Dolly will be two next month. Her first two years have gone in a flash, and suddenly, it feels like overnight, I find myself not with a Phil Mitchell look-alike baby, but a feisty, independent and very pretty toddler. The term 'toddler' doesn't feel right when describing her, because although she is a little person who toddles, it feels too unsophisticated for her, or slightly patronising.
So, I have a little person who moves purposefully around, busying herself with making us all copious amounts of tea in her toy kitchen, and taking random items for walks in her toy pram; yesteray I noted she had strapped in a toy train, a felt tip lid, a toy sheep and a little metal tin. And her dolls had been placed in her oven.
When she is not making us all laugh out loud with her sheer, and very deliberate funniness (and subsequently laughing at her own jokes), she is either holding forth in an argument with Betty, being naughty and not taking the blindest bit of notice if we tell her off, demanding that my yoga dvd be put on 'I want yoga on' so that she can stick her nappy bottom in the air, or demanding cuddles and showering us with kisses. The kissing thing is always on her terms though - if I dare to give her a kiss without prior authorisation she gets stroppy and says 'No kiss Mummy'.
At not quite two years old yet, the little lady's vocab is huge. Compared (and I know one shouldn't compare but it's often all you have to go on) to Betty who barely uttered a word until past two, she is talking in short sentences. Having said this, this advancement must almost definitely be attributed to Betty actively teaching her to talk - Dolly mainly talks about farts, poos, sweets and chocolate.
Although Dolly mostly refers to me as 'Mummy' she does sometimes decide to call me by my name, perhaps when I am misbehaving. And where I am the one that can normally decipher everything she says, she often looks at me and says 'TART' and I genuinely cannot work out what she is trying to say. She cannot be calling me a tart, can she? Anyway, despite her thinking me a tart, she is a bit of a Mummy's girl and she looks just like I did when I was her age; it is a weird sensation looking at your child and constantly being reminded of hundreds of photos of yourself when you were little. She also has this thing of wandering around with nothing on but her wellies; something I used to do.
I could go on all day long about this gorgeous little specimen of a child, but will finish here for now, by saying the little tyke melts me about 100 times a day, and both Tom and I (and Betty, though she probably wouldn't always admit it) are totally smitten.