“Then cow said MOO! And monkey hit cow. The end.”
I listened to my daughter reading her waterproof books in the bath this evening. She was terribly grumpy and the story she made up reflected that. Each character in her fictional world came to a sticky end. It made me smile.
Every day my daughter – who’ll be two and a half at Christmas (how did that happen?!) – reveals a little more of her vocabulary. As she strings sentences together I get to know her in a new way. This child of mine, who I thought I couldn’t love any more, just squeezes my heart that bit tighter with every new revelation.
I love her interpretations of things at the moment. I can almost see the cogs in her brain whirring as she tries to fathom basic concepts and ideas.
“Where Daddy?” She asks when we return home from the childminder’s. “Working,” She answers for me. “Daddy working. Daddy teaching in school.” This is her answer for whenever he is out of the house, even if he’s at the end of the garden. It’s like she can’t quite get her head round the fact he may leave the comfort of our living room and her side for anything other than this mysterious “school” she’s heard so much about.
She also repeats things back to us, giving us an insight into what we must sound like to her. “Mummy too busy,” She scolds her father, as he asks me to do something. “Mummy working on radio and doing writing,” She tells me, as she’s tucked up in bed at night. She’s spotted the wound of Mother Guilt and gently pours a little extra salt in it, just for my benefit.
But my favourite line from her has to be the one she uttered one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago. After padding into our room and climbing into bed with us at 6am, she decided it was time we all got up. Her father rolled over and let off a gust of wind, making it quite clear he wasn’t getting involved. So I followed her into her bedroom, feeling my way along the walls of the house still plunged in deepest darkness.
“Bye bye night,” Said my daughter. Reaching for the light switch by her bookcase. Demanding I help her, she told me, “Time to switch off night now”.
Switching off the night. It almost makes turning a light on sound poetic.