Arlo, you are two and a half years old, and about to become a big brother.
We have two books, ‘Waiting for Baby’ and ‘The New Baby’ , which you have been reading obsessively over the past few months. Another one of your favourite things to do at the moment is to pretend to be a baby yourself. You climb into my arms and say “Awww, baby Arlo”. You demand I sing you songs about “Baby Arlo”. You say “I’m a little baby” at least twice a day. You demand that I address you as a baby, “Mama, say ‘Hello my baby”. I’m starting to think that you understand more about our new baby than I have given you credit for, and that you are milking being ‘the baby’ for now as you know this status will soon change. You can continue to be ‘Baby Arlo’ for as long as you like.
Your bossy streak has certainly been developing. You are full of requests and demands. “Let’s do jumping” as soon as Dada walks through the door. “Mama, get me up”. “Mama, don’t sing that”. Whenever you say “Shall we do *something*?”, we all know that this is a demand disguised as a question.
You’ve started talking to your toys. I like to listen to you chatting to your trains and making them ‘talk’ to each other. But your favourite thing is to hand me one of your toys and demand that I get it to talk to you. Usually it’s two tape measures that you call the ‘snails’ (we found the snails in the toolbox when Dada was having a DIY day). You know it’s really me talking as the snails, but nevertheless you love to recount your whole day to them…”Yes snails, and then we went to the shoe shop and saw the lady and I got new shoes for summer. I climbed up the stairs but I didn’t want to go down the slide”. It’s like a form of therapy for you.
You have recently learnt to ask questions and so every other sentence at the moment is a question. “Are you going upstairs, Mama?” “Are you having a little sleep, Mama?” “Are you going to have your dinner?” “What are we having for dinner?” “Do you want to be my best friend?” “How are you, Mama?” “Did you have a nice day at work, Dada?” “How’s it going, Grandma”.
You have been making Dada and me laugh with your funny little sentences. I walked into the bathroom the other day when Dada was cutting your hair. “How’s it going, guys?” “It’s going very well, fank you, Mama”. You also randomly came out with “Welcome to my house” when we had friends round for lunch. Some of these phrases I know that you pick up from me, but others completely surprise me and I can only think that you are learning them from your TV programs.
You no longer say ”Meep’ instead of Sleep, or “Mease” instead of Please. I started copying the way you pronounce ‘S’ words, which seems to have encouraged you to make an effort to say the words properly. There are still a few baby words in your vocabulary that I really should take the opportunity to note down before I forget them completely (my favourite at the moment is “Choc-lick” for chocolate).
It wasn’t all that long ago that people who weren’t very familiar with your speech and language would struggle to understand you. Now you can chat away to anyone in full, clear sentences. You are able to describe all the events of your days with complete ease, and you especially love having a chat to family on the phone.
We are still talking a lot about the baby. We discuss where the baby will sleep, where the baby will sit in the car (“Next to ME!”), and where the baby will sit at the table (I think you will be a bit disappointed to learn that the baby won’t be able to sit in his or her designated dining room chair straight away!). At the moment, you refuse to believe that the baby will be a boy or a girl and will have a name. To you, a baby is simply a “BABY”.
Well, next month, we will have Baby Arlo, and BABY (plus the Emily train that you have been anticipating for months now).
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