Amelie at eighteen months old

 Couldn't resist putting this one in even though it's blurry. That smile!

Couldn't resist putting this one in even though it's blurry. That smile!

Amelie turned eighteen months last week! A picture of her holding her six month sign came up in my Facebook memories and I just can't believe a whole year has gone by since then. Everyone says time flies, but to be honest that wasn't my experience at all when I was on maternity leave. Ever since I went back to work though time has indeed just somehow dissipated, and now somehow I am the mother to a full-blown toddler.

 Determined Amelie.

Determined Amelie.

 Making art at the art gallery.

Making art at the art gallery.

Amelie is possibly the most strong-willed person on the planet. She has very firm ideas about what she wants and doesn't want, and isn't afraid to yell at the top of her lungs if we get it wrong (or it's just something she's not allowed). The flip side of that is that she is just so thrilled with herself for communicating successfully if we do get it right. 

Being able to 'talk' to us is one of Amelie's biggest joys. She's incredibly verbal but we don't always understand, and I think this is a source of much frustration for her. She has a few words that are totally clear – Mama, Daddy, Cuper, bubble, ball, blower (as in leaf blower – she can see the street cleaners using it from her daycare windows and it's amazing to her); some that require us to interpret for her – Alex (one of her good friends), more, please, grandma, granddad; and some where we have no idea. Her catch-all is deedoo. We don't know what it means, but it gets used a lot, for a whole variety of things. It is to Amelie what prego is to Italians.

 Watching the lawnmower man at the country house.

Watching the lawnmower man at the country house.

Amelie's favourite things are her Duplo, her pull-along toys, her Opie, her bike helmet, and my handbag. Oh, and also everything she's not allowed, especially if it's incredibly dangerous. She's never still, unless she's in a new environment, which I'm pretty sure is only because she's planning how to cause the most destruction in the smallest amount of time. My standard warning to anyone else looking after her is that she can run faster, climb higher and move further than you'd think she should be able to. 

 Playing with the toys at the Volvo Ocean Race.

Playing with the toys at the Volvo Ocean Race.

Amelie loves to give us big hugs, which are so very lovely while they last (a couple of seconds usually). She gives us kisses as well, but much prefers us to kiss her. She cuddles into us to read books, and those are some of my favourite times (hers too I think). She gives us enormous smiles when we get her up in the morning and when we put her down to sleep, and no matter which one of us she's with she's asking about the other one. H1 and I really do split the parenting load 50/50 (and honestly, recently it's been more like 60/40 due to a crazy schedule for me these days). I think that comes through in how much she loves both of us. 

She is, obviously, the best child in the world and I'm so happy she is who she is. 

 Taking a break to have a snack.

Taking a break to have a snack.