Life lately

Life lately has been full on, and the last couple of weeks have been quite tough for various reasons. Still, things are calmer now, Autumn is in full swing (my favourite season), and we’re starting to find our rhythm again. 

As ever, we still try and go outside as much as possible, and look at the wildlife and feel the weather. We recently loved the London Wetlands Centre – such a lovely place to go with young children. Frida loved watching the otters being fed, and spotting the ducks, geese, moorhens, coots, robins, magpies, tits… For a nature loving toddler it was a great hit! 

We are still sticking to the rule that there’s no bad weather, just unsuitable clothes. 

In terms of gross motor skills, Frida is definitely entering a climbing into / onto phase. She really loves climbing into or standing in things, like boxes (the smaller the better) or pulling out her books from her book stand then climbing into it. I’m also trying to discourage her from climbing on some big trunks we have and attempting to redirect her climbing efforts elsewhere! She tries to run and loves to shout “run run run” as she does so. 

She is also really, really into picking up quite heavy things and trying to move them, like her chairs or her scooter or bits of furniture. This is real maximum effort gross motor, and it’s obviously very satisfying for her. 

We’ve made a few little changes around the home. We have taken the infant seat off Frida’s Tripp Trapp chair, which means she can now climb up and down independently. She’s also started eating more food, though she shows no signs of wanting to cut back on breastmilk any time soon! She currently likes eating fish,  cheese, tomatoes (which she calls “good mato” for some reason), berries, pesto pasta, spinach, beans, lentil soup, bananas, smoothies, avocado (“ayo-dado”), yoghurt… She does not like curry. At all. 

We have also finally furnished Frida’s bedroom – I’ll share a post with details soon – and have turned the minuscule box-room playroom into a little spare room / reading room.

We are starting to see more independent play. She cooks us noodles and soup and lemon water and serves us “hot tea”. Her babies and teddies are always being put in her “sling” (or just shoved down her top). Her animals breastfeed from each other. 

She is still enjoying some of her shelf work such as knobbed puzzles and her stacking toy, as well as her art shelves, but at the moment her focus is clearly on language acquisition and movement. 

She is enjoying songs and games more and more too. Her favourite is “Hop little bunnies” (which she refers to as “nearly noon”) and she will often make her toys act it out, or lies down on the floor / street / in the playground herself and demands for us to sing it. Sometimes we all have to lie down too. 

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that we have added to our family, and recently adopted a little ginger kitten called Albus. He is lovely, but it’s been quite exhausting managing Frida and him together! She is besotted but wants to show her affection by picking him up, or shoving things she wants to “show Albus!” in his face. I often turn by back to hear her shouting “Albus run away!” and wonder what trauma she’s inflicted on him to make him run off. 

He is very needy and cuddly and likes to follow us around (he’s still very small) and he cries when we go to bed which I feel monstrous about. I’m also covered in scratches all over my chest which happens to be his favourite place to hang out (why did no one tell me how much kitten scratches itch! Argh). Still I think it’ll definitely be worth it and it should get easier soon!

The biggest thing still for us at the moment is that Frida has been speaking more and more, and putting longer sentences together. This is definitely her “thing” that she loves doing – you can see the delight on her face when she cracks a new word, and she certainly practices a lot.

It is such a joy having conversations with her, getting a window into what’s going on in her beautiful mind. She has the most amazing memory, and will pick up conversations which were started a day or two before, or will remember a trip or outing or activity. It’s so fascinating getting an insight into what is important for her. I love listening to her first thing in the morning, or in the middle of the night.

It would be easy to forget some of what she says, so here are some things for posterity that I never want to forget!

