Reflections on Ramona: 19 months

I’m having the opposite of writer’s block: blogger’s overload. It’s when there’s so much to write about fighting for precedence in your head that you stumble into a kind of blogging intertia. Not good. So I’m knocking it on the head by devoting an evening to writing an easy post, with more varied ones to follow.

Anyway, I’m due my regular reflection on a small person who is, quite frankly, rather brilliant.

Ramona’s hit the toddler stage full blast, running around like a loon and talking nineteen to the dozen now. There are lots of exchanges like this:

R: “Driiiiiink… driiiiink…”
Me: “As soon as I get you into your sleeping bag, you can have your drink. You know that.”
R: “Yes, Mummy. I know.”*

And she’s valiantly banging away at full sentences:

R: “Daddy carry ‘mona down’tairs?”
Me: “Yes, darling; he’ll be back in a minute to take you downstairs.”
R: “Daaaaaddyyyy… open the door, carry ‘mona down’tairs now!”

The long and painful bath phobia is now over – in fact, she throws a strop if she thinks she’ll miss her bath, and pointedly stands at the bottom of the stairs announcing “goo’nigh’, bath-time” and clutching Weasel to her chest. She’s becoming more and more dextrous and fearless, although she’s still bewilderingly daunted by stairs and won’t climb more than one before requesting to be picked up (though to be honest that’s something of a relief).

She’s obsessed with reading, as ever, and I’ve managed to nab a couple of audio recordings of us reading together. I really want to grab some video of her amazing reactions to her favourites. Full kicking, squealing, overexcited toddler joy. I’m going to miss that so much and am determined to enjoy every moment, and have them to look back on!

She’s also rather obsessed with the box, and we’re having to make an extra effort to model good behaviour by turning it off. Most of her favourites are positive and educational, from ‘Mi Tubble’ (Something Special) to Peppa Pig, a work of subversive genius that I enjoy watching as much as – possibly more than – she does, but nonetheless we’d like to direct more of her energies to things like painting and drawing, the latter of which she’s recently become quite interested in. (By which I mean scribbling aimlessly, but the crayons have helped her become very reliable with her colours as I hand them to her one by one as she gets the colours right!)

She’s a phenomenally good eater, and a fair sleeper, both of which I’m thoroughly grateful for. And she’s a sociable little soul who has learned the value of a cow-eyed “pleeeeease?” already.

She can be a bit of a drama queen, as I think are most toddlers, so of course the flipside to all this incredible development is throwing massive, often unexpected hissy fits that are quite extraordinary in their volume and extent.

But it’s so easy to forget that when she trundles around the house randomly throwing guerilla hugs at people’s legs while yelling “CUDDLE!”.

I’m so easily pleased.

*Sounds massively precocious, but actually mimicking Chris Haughton‘s brilliant book, A Bit Lost, in which she fills in the part of Squirrel. Other classic Ramonaisms taken from books include yelling “MEEOOOOWW! Poor Mog!” (Meg and Mog) and insisting “‘Iway Bat, ‘Iway Bat… R… R… Rat” because I’ve corrected her so many times (The Highway Rat).

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