Things my daughter does

16 months

16 months

  • She eats. From scrambled eggs with spinach, to chickpea and courgette stew with harissa (mine), to pasta puttanesca (olives, capers and all), to whole apples, one of Lil A’s greatest pleasures is tucking into big-girl, grown-up food (and, come to think of it, some weird toddler snacks, too – like sweet potato puree on toast. I’m dreading the day she realises that vegetable puree is not a normal sandwich filling). She’s got a special head-bop reserved for things that are Most Delicious, and is a very neat fork-and-spoon eater.
  • Clutches her teddies to her chest and pats and shoosh-es them to sleep, and gives you one to cuddle and rock and shoosh, too, so you don’t feel left out.
  • Waves and says “buh-BYE!” to her reflection in our full-length bathroom mirror before she leaves the room.
  • Licks the glass of the sliding doors and windows, a lot, and often.
  • Drinks strawberry-flavoured rooibos tea in her sippy cup by the litre.
  • Calls one of our dogs by name and calls the other dog “no, no, no” (to be fair, he’s usually the one that’s barking). No matter how much they bond, she’s still calling the poor harassed cat “Meow”.
  • Makes an approximation of the noises for donkeys, cows, cats, fish, birds, ducks and lions on demand. It’s a great party trick.
  • Takes her dirty clothes out the laundry basket and tries to put them on over her head. She settles for walking around with her dirty T-shirts and leggings draped like a scarf around her shoulders.
  • Classifies any round object in her picture books as a ball.
  • Says “no” if you ask her for a kiss if she doesn’t feel like giving one. That’s about the most conclusive proof you can get that she knows she’s her own person.
  • If she’s in the mood, she gives Eskimo kisses (should this be Inuit kisses? Eskimo’s actually an allowed term, right?) or say “mah!” against your cheek.
  • Carries treasures around in her fist for hours: fridge magnets, pebbles, hair clips, my roll-on deodorant, necklaces, bits of paper … these are all better than any toys.
  • Follows the builders who are doing renovations in our house around, watches them absorbedly while they work and occasionally strikes up gobbledygook conversations with them. She’s a friendly sort.
  •  Calls her nanny almost perfectly by name (we can all be forgiven confusing an “m” and an “n” here and there) most of the time, and calls her “morning!” for the rest.

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