The Baby is definitely no longer a baby. Obviously, I’ve known this for a long time, I’ve just been in denial. How can my baby girl be a little girl already? But with an actual baby being around for almost a month now, there is definitely no denying it; she is a Proper Little Girl. And so to that end The Baby can no longer be known as The Baby. To keep with the emerging theme, The Baby will now be known as The Princess. As in The Princess and The Pea…geddit? Plus, she has a demanding and commanding attitude that would naturally complement a tiara and a palace.
The Princess has always had a big personality. It has also always been clear from the time she was merely days old that she would be bright and inquisitive. She was constantly alert, looking around, following voices and noises eager to see who or what was making them, and very disinterested in sleep, as that would mean possibly missing something. Very little has changed, except her command of language and the world around her has developed at an alarming rate, and she can now articulate every little thought and question that pops into her never-resting mind.
We have a running commentary on every little thing that happens every minute of every day, whether it’s what The Princess herself is doing, or what someone else in the house is doing, or what she would like to be doing, or what she was doing yesterday or last week or even a month or more ago (her memory is incredible; she remembers things we told her at Easter, while I struggle to remember what day it is). More often than not, though, The Princess is asking questions. She wants to know everything, she wants answers and explanations and reassurance, and so she asks and asks and asks. I can’t always provide answers. One day last week, while looking at a sleepsuit adorned with caterpillars, ladybirds and butterflies which was being beautifully modelled by The Pea, she asked me where the caterpillar’s body had gone. She was referring to a particular caterpillar who had the misfortune of inhabiting a shoulder seam, rendering him disembodied. I tried to explain it was a seam, which elicited a demanding reply of “See the seam!” This got me into an attempted conversation about the printing of material, cutting patterns and stitching clothes…The Princess switched off and reverted to the original question of “Where’s the caterpillar’s body? Where’s the seam?” How do you explain to a not-even-two-year-old about such things, when they are asking genuine questions and have a natural curiosity, but have limited concepts and experiences, and more importantly, attention spans? I resorted to the classic parenting technique of Distraction. I find this works quite well with questions that are unanswerable.
Some of The Princess’s other favourite questions at the moment include:
“What’s that noise?” (Usually asked when either The Boyfriend or I are walking up or down the stairs, and she knows exactly what the noise is).
“Who ‘boughted’ it?” And “Who made it?” (Asked of any toy / item of clothing / object in the house).
“What’s Daddy doing?” Or even better, “What’s Daddy trying to do?” (I’m often asking myself the same question).
“What’s inside the grape / banana / (whatever she is attempting to avoid eating)?”
“Where’s Little Pea?” (Asked while looking directly at Little Pea).
“Where’s the choice? See it!” (When told that it’s her choice as to whether she eats her lunch nicely without throwing it on the floor / at me, and we then go out to do something fun, or she doesn’t eat it and we stay in all afternoon. It becomes difficult to keep a straight face at this point).
“What’s The Princess doing?” (Usually something she shouldn’t be).
And my favourite question this week:
“Ay, green, where do you think you’re going?” (As said to a green block as it floated past her in the bath, before being snatched up and flung to the other end of the bath).
She turns two in just over a month. I fear the questions will only get more complex, and I’m noticing a very stark lack of “Why?” so far….