Betty is three today! Although the last year has passed by in a flash, she has changed and grown-up quite unbelievably. This time last year all Betty could (or would) say was ‘Da. Dadada. Daaaaa.’ etc. And although her little character was emerging and she was fully capable of making herself understood, she still very much had a baby-ness about her.
A year on, she now, rather scarily, often demonstrates teenager tendencies, like: banging on the bathroom door if someone is in there and shouting ‘GET OUT, I need a wee!’, and burying her head under the duvet when I am trying to get her out of bed in the mornings and mumbling ‘Noooo I need more sleep, go away’, or answering a question with ‘Yeah’ in such a way that you feel that all that’s missing is the gum.
A year ago it used to terrify me taking Betty to the shops with her on foot, but now she is a great little shopping companion. She will bring her little red shopping basket and carry it on her arm, as I do, and help me look for items in the shop and make (sometimes helpful) suggestions about what we should buy. Although at times it is rather nerve-racking when I turn round and she is wielding a bottle of wine in my direction and bellowing ‘YOUR WINE MUMMY!’ I grab the bottle, and as long as it is under a fiver and has a screw top, I put it in my basket and go with her choice.
Despite my best efforts in the last three years of dressing Betty in neutral colours and dungarees, she has become a real girlie girl. Her favourite colour is pink, and she loves to look pretty in dresses and hairclips. She always notices and comments if I am wearing a new or different item of clothing, and although she doesn’t say anything I can see the look of distaste on her little face when I come downstairs donning tracksuit bottoms and maternity top. She almost fell off her chair (she was flicking through Heat magazine at the time) when she saw me in a dress the other day.
She has well and truly left toddlerdom behind her. In the last year she has gained incredible negotiating and mediating skills - if I am giving Tom a hard time about not taking the recycling out, or leaving teabags in the sink, Betty immediately steps in and says: ‘Say sorry to Daddy, Mummy, say sorry now’; and she has become a real comedian (I particularly love her impressions of Tom).
Happy birthday, my darling, gorgeous girl. Enjoy your much anticipated special day with all your balloons, and your requested big pink heart birthday cake, and your presents, and your smoked salmon breakfast in bed…