This piece first appeared in Practical Parenting Magazine, March 2011. It's funny how fast life with children shifts gear. Ivy is absolutely a four-year old now. She is writing letters, dancing the hula and insisting on being addressed as Pinky Winky. Tonight she said that when she grows up she will have three professions: a writer, a ballerina and someone who 'goes in healthy eating competitions.' Then she refused to eat her cauliflower.
When my friend Sandy and I were heavily pregnant at the same time, we amused ourselves with a sort of mock argument in which I shouted ‘I hope your baby has a great big head!’ and she retorted ‘Well, I hope you have a daughter and she turns out just like you!’ At that point we looked at each other in horror and knew that we had gone too far.
Three years on
At three, my stubborn, determined daughter makes me laugh every day (except, perhaps, for those moments when I am weeping.) A child this age may have the ability to drive you to frustrated tears, but they also mean that you live in an amazing sort of half-reality, half-fantasy wonderland. ‘Daddy is magic,’ Peanut told me yesterday. ‘When he takes me to the toilet in the night and I don’t need to wee, he says ‘psssss’ and then I do a big wee. That’s magic!’ Yes, perhaps I am cursed with an independent daughter. But I wouldn’t change hilarious, eccentric hair on her head. (But ask me again when she turns thirteen.)