- Last night, you wanted to read a “magazazine” instead of a storybook at bedtime. The only one we have is a freebie from the pharmacy and it’s very boring, but you turn every page carefully and look up and say “what’s that.” and then I have to try to explain the sparse pictures and ads: “The man is sick.” “Shame, poor man,” you say.
- Hot days have “big sunshine”.
- You tell me when your food is “too spicy”.
- You know that you have hazel eyes and red hair, and that I have grey-green eyes and brown hair. And that your Daddy’s hair is too short for a bun, and you ask me to put your hair in a bun, or a “pewtail” or “two pewtails”.
- You know your left from your right, and can direct me to and from school – “turn left!”, “go straight!”, “turn right!” – and you know what red and green traffic lights mean.
- You call spiders “crabs” but then correct yourself and say “it’s a crab no maybe it’s a spider”, every time.
- You’re convinced your full name is “Ava Schell” because our cat’s full name is “Oskar Schell”.
- When you’re feeling sick, I ask if you’re okay, and you shake your head and say “Ava’s not okay.”
- Right now, at nearly two-and-a-half, I am your favourite person. When you’re with me, you don’t want anybody else. “No, Daddy, go’way!” and “No Naume today!”. I’m trying to stop you from being so mean but I want you to be allowed to feel what you feel.
- When we tell you to smile for photos, you say “Show me your teeth!” and then you hold your mouth open like you do for when we brush your teeth. It is not an attractive look.
- You are obsessed with your shadow. “Come shadow, go get dressed now,” you say when it’s time to get ready for school.
- You are completely potty-trained except when you sleep, but you refuse to use any toilets other than the ones at home – and you haven’t had an “accident” yet. You are clearly very determined.
- Restaurants are your favourite places. Every evening you say hopefully, “Go restaurant?” You love sitting at the table with us, colouring in, and talking to the waitresses. (Garage petrol attendants are another favourite of yours. “Bye, man!” you say as we drive away.)
- You also like to run through the shops (“sops”). It is not my favourite habit of yours.
- Clothes don’t bother you too much – you don’t really care what you wear. But you have strong opinions on shoes and hats. I usually dress you according to the hat you’ve chosen.
- Your favourite colour to name is beige, but, somehow, when given a choice, you will always choose the thing that is pink. (Painting your room blue and refusing to dress you in anything pink might have had the opposite effect to what I was hoping for.)
Things I don’t want to forget about you