When the Girl was 15 weeks old, I had a stab at predicting what her personality was like, wondering how much of a child’s character is visible in the little baby stage. I think it is time now for an update: let me tell you what my girl is like.
Her defining feature is still, like at 15 weeks, her immense capacity for joy. She loves life, loves her special people, loves silliness and songs and things you can cuddle or operate or play peekaboo with. Her default setting is smiles. She gets tired and clingy, but she rarely gets really grumpy – unless her brother tries to hug her or you take her food away.
She is most definitely not gentle or cautious, as I thought at first. She is a kamikaze baby, hurling herself at everything that sparks her interest, heedless of trip hazards. She usually ends up flat on her face and has a new bruise on her forehead daily. Whereas the Boy learned what to do with doorsteps a week or so after he cracked walking, and would navigate Opa and Oma’s doorstep-heavy house with great care, the Girl keeps her eyes fixed on the prize and barrels on through. I have watched her trip over the same step three times (cruel Mummy) before she clocked, the fourth time, that maybe this had happened before and she should pause to investigate what was the matter with this particular route. She is a climber, where her brother was not, and she clambers up onto chairs and stools and boxes in order to get to forbidden objects – something the Boy has only just worked out.
She loves eating and experiments with her mouth. You can put her on the floor, release her and she will locate and target anything small and colourful in the vicinity and start munching on it: floor raisins, bits of play dough, glitters, stickers, you name it. Not everything is food, thankfully: I caught her at the cats’ bowls once, but it turned out she was just tidying up a bit and putting all the little cat biscuits that were strewn on the floor back into their bowls for them. She likes to find her own drinks as well: when I’m running the bath she will lean over and scoop up some water from the tap and slurp it out of her hand. This week – the horror – I found her using the same ‘scoop’ method to sample a little of her brother’s wee from the potty. Yup, that’s a story we’re saving for her wedding day. Suitors, be warned.
She is definitely very sociable and loving. She loves people and is always charming strangers and making new friends on public transport. When we leave the supermarket she says goodbye to the store at large, waving her little hand and saying “Hiiiii!” At the end of the day, she will flag and interrupt reluctant play to come over to me or Daddy or The Fairy Godmother and lean her head against our legs, sucking her fingers and twirling her hair.
Even at night, she prefers company. Around ten or eleven pm she will wake up crying and we all know what time it is: it is cuddle time. Kind offers from others to settle her end in more screaming and tears. It is not until Mummy comes up and hugs her close that her breathing slows and settles, she sucks her fingers and snuggles into the hug. Then I can lower her back into her cot and leave the room, closing the door behind me, and she will sleep on, her hug-tank refuelled for a few more hours.
So that is my Girl, at 14 months: loving, friendly, headlong-hurling-kamikaze toddler covered in bruises, cheeky explorer, devourer of everything, wee-drinker, singer of songs, full to overflowing with the joys of life.