It seems like only yesterday that we were walking on the beach on a wintry day, excited and nervous and wondering about her arrival.
Now she is here and she is one and she crawls quickly down the hallway after me, with her hands going slap slap slap on the wooden floor of our new house. She can pull herself to stand with her knees slightly bent and her legs wide apart and wobbling, and she is briefly amused by walking behind her wooden trolley, but she shows little interest in walking independently. Why walk when you can crawl anywhere?
She can say “da” for duck (or any bird), “toh” for bottle and “mo” for more, and do signs for each. Her signs for duck and bottle are hard to distinguish except with context. She says “teddy”, “hi” and “yay”. She says “uh uh” with a cheeky smile as she touches something she knows she is not meant to touch, and she says “nanananana” when she wants us to stop doing something. She has not yet said my name or called L “mama”, but when she reaches up for a cuddle or leans in for a hongi it makes my heart sing.
She loves broccoli, cheese, carrots, peas, yoghurt and weetbix. She loves mandarins so much that sometimes just saying “do you want a mandarin?” is enough to make her giggle with excitement.
Her Impossi Bear is a close companion. When they are reunited in the morning or after an outing she squeaks and chatters with delight. I have fun placing Impossi Bear in unexpected places to be found again.
Windhorse is very sociable and loves meeting up with our friends or her baby friends. For a long time she has seemed very independent and confident and has enjoyed herself with friends when we’ve had the occasional afternoon or evening away, but since we moved house eleven days ago she has needed extra cuddles and attention. She has a couple of stripy onesies that she has started carrying around the house and cuddling. She is still obstinate at times.
She growls “Raaarrrrrrr!” when she sees a toy or a picture of a dog or a lion. She growled at the real lions at the zoo. Come to think of it, sometimes she growls when she sees a sheep or a horse or anything on four legs. When she sees cats she crawls after them squeaking excitedly – which usually scares them away.
She likes reading books almost as much as she enjoys eating them. I love the look of deep concentration she has when exploring a new book or a new object.
When we play pat-a-cake or round and round the garden she bursts into peals of delicious laughter.
I love the snuffles and sighs she makes in her sleep.
I love the way she scrunches up her nose when she smiles.
I love watching her make sense of the world.
It feels like she has been with us forever; I can’t imagine life without her.