Two years old: Memory

Reindeer continually surprises us with his memory.

A few months ago we noticed that he was starting to recite passages of dialogue from his favourite stories.

Now, he will read the whole of several of his favourite stories at random points during the day. Quite often I’ll hear ‘A mouse took a stroll…’ as he starts his favourite – The Gruffalo.

Other favourites include The Gruffalo’s Child, The Bear and The Piano and Ten Wishing Stars.

He also recites passages of dialogue from Hey Duggee or Peter Rabbit – the two tv shows he occasionally watches.

A few weeks ago he began to act out some of these scenes with his cars and will substitute character names for his car names.

At bath time he will mimic the frog from Room on the Broom as he washes.

He’s started to sing, too, even though he can be quite forceful about me only singing at certain times. Since his sister was born I’ve been singing more than usual – he has lots of songs he requests – but the one which he’ll now sing solo and unpromoted is I Can Sing A Rainbow. Listening to Reindeer practice modulating his pitch and tone is fascinating, as well as heating him get to grips with timing and phrasing.

It’s fascinating to watch this staged of development and I’m astounded by how much he retains.

Although the recall is there, his understanding of context is still catching up. He is yet to get to grips with a lot of the emotional content/implication. That said, his sense of humour is developing apace.

Despite being so familiar with the text and dialogue, he isn’t yet at the point where he can/will answer questions on what he’s saying. This will come with time, I suspect.

Until then, I’m grateful that Julia Donaldson has written so many good books – for a book lover like myself it’s a real treat to share a second literary childhood with my own children.

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Two years old: eight busy months

In the weeks before his second birthday, Reindeer became a big brother.

That was a somewhat unbelievable eight months ago and I just can’t figure out how the time has gone so quickly. I’m running on an average of 3 hours of broken sleep each night so you’d think it’d go slowly since I’m experiencing much more of each day and night!

Reindeer found the initial adjustment to having a baby sister quite tough. She was a planned c-section so I couldn’t lift him as normal for a month. Luckily, he was happy to try all the new climbing adjustments for his high chair/bath access/car and so treated that side of things as an adventure.

As he is still breastfeeding, the first couple of weeks I was often tandem feeding baby and toddler so that Reindeer wouldn’t feel jealous. This worked well and it didn’t take long before he decided he’d rather wait until she’d finished her milk before having his. As soon as she was finished he took to saying “Daddy, take baby, want milk”!

Bed times in particular were hard work though, as he would sometimes have to wait for his sister to settle – never popular. We have a good routine now though which allows me time with each of them as well as some relaxed reading time with Reindeer, which he loves.

It has been any exhausting journey to this point, but it is so wonderful to see them together. Reindeer has accepted his sister far faster than I’d imagined. He will sit next to her when playing, they tussle over toys. In the bath he will wash her hair and make her laugh. In turn, he is her favourite person ever. She will look for him everywhere and has a huge smile just for him.

It’s exhausting. But worth it.