Dear Lottie Bella: Two and a half years old

Dear Lottie Bella, I said when you turned two that I’d start to write to you every six months. And here we are already at two and a half years old. When the baby days have passed (although you’ll always be my baby, don’t forget!), the development and changes slow down. So a monthly letter wouldn’t see huge changes each time.

Last night I started to pull together some photos of the last six months, though, and I was staggered at how much you’ve grown and changed . It bought a bit of a lump to my throat as I hadn’t really realised that your puppy fat is starting to disappear, your limbs stretching longer and slimmer, your eyes showing a depth of knowledge and understanding of your world, you hair longer. You’re turning into a little girl, rather than a  toddler and it all seems to be passing so fast.

I know I finished your last update harping on about how proud I am of you, but that pride remains. And it grows as I watch you tackle new situations, face fresh challenges and generally continue to be the most gorgeous, sunny little girl.

PRESCHOOL

The biggest change since you turned two is that you started preschool. At the moment you go two mornings a week and you love it. It took a week or two for you to get used to me leaving you, but it was a big change for you as you’d been with me all your life. But you soon got used to it and now you walk in smiling at everyone. You’ve made friends, got used to the routine in there, learnt new things, thrown yourself into playing, dancing and learning. And I’m so proud of how you have adapted to it. Next term you will start to go an extra morning each week and I think you’ll love it.

SPEECH

You’re not yet talking, but we’ve been learning Makaton at preschool and home and during your speech and language therapy, and you’re starting to build up quite a good ‘vocabulary’. Your understanding of what others are saying is really good and you desperately want to communicate, so the signing is helping you to express yourself. You love it when you learn a new sign and we understand a bit more what you want to say.

You are really trying to say words and have mastered certain sounds. Recently, as well as mama and dada, you’ve been saying baba (your name for Frankie), Bob (your teddy bear), momo (your cuddly monkey), good girl, cake , tiger, bubble and bye bye, so you’ve learnt lots in the last few weeks.

We’ve had a block of speech and language therapy with a lovely lady, Emily, as we would have hoped to be hearing your lovely voice more by two and a half. You really enjoy the sessions and will have more soon. You could not focus and try harder during those appointments and when you learn new words or sounds or signs, my heart swells with pride.It’s so lovely to hear your little voice It’s obviously very difficult for you to do, but you never give up trying and I’m in awe of you for that.

GOOD GIRL

One of the best things about your learning, is that you just love being good, so you’re really eager to please us and for us to tell you that you’re a good girl and clap you. Even Frankie joins in with the applause when you’ve learnt something new and the pride on your face is the cutest thing ever.

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

You’ve also started to learn to feed yourself a bit better. Getting a bit braver with finger foods and getting a bit messy and really improving with using cutlery. You’ve well and truly moved on from the baby stage of trying all foods and at two and a half you moved into typical toddler eating. You have a few meals that you like, and you won’t eat anything else. Fruit and veg are a no-no, so I have to make pasta sauces etc with them in to get the goodness you need into you. I try not to stress too much about it as it will all change again before long, I’m sure.

SISTERS

Frankie is now up and walking and playing and if I’m honest, I think she can be quite annoying for you at times. She’s a baby, so she wants to explore her world and that means everything you have, she wants. It’s a big change for you as for so long, your toys and things were yours. You didn’t have to share, or have someone nipping at your ankles all the time. But at just two and a half, you deal so well with her. I can see that she frustrates you at times, but you are always gentle with her. You push her away, but never in a nasty way. You cry when she steals your favourite toys, but you never hit her or lash out or snatch things back. Sometimes I think you need to toughen up a bit, but other times, I want you to stay the gentle, sweet little girl you are forever.

The two of you are really starting to play together now though, which is lovely to see. You and her love to chase each other around the house growling and playing tigers. It’s so cute to watch. You will often hold her hand and even occasionally kiss her and she just adores it when you pay her any attention at all.

SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

Social situations were not your forte when you were tiny. New people scared you. Big groups intimidated you. And you’d far rather spend all your time with me and daddy. But that couldn’t be further from the truth now. I think preschool plays a big part in this, but you are the belle of the ball in group situations now. At parties, you love to dance, to meet other people, to play with new friends. I just adore watching you socialise and grow in confidence. You’re now the one I have to keep an eye on in case you disappear off, rather than the one I’m trying to peel off my leg.

PLAY

The way you play is really changing recently. You have a new found love for cuddly toys, particularly an enormous monkey and your teddy bear. And you will feed then, give them drinks, brush their hair and teeth and put them on the potty. You’ll also help me with the cleaning and getting meals ready, etc. You sign help to me and I know you want to get involved. You’re also getting much braver and will climb and play at the park more independently.

HOLIDAY

We went to Center Parcs in September and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen you happier. You were free to explore and play and roam around in the countryside and you just adored it.

APPOINTMENTS

We’ve had lots of appointments recently with new people and doctors and specialists and you’ve managed so well. You sit for a while, wide eyed and cautious, but quickly grow in confidence. You had some blood tests a few weeks back and I was dreading it, but Bob the Bear came along. He had the special cream and cling film to numb his arms and had his blood taken too and after you’d watched him, you took it all in your stride.

There’s too much that you love in life to list now, so I thought I’d put a little montage of photos together from two to two and a half, which show the sweet, funny, quirky, gorgeous little girl that you are.

You’re an incredibly special little girl Lottie. You capture the hearts of everyone around you, with your gentle, kind soul, and your gorgeous sense of humour. Your giggle would make fortunes if we could bottle it and sell it. Every single day, you make your mummy proud. Even at just two and a half, you tackle life with such enthusiasm and grit and we could all do well to take a leaf from your book.

I adore you, but could you slow down with the whole growing up thing a bit please??

All my love

Mama xxx

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