It suddenly dawned on me the other day that I can no longer call my first born, "my baby". She will always be my baby in my heart but she has outgrown the title, and even though she is still a toddler she is becoming more and more grown up every day. Now she is a child, a little girl, a young lady. Time is flying by too fast, but I am proud of the amazing person she is becoming.
Here are ten ways she has grown up when I made the mistake of blinking.
1. She moved to the older group in her nursery
If you read my letter to her last week, you will know that I found this very difficult. She has been attending a toddler nursery for a while now but the coat pegs and school like atmosphere of her preschool has knocked me to the curb. I look at her and suddenly she is no longer the toddler playing school, she's the child attending it.
2. She remembers everything
There was a time when I had to remind her of things, and lessons I taught her had to be repeated. Now she reminds me of things, and looks out for me as much as I do for her.
It's not often I miss things but in the process of running my business, writing my blog, and not sleeping much thanks to Little L still waking for feeds at night, there are occasions when I forgot to do something or drop the ball a little. I'm only human after all.
No need to worry though. My little miss smartie pants will never let me forget! She often concludes her reminders with, "silly mummy" and a laugh. At least she finds it funny to be pedantic!
3. She is always learning
Counting the stairs as we walked up them, and knowing numbers one to ten is one thing; however these days it is so much more. I'm not sure when she suddenly learnt the alphabet, and the difference between even and odd numbers, and which way is left and right. I know I've been teaching her but it's like I just woke up one day and she knew everything.
4. Toys she wasn't old enough to use she suddenly can
Every time we're shopping she comes across so many things that, like every three year old, she says, "I want" to. Things like these Animal Jam toys are suddenly ones that she is allowed to play with, with the 3+ sign on the box not deterring us anymore!
As you can see, she is so happy about this! I have never seen anyone's face light up the way hers did the day the box arrived from Jazwares with some series 2 Animal Jam bits inside. I have to make sure she doesn't play with them around her little sister but that's ok, because for once, she doesn't want to share! She was super pleased they fit inside her handbag too. It means she can carry them all around with her.
5. She is outgrowing everything
I mean everything! From toys to her clothes. She's only just turned three and is already wearing 4-5 clothing.
She looks great in dresses which is good, as it means I can just stick her in dresses with leggings underneath so I don't have to replace all her 3-4 clothes just yet. That would be very expensive!
6. Her vocabulary is coming along well
Her ability to come out with big words such as, "consequences" never ceases to amaze me. Not only does she say them right (most of the time) but she actually uses them in context.
Don't get me wrong though, there are times that remind me she's only three... like at Easter when her Grandma mentioned she was making fish goujons and Squidgy spent the rest of the day talking about, "goolies". Her dad and I found this most amusing.
7. She has a serious attitude
I am raising my daughter to be someone who will build others up instead of breaking them down, who will be kind, and loving, but who also won't take any rubbish from anyone. I am raising her to be a strong, independent woman, like me.
The only thing about this, is that in the meantime, I'm the one who has to deal with her. At times this means that she and I butt heads, and sometimes we can drive each other absolutely crazy, but it's worth it and I am so proud of who she is becoming.
8. She is fiercely independent
I swear it was only yesterday that my first born daughter was being carried in my arms or tucked up in her pushchair or falling asleep in the car lulled by the movement and white noise.
Now? Well she won't do anything she doesn't want to. She wants to walk everywhere and hold the basket or push the trolley while we shop. Instead of being in a pushchair she likes to push Little L in hers, and when it comes to car journeys, she is always awake, even on the two hour journey to visit her grandparents!
Not only that, but you try telling her to put her headband on the right way or that clothes don't match or that the Easter egg she's claimed actually belongs to someone else, and you won't know what hit you.
9. She helps me out around the house
This was certainly not something that she used to do. She would try (bless her) but she would more often than not simply get in the way.
Now, however, she is quite happy to help hang out the washing, or hold Little's hand while I change her nappy, or put food together, and she is pretty good at it too!
10. She is the most amazing big sister
The interaction that Squidgy has with Little L is the biggest sign of all that she is growing up. She is the best big sister to L, and has spent the last few months doing everything she can to watch over her.
If she drops her toys, Squidgy picks them up. If she cries, Squidgy is there singing nursery rhymes to help calm her down. Squidgy talks to her, makes her smile and is by far the person that Little L most loves to see, always watching her and wanting to be wherever she is.
The reality is, that my children will grow up. That's life. I have accepted that they will start school, they will get some kind of qualifications, they will fall in love and they will have their own familes. Time will pass and I will hold their hand for the last time, wipe their tears away for the last time, and watch them have a life that no longer depends on me to provide for them. I just wish time did move so fast, and that the changes weren't coming so quickly.
Each day there is something new, each day I am reminded that these moments I spend with them are fleeting. For now, all I can do is remember to hold them close while I can, and create as many memories with them as possible, as one day I will not be the centre of their world. For now, all I can do is enjoy every second I have with them. For now, that is good enough for me.