Firstly, apologies for the new font and weird format of the blog lately. I've been typing quickly on my iPad in Notes and it's not so easy to format it. At least it's still legible!
What I've been thinking about lately is whether or not our daughter is "just a normal toddler". Some people say that to us and it got me pondering. I mean...is she? Well on the face of it she's a well behaved little cutie pie who loves people and is incredibly charming and engaging, but then on the other hand she has experienced more losses in her 20 months than I've experienced in my 29 years. Is it surprising that her concept of "gone!" as she so often says with a forlorn look on her face is rather different to the gone which other toddlers understand? We've been trying very hard to manage hellos and goodbyes. So and so is coming today, she is mummy's friend....so and so is going now, let's say goodbye and wave them off. At nap time we say goodbye to all the things in her room and "see you after my nap!" Is it really surprising that she needs reassurance? One day the lady she called Mummy disappeared in floods of tears (probably) and a new Mummy appeared, then all the people she had ever known suddenly disappeared too and she was living in a totally different house and having to get to know a completely new set of people. If she's managing to behave like a normal toddler it's a bloody miracle! It's amazing! It's unbelievably unlikely that it could ever be that way and yet it is. She is happy. She throws her head back and laughs with such vigour and enthusiasm that tears pop out of her eyes. She chuckles so hard sometimes it makes her cough! She looks in the mirror and grins at her reflection. She is proud of her room, proud to take ownership, proud of having her name on the wall above her cot! This little girl has been through more than I ever will, and yet here she is, and here she smiles and here she laughs and most days we just get on with loving and enjoying her but when you stop and think about how absolutely incredible and amazing this little girl is you can't help but be blown away by it all.
We don't know if it's us, or the work her foster carers did, or just the fact that she is a resilient little sausage, but we will try not to forget that our daughter is not "just like any other toddler", and if she seems that way, it's because of how incredible she is! The fact that she seems ordinary with all she has been through just makes her all the more extraordinary. I love her so much! I love it when she says "Mummy!" I don't care if she's whining it or shouting it or gleefully smiling at me as she says it, I'm her Mummy! She has a Mummy and a Mama who love her more than they ever realised they would. A Mummy and Mama who lie in bed listening to her breathing and snuffling and talking to herself and think it's the best sound in the world. I love watching her with other people, I love the way she makes friends with our friends and plays with them and is kind to them. I love the way she tickles and strokes our friend's 3 month old baby. I love the way she insists on walking everywhere, even though it can be super exasperating! I love the way she talks! I just love her!
She had 2 days where she tantrum cried before her naps but she's over that now. That was hard. I wasn't quite sure what to do, but on the second day I was so close to a migraine that I thought I would probably vomit on her head if I didn't get out of there and take some pills and within 2 minutes she was quiet. Funny creatures, toddlers! We had a proper stare off yesterday when I was trying to get her to give me her spoon. She was tapping her hand on the table and looking away to avoid my teacher stare! In the end I had to forcibly remove said spoon. But I love that she is testing boundaries and being a proper toddler. I think it means she is settling really well.
Sorry for a slightly rambling and emotional post. I guess I'm just feeling quite rambling and emotional!
Love to everyone.