In exactly one month and a few hours Kitty will turn three. I know this because (a) I have very vivid memories of giving birth to her and (b) it says so on her birth certificate, though if you ask her at the moment how old she will be on her next birthday she tends to say “eight!”
We’re working on it but this is after all a small girl who is absolutely adamant that her real name ought to begin with G for Giraffe not F for Frog, and if Mama can’t make that happen (and she firmly believes I can fix it but am choosing not to), her name is Jellyfish. She’ll even do you a little jiggly dance to prove it.
And that sums up in a nutshell, my lovely eldest daughter in the last month of her twos. Utterly wholehearted in everything she does, with shall we say a very clear idea of what she wants and how she’s going to get it. You can’t get anything past her, especially if you’re trying to sneak contraband into the house; she’ll not only notice it coming through the door but take you by the hand and lead you to the hiding place before requesting whatever stickers or chocolate you were trying to keep out of sight!
It’s a funny sort of age, the almost-threes; some times she seems so very grown up and independent, running off to make new friends at the play park, sploshing fearlessly into the paddly pools she approached timidly at the start of the summer, and chatting ten to the dozen as we build Duplo towers while Elma naps, and other times she is still firmly in her babyhood, needing the sanctuary of Mummy’s cuddles to recharge, to help her process everything that’s going on around her and to adjust to the realisation of how relatively little she, or we can actually control.
Only a toddler could lurch from covering you in kisses and “squeezy hugs” to woeful tears and “I’m just not very happy Mummy”, within minutes, all because you didn’t buy any strawberries and cannot, at this instant, produce them from thin air.
She loves her sister, will defend her against all interested parties, “That’s MY Baby Elma”, and willingly brings her toys or shows her how to work them, all the while spiriting away something that actually belongs to Elma that she wants to play with, and as Elma is equally besotted with Kitty I think we’re watching the early stages of what I hope will be a solid friendship.
Three itself is starting to sound really rather ‘proper’ for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, perhaps because it is a firm full stop on the first chapter of her life; a two year old can still be a baby, but I’m not so sure about a three year old. But I’ve got a month to work it out, and, far more importantly, to enjoy every last minute of my eldest as a baby.