So, she runs about in a frenzy of joy when I get home from work, careering into the sofa and bouncing off it into the love seat and back again, like a deranged pinball hitting the buffers. Which is nice.
Once she carried my slippers to me, struggling slightly, with a beaming smile on her face. I crumpled to a heap on the floor with love. I said “That’s all very well, but where’s my pipe?”.
No I didn’t. But I did think about it. As much as she is progressing, I’m not sure we’re onto irony just yet.
It used to be a struggle to understand the grunts and groans; now she says “done a fartie” and laughs her head off.
She is developing new ways to communicate every day, not just new phrases like “Dadda do it” when she wants me to fix something, or “sit over there Dadda” (oddly in a Scottish accent) when she wants to pile her doggies on top of me and restrict the airflow to my lungs, which for some reason also makes her laugh – does this bode ill for the future? – but new facial expressions. “Do The Face”, we say and she tips her head down, furrows her brow, pouts her lips and fixes us with a stare that could freeze fire. Then giggles.
But it’s the singing that really gets me. “Winkle, winkle idel dar, ara under wadda ar” runs strangely aptly in into “Dom Dom a bisons on, ole a pig an away erun” which segues seamlessly into “Eels ona bus gwown an wown”.
I didn’t know eels were allowed on public transport.
So it’s all good. Vocabulary increasing, personality developing, sense of humour – check.
But now at bedtime instead of fifteen minutes of hugging and falling asleep on my shoulder, and a sleepy “I wuvu” as I close the door, it’s “Bed now, Dadda” and not bothering to remove the mum-mum (pacifier) for a goodnight kiss.
I miss the baby bum-shuffling, I miss the brain-frying annoyance of her pressing the foot of the “happy and you know it clap your hands” squeaky-voiced, American-accented Teddy singing repeatedly until I really do want to smash it to bits with a large hammer, I miss having to pick her up to go anywhere, dammit.
But I’m loving the new little girl that’s taken her place, with her sophisticated “Flapper” haircut, her clear unfettered joy as she models a new flowery outfit that Mummy bought, a lovely little girl who thinks farting is funny and takes my hand – that’s a first – to drag me into the garden to show me the scary ant.
I interviewed someone for a job this morning. They were terrible, sadly. But if they had sung me “dom, dom a bisons on”, I would have hired them on the spot.