Dear Two-Year-Old Alexandra

    Happy birthday lovely girl x

To Alexandra, our two year old.

Wow. Where do I even start? There’s so much I could say about you and so many ways I could describe you. Firstly, you are fierce. You definitely have your own opinions, even at your young age, and woe betide anyone who’d like to do something which differs from your plan. Some would call it stubborn, some would call it naughty, but you are fierce to me. I hope you always stick up for yourself and your feelings, wants and preferences as much as you do now. I’d hate for you to be a person who gets trampled on in life. But if you carry on shouting up as loudly as you do now then we definitely won’t have that problem! Hopefully in a few years I’ll be looking at you thinking ‘yes, we’ve cracked the whole caring-what-other-people-might-want malarkey’ but I think that’s a bit advanced for a two year old, even one as brilliant as you.

You are funny. From a very young age you’ve loved playing to an audience and making people laugh or delight in your funny little ways. Something you do makes me chuckle every day as well as the things you say.

While you’re not an overly affectionate child and only tend to give kisses and hugs on your terms, it’s plain to see you adore your friends and family. Your face lights up when you see certain people like your daddy, your cousin Zachary and the children and staff at nursery. But of course many of your smiles are reserved for your baby brother.

Throughout the pregnancy with Max, we wondered how you’d be with a new sibling. Would you find him boring? Would you be jealous? Would you feel put out when we brought the baby home? As it turns out, we didn’t really have any need to worry. You have taken to being a big sister as wonderfully as we could have expected given you were a few days shy of being 19 months old when Max entered the world (of course there have been times we’ve had to stop you enthusiastically squashing him or sharing your food with him!).

It was a confusing time for you as suddenly mommy was away for three weeks and you kept being taken to a new place and viewing this tiny little thing with wires and tubes everywhere. Then ‘Diddy’ as you’ve nicknamed him came home with us and then we had another week of disruption before we finally got to be together again. Just as you did when you were a newborn yourself, you coped beautifully with the to-ing and fro-ing. You quickly became the person who Max looked for as soon as he could hear your voice nearby. The person who could make him smile the most and laugh the loudest. The person who he utterly adores. You share your toys with him, show him pictures from your books and copy us – helping to feed, burp and settle him. The bond between you is extraordinary already and I can’t wait to see your sibling relationship progress.

As with all toddlers, you have your moments where you can be utterly infuriating and sometimes I wish you hadn’t learned the word mom (mom, mom, mom, mom, repeat 50 times!) but every night I look into your room before I go to bed and I marvel that you’re ours, that we get to be your parents and go on this crazy journey with you. That we get to watch you grow and learn and play and become everything you will become in time.

Our journey at the start was a tough one, for both of us, and you were denied that bonding time with me that you totally deserved. But I hope now the times we spend together, the afternoons in the park, the walks around our neighbourhood, the colouring sessions and the bathtime games have all helped us to get over that rocky start.

I hope you always have determination in your eyes, a fire in your belly and all of the laughter and love you deserve. My first born, my daughter, my cheeky beeky, my little squish.

Alexandra, you are my favourite girl in the world.

Love momma X

Early Terrible Twos

Pretending to be a nice girl!

Pretending to be a nice girl!

The tantrums have hit our house. They’ve been lingering under the surface for a while now but we can’t deny it any longer. We’ve developed from a little bit of whinging when things don’t go her way to full on, throwing herself to the ground, sobbing and whaling.

She’s 14 months, how did this happen already? I was all set to get to her ‘terrible twos’ birthday next August before I had to endure sympathetic looks off strangers as my usually golden girl screams in my face. I’d hoped we’d get somewhere near the ‘being able to reason with Alex’ phase before this all started. Clearly I was totally naïve. I’m now expecting a potential brief period of sweetness and light at some point before she goes to school followed by a long descent into the stroppy teenage years before she emerges at some point in 2035 as a nice grown up human being you can actually have a conversation with.

Don’t get me wrong, for most of the day she’s an absolute delight and I couldn’t ask for a better child but now when she gets tired it’s like dealing with a completely different child. Sometimes it’s because she’s hungry or because you’ve asked her not to do something she was intent on doing. Other times I can’t even figure out what she’s so worked up about.

I’m hoping the early onset tantrums means we’ll be done with them quicker but a large part of me thinks that’s entirely unrealistic and it’s more probable that they’re here to stay for quite a while.

Wish me luck!

Harriet and Alexandra x