The toddler teen has landed!

There must have been something in the water in Cyprus as we went on holiday with a 20 month old and came back with a teenager!

While the cheekiness and willfulness can seem mildly amusing on the rare occasion you’re not in a rush or have had a night of decent sleep, it can tip you close to the edge the other 98% of the time.

‘No’ is the answer at the moment. Whatever the question. Just ‘no’. ‘Do you love mummy?’ ‘No’ ‘Do you love daddy?’ ‘No’… followed by the same question of all the grandparents and beloved great nanna… all ‘no’ Before the holiday they were all answered with an adorable little lispy ‘yes’ which I should have recorded to play at her 18th birthday party. She knows exactly what she’s saying; there’s that telling, amused glint in her eye. Granted, this is more funny than frustrating but it shows how with a flip of the switch she’s now a contrary little minx!

From being happy lying on her back for nappy change (granted, we always had to accompany this with eight verses of ‘Wheels on the Bus’) she has turned the task into a crocodile-wrestling endurance exercise. She won’t lie down. ‘Use pull ups’ I’m told, but when your little one still can’t quite stand independently they’re as much of a challenge as trying to lasso them between the legs with a traditional nappy. Aggggh!

For around six weeks before we went on holiday we were on fire with the potty. We introduced it at 18 months, just sitting her on it a couple of times a day to get her used to it and she LOVED it. It became the nursery rhymes throne. 80 per cent of the time she’d deposit something. We’d clap and she’d clap. Having fewer pooey nappies was liberating and visions of a potty trained toddler by two were not beyond the realms of possibility. Wanting to keep her in practice I took, what turned out to be, a crap inflatable one on holiday which she hated. Since we’ve come home her love affair with her trusty grey ‘pot pot’ has ended. She happily puts Peppa or a Tombliboo on it for a ‘poo poo’ with accompanying noises, but suggesting she goes on it is like I’ve threatened to never make her a boiled egg again (I’ve said she’s an odd child). She just does the toddler speciality of flinging herself back and kicking it away with the force of a top footballer.

Teething aside Harriet has generally been a good sleeper… so far, but the last few weeks have been challenging. Sleep regression or general minxiness, has seen her wide awake and shouting in the middle of the night- nothing will settle her. Two hours of wriggling and shouting has been the norm, punctuated by moments where she’s been cuddled and drifting off only for her eyes to snap open like she’s remembered she can’t quite give up on the torture yet. The worst instance of this was her doing it at 12.30am… when we had to get up at 2.30am for our holiday flight.

As frustrating as all this might be it shows she’s developing her own little mind. Cementing her likes and dislikes. Finding out who she is. And just being a normal human who has good and bad days, grumpy days and happy days. As long as she learns to be polite and respectful, who doesn’t want a daughter who’s assertive- a little bit feisty and a little bit cheeky? She’s going to need all these and more to navigate her way through this big, wide world.

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