  • She has started to refer to herself as Frida (“di-da”). I love this so much.
  • Her Frida Kahlo doll is called “didi-dado”. She recently came out with “didi-dado in daddy’s pocket”  which I thought was an impressive tongue twister.
  • She loves comparing “big” and “little” things (stones in particular), going “under” things (“under mummy!”, “blueberry under Mummy’s red chair!”), pointing out “lady” and “man”, telling me things are “too hot” or “cold brrrrr”, and loves to “open” and “close” or “shut”. I find it so fascinating watching the categories of the world start to make sense for her.
  • I love it when she asks for cuddles “duddle”, or kisses (specifying if she wants a “big daddy diss” or a “little baby diss”). She’s such a loving little girl. She will sometimes tell us, unprompted, “luh du” (love you). Or, recently, “luh du home”. So sweet. 
  • She’s started using the word nice a lot. Recently when asked if she wanted to get out of bed she said “no, nice here”. She also says “that’s nice”, and “nice time”. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that she’s happy. 
  • She still doesn’t pronounce “w” very well. Windy is “lindy!” (said with much joy), window “lindo”, water is “ladda”, wee is “lee”…
  • She is very fixated on the concept of snatching. If you try to remove something from her she furiously says “natch!!! NATCH!” to you. She has a point. We often have to apologise. 
  • Since getting Albus she is very into the idea of picking animals up (insert harassed looking emoticon here). When we are out “Pick up wood pigeon! Frida pick up animals! Pick up ducks! DADDY, pick up duck! Pick up squirrel!” However when we offer her a ladybird or an ant or some other insect she could pick up, or an animal actually comes close to her, we get a horrified “Di-da hand! No no no no no! Up! Mummy, up!”
  • She knows the names of so many animals. I am certain she knows more than my husband. She will sit with her favourite animal book naming them all: “Beetle. Deer. Blackbird. Magpie. Other beetle. Crow. Green beetle. Mole. DON’T KNOW! *points and looks at me expectantly*” “That’s a beaver Frida”. *thinks about it for a moment then carries on* “Butterfly. Other butterfly – TWO BUTTERFLIES! Squirrel. Robin. Owl. Fox. DON’T KNOW!”
  • Speaking of “don’t know”, when Albus hides she says “Albus hiding! Don’t know Albus is. Albus? OH ALBUS?!!” It melts my heart a little bit.
  • She has cracked the plural and the possessive. She’s starting to recognise a few letters, and uses “one”, “two”, “many”, and “many mant many” to describe quantities. 
  • I love how much information she soaks up; you tell her something once (like the word “mint”) and then the next day she uses it when talking to you. Her newest word is “snug”. This morning she asked me to “fix it” and told me “not yet”. 
  • She is very fond of big words which she can’t say very well. Her current favourites are transparent (“tum-pun-dent!”), Paddington (“bun-dun-dun”) and flamingo (“da-min-do!”).
  • She really copies our ways, parroting back to us “oh I SEE!” and “oh Frida!” She has also picked up on how I call my husband if I’m in another room, and if I ask her to call daddy she calls “Saaaaaaaaaaam”. I could listen to her say “Oh dear me”, “Oh gosh”, and “Oh god” all day long (that last one I can thank my husband for). When she does something she knows she shouldn’t she makes my noise of disapproval “ah ah ah ah ahhh!”. It is interesting and telling watching your traits being copied.
  •  When she hurts herself she says “Hurt. Red cheek / head / arm.” after she grazed her knee and saw it turn red. She asks us to “kiss better”. We always agree.
  • She is absolutely obsessed with things being “not” other things. Cat’s are “Not baba’s black mog” (baba is her grandmother on my side). Her food is “Not daddy’s food… not mummy’s food”. Other houses are “Not di-da home”. My husband’s wellies are “Not bun-dun-dun’s boots!”. She loves it when you ask her an obviously wrong question and she can reply “Noooo!”.
  • She is also very into “other” at the moment. When you give her something she likes she wants it in her “other hand” too. “Other side mummy booboo” is a phrase I hear a LOT.
  • I love how she says nearly “neeeeny”, or tells us “one minute”. 
  • There’s nothing better than the triumphant sound of “I did it!” 

I’m sure I’ve missed out a lot of things. I’m just finding this stage in her development absolutely captivating and I must be better at recording the things which make us smile. 

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