Not a baby, not yet a toddler

Channeling Britney for that title, just a little bit.

It’s become apparent in the past week that Ophelia is not quite as baby-ish as I’ve imagined her. It’s like she’s grown up overnight. At only thirteen months, obviously she’s not about to move out or anything but, my goodness, this has happened quickly.

I don’t even mean as in the year has gone quickly. I mean that, somehow, the past two or three weeks have taken my little baby and turn her into a small child.

Suddenly, she is relentlessly working on walking every day. A few steps then a bum shuffle and a few more. I’m certain she’ll master it very soon.

Suddenly, she is jealous of her sister, pushing herself between us if I hug Talitha, trying to grab my breast out of her sister’s mouth (Talitha just finds this hilarious and we’ve agreed that we’ll just have to wait until Ophelia’s with Laurence or asleep), shoving herself onto my lap if Talitha’s there.

So far, Talitha hasn’t been bothered but Ophelia’s newfound possessiveness of me has emerged bold and strong, with no warning. It’s as if rapid neurological connections have been made and her sense of self has dramatically developed. She’s declaring: “I am me and you are my mama. You are MINE.”

Suddenly, she grabs a book and plants herself onto my lap as if she knows from seeing her sister that this is a good way to get my attention.

Suddenly, she points to things and babbles with such purpose, speaking so expressively with her hands, which makes me smile because I already recognise my own gestures, either learned or genetic.

Suddenly, she calls out for “Ra-Ra” – her name for Talitha – needing to know where her big sister is at all times.

Suddenly, she wants to get down and walk everywhere when we’re out – if only she could walk.

Is it that sudden or have I just been so distracted that her toddlerhood snuck up on me?

Suddenly, I remember that I must slow down because time won’t.

[she/her] • writer • unschooler • team Soul Farm • Revillaging podcast • breastfeeding counsellor • Trinidadian in Cornwall

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