It seems like such a long time ago that Betsy was a new born. All soft and new, with her baby smell. Those new born squeaks and little noises.
Then a babbling baby. Entertained by the simplest thing. With her little round bald head. And podgy belly. Bless her.
The next stage, the one we are at currently, is terrifying.
At 16 months old, Betsy is a toddler.
A no nonsense, stubborn, cannot be fooled toddler.
She is the clumsy, careless, strutting-around-like-she-owns-the-place child who will trample over anything and anyone in order to get to where she wants to be. She stomps her way around baby groups or soft play, she takes very little notice of other children, other then the death stare she gives them should they get in her way. I am no longer able to sit and relax, watching her sit in the same spot playing with a toy. I have to ensure I am within grabbing distance at all times. The risk of hair pulling, eye poking or bottle stealing are endless. The other day at a baby group I turned my back for a second and she had a dummy in her mouth. Along with a look of triumph. She can spot another child's beaker a mile off. And almost always reaches it before me. Yes, she is indeed one of those children.
My house is a never ending trail of toddler destruction. I have given up even attempting to keep on top of it. Everywhere I look, I see grubby Betsy sized sticky handprints. Dried on half chewed biscuit cemented on to the TV cabinet. Cheerio's, blueberries, soggy quavers and various other toddler food is found everywhere. Down the side of the sofa, in my handbag, in boots, under the table. You name it, I have more then likely found something there. I dread to think what we are going to find underneath the sofa when we come to move, as she has a particular fondness for flicking things under it. Clean washing that I had piled in the basket dragged around the room. Toys everywhere. Every cupboard and drawer that she can get to in the kitchen emptied. It never ends.
Something I am still learning, is that with a toddler in the house, silence is very rarely golden. I can count on one hand the number of times I have found her quietly doing something that I deem to be acceptable. Such as reading a book or playing with toys. Or even pulling out every single piece of Tupperware I own from the cupboard (easily enough to tidy up). No, when I suddenly realised that Betsy is both hidden from my view and silent, sirens go off in my head. I brace myself for what I am about to discover. Such as this, the demise of one of Betsy's pop up books.
Or this. Our make shift bin (aka a carrier bag on the kitchen door handle as our actual bin was full and I didn't want to empty it) tipped upside down. How did she do it? She cannot even reach the handle. It is one of the many questions about my daughter that I will never have an answer to. Curse me and my ability to lose myself in Twitter/Facebook/anything that isn't my daughter and thus allow such things to happen.
She will start throwing her hands about, in the hope that she will make contact with an object of some kind and throw it, to really show me how mad she is. If there is nothing within arms reach, she will walk over to the nearest toy to pick up and chuck in any direction. She will stop and look at me to analyse my reaction.
. The angry cry, the dropping to the knee's quickly followed by throwing herself face down on the floor. Head butting, if she is really angry (which she usually is). Which will make her even more infuriated. A wail so angry and furious I am sure it could wake the dead. I try to pick her up, she goes floppy. Like a dead weight, she will not stand or sit or do anything. She just howls at me. My punishment for daring to say no. I lay her back on the floor, and usually follow this with something along the lines of
"Betsy you look ridiculous."
"You are embarrassing yourself, get up."
Knowing full well that not only does she not understand, even if she could she wouldn't care.
There is rarely a day that goes by without a tantrum. Usually she treats me to several. And she isn't even two yet. All I hear about is the 'terrible twos'. I get warned about them when I tell people how old she is. I'm not sure how I feel about the prospect of her getting worse then this. I feel like there is a very strong chance I may move out.