for ‘woo woo’.
Every day you go and fetch your watering can and you love to see how all the plants have grown. You’ve grown some courgettes and beetroot from seed and you grew a sunflower at preschool. You’re so proud of them.
Preschool and the school run
I’m not sure which you love best, actually going to preschool, or the journey home with your Sam. The two of you hold hands, giggle, play. It’s one of the highlights of my day, just watching you enjoy your time together.
Lottie it’s difficult to put into words what a delight you are to have around. You’re always ready with a smile when someone talks to you or even looks in your direction. You’re sweet and gentle, but you have a wicked sense of humour. It sounds a bit sickly, but you genuinely light up my heart every morning when I see you. Your little personality is really developing now, and you’re getting cheeky and sometimes tell me no, but it’s always with a cheeky little smile.
The way you fight against your difficulties and continue to try despite how hard things can be for you is a true testament of your character. Sure you get frustrated sometimes, but you never get angry. You just keep trying until you get there. You tackle life with dignity, grace and with a smile. I could not be more proud of you if I tried. I will be with you, holding your hand and cheering you on for every single step of your life, I promise you that. Keep going little girl, you’re doing amazingly well. Don’t ever ever change, you’re perfect, just as you are.
All my love forever