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Language. Its an amazing thing, hearing this person you’ve done everything for since they were a defenceless hungry lump offer you a cup of tea, and when you’ve drunk it, ask you if you want some more, even if it is just a hairband in an old tin. We once started noting down each word BB could say to see how many there were –

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and then it quickly went of the end of the blackboard. As well as these words correctly formed and executed, there are many BBisms, names for things coined by BB that don’t seem to bear any relation to the original word; throw-backs to her first experiments with sound when feet, socks and shoes were all called bat, and penguins were called gwodge gwodge. She utters them with such certainty and determination, regardless of what we say that we end up accepting her pronunciation and adopting it ourselves. So planes are not planes; they’re copters. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all just numynumy. Anything denoting to trains can have the prefix ‘choo choo’. The other night Dad, rather worn out and at the end of his tether after some effort trying to get BB towards bed, bustled into the front room looking for something. On being asked what, he irritatedly growled, ‘choo choo stories’.

I don’t think I ever blogged what BB’s actual first word was. Rather embarrassing this, ‘Dart’.

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The countdown has started in earnest now. If I go into labour from this point it will be a normal delivery at home, unless he’s extremely late.

It’s a warm, mostly rainy summer in London with Olympic events happening all around. People are striving for perfection, breaking though all sorts of pain barriers and I have my little task to perform.

A friend gave me a hypnobirth CD and I have been listening to it, but only ever get as far as breathing in the golden light and visualising a beach and then I fall asleep.

It’s a completely different experience being pregnant with a growing toddler on your hands from before, when there was time and space to focus on what’s happening to your body to the point of obsession. I like the less obsessed route. And I’m smug in the knowledge that this is it; I don’t have to be pregnant ever again.

Pose for the camera with your big fat Mummy

No, I’m off.

A visit to Kew Gardens on my birthday.

 

One of the nice things about this time round is that people don’t react in horror and disbelief when I tell them I’m hoping to have the baby at home. All I have to do is say the magic words, ‘Like we did with our first child’, and all is well, deep concern and possible lecture avoided.

Other differences are much less heartburn so no going to sleep on fifteen pillows, but oh God, it must have been luxury to sleep undisturbed through the early hours. BB is an early bird. By now we’ve come to accept this. Dad does everything he can to let me have extra rest, even when he looks completely shattered, but she’s a non-stop bird. We’re both done in.

The miracle of first evers continue to come thick fast to BB. Its magical to experience them with her. My favourites include –

the first time she saw the moon.

She kept looking for it and saying, ‘ba!’ (her word for ball) and was trying to find it the next day when I took her to the park.

First steps

For a long while we were getting her to walk from one person to another but still her favourite mode of transport was her knees. After a while I could ask her to walk to something in the room rather than another person with arms outstretched. I remember the first time she waddled away from me like this, I felt the tiniest pang of grief at her independence which shocked me, but was really intriguing at the same time. I felt the same sort of thing – absolutely miliscule but there – when BB first wheeled away from me on her car by herself. Something we had been trying to teach her for months.

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One of the last times BB bravely set forth on poor, sore knees.

First time on the slide on her own

I marvelled at what little time it took to teach her the whole process – how soon she was sitting herslf down and launching herself off with abandon while I sat and watched with a big proud grin.

And – joy of joys! – the other evening. First real dancing!

We took BB to a friend’s 40th birthday party – a couple of real old rockers. Eventually the music went on and there was a little dancing. After a while, BB started jigging about, wiggling her bottom, arms outstretched and bobbing from side to side like a drunken aeroplane. Having got the appropriate reaction, she danced more and more, revelling in the adoration she received.