My little one turned seven yesterday. She’s not so little any more. It happens so fast. I can’t believe I used to wish away the days when she was smaller, desperate for her to talk so I could get to know her better.
She was a late starter to the talking business. None of the sentences at 16-months like her sister. But these days she’s better communicator of the two. The eldest’s fountain of words has dried up, they’re hidden inside her, only released in brief little spurts now and then. The youngest adores a chat, loves being the centre of attention.
The conversation stream kicked off at 6.30am yesterday morning. She burst into the study, announcing she couldn’t stay in bed a minute longer. Her plan had been to remain in bed and receive visitors – and gifts – like a queen in her room.
The gift requests, for all her gangly tweenishness, remained surprisingly the same as when she was a toddler – dollies and soft toys.
It’s fascinating how definitively we are born with our personal quirks. When it comes to toys the eldest has always preferred hers small – she spent the first four years of her life with a plastic animal clutched in her hand. Last weekend, when her sister went to a toy shop to spend some birthday money, the eldest emerged with a little plastic polar bear for herself.
Meanwhile, I’ll never forget the visit to Santa where a terrified two-year-old Sprog 2 asked the scary red man for her most-desired gift then loudly wondered afterwards “why me got no dolly?” Oops, I’d forgotten to mention there was no instant gratification.
Dollies have gone everywhere with us. We even have pictures of Dolly (they never get an actual name, even now) on holiday in Mexico – she had her own suitcase with swimsuit, jeans, T-shirts, bottle, nappies etc.
Every birthday and Christmas, the requests have remained the same, though most of the soft toys have been relegated to the attic because they – cruel blow! – aggrevate her excema.
While most of her contemporaries have left the dollies and fairy stories behind – a school mum bemoaned to me that she’d bought her seven-year-old daughter some Tinkerbell stories at a book sale, only to be told “mum, I’m not into that sort of stuff any more” – Sprog 2 retains a streak of baby.
And, in much the same way I ached for her to grow up faster when she was little, I ache for her to stop growing so fast now. To be my cuddly bub forever.