Last week my littlest baby had her first birthday and is, as Lilly tells me, “nearly a big girl”.
We celebrated with a barbecue for family at the weekend, with pass the parcel for the girls. And on Isla’s actual birthday, we took the girls to Windmill Animal Farm in Burscough where Isla enjoyed riding on a little tractor, stroking some animals (although she wasn’t so sure about the calves once they made a noise!), a good climb on the soft play and in the ball pool, and a first taste of chocolate ice cream… with hilarious reaction as she battled to eat it despite it being oh! so cold!
Yep, Isla is a whole 12 months and (obviously) growing fast, learning new tricks and showing us more and more of her personality all the time.
At 1, she has plenty of favourite things. She loves music and will dance the instant she hears any tune, even jingles on adverts. She has a repertoire of funky moves, wiggling her hips and rotatingher shoulders to the music – a sight you could never tire of enjoying!
She likes toys with wheels and is very good at rolling Thomas the Tank engine or other suitable toys along the ground. But her absolute favourite thing at the moment is her Vtech First Steps Baby Walker – she just cannot be without it! She reminds me of Macca Pakka endlessly trekking unsteadily from one side of the room to another. Since she discovered how to turn around, a world of possibilities has opened up! She is even able to push it up and down the garden and will happily do this for quite a while!
Isla also enjoys taking things out of baskets and putting them back in again. She will sit for a very long time taking clothes out of the washing basket then putting them back in again. Hubby is hopefull this is a sign she will be a tidy person (ie not like her mum) but I think it’s a bit early to be so optimistic!
Other things she likes, but doesn’t get to enjoy often are iPhones, remote controls, Wii remotes, that kind of thing! Pressing buttons on my washing machine or oven is another great sport. She also loves to chew shoes – especially her own, which she prefers in her mouth than on her feet…
Sleeping wise – on the whole I suppose you’d say she sleeps fairly well - but we still do have at least a few nights a week where she’ll wake in the night. Sometimes she’ll have some milk and resettle, other times (like on Monday) she wakes and nothing will resettle her, so she ends up being awake for 2 hours (and usually not happy!) We are already getting to the stage when we start to wonder whether we need to think about dropping her down to one nap a day instead of her current one nap after breakfast, one nap after lunch (noooooooo!)
Because of her regular disturbed nights, Operation Shared Bedroom has gone totally on the back burner & Isla is still sleeping in our room. All things being well, we might attempt to move the sisters in together in the not too distant future.
Things Isla doesn’t like: Seeing mummy & daddy on the phone – and don’t even attempt to use the laptop in her presence! She will make her displeasure known – loudly! She also very much dislikes face wipes, nose wipes, nappy changes & the shower being on. Like her sister she has an absolute terror of handriers in public toilets.
Isla is a competent crawler, has a gold medal in pulling herself up to standing, and can walk for a long way with the aid of her walker. This morning was the first time she stood unaided for any length of time – she managed about 20 seconds, which very much impressed me! She hasn’t tried to walk independently yet – we’re gently encouraging her to walk holding our hands at the moment. She can, however, climb stairs – cue major living room reorganisation to create a barrier to block off the bottom step (our stairs are in the living room & are at the wrong angle for a stairgate). Physically, she has always been really strong. If she is pulling or pushing something, you know about it (especially if it is the wardrobe door, and you are standing behind it!)
Isla has a few words in her repertoire – “adda” – dadda; “hi-jah” – hiya; and recently she’s added: “eye-dah” which we think is “Isla”. “Mamamama” first came at about 10 months, then disappeared for a while but seems to be back now. But her current favourite word is a crystal clear “No”, accompanied by head shaking! (Oh help, it’s started already!!!)
Isla loves interacting with her sister. They can play simple games with each other which make them both laugh – splashing in the bath or copying each other nodding their heads or making the same noises, or bouncing on our bed. In the mornings, the girls are always full of smiles when they first see each other – and Isla will even give kisses to her sister when she has stopped giving them out to us adults (when we ask for a kiss, which she used to give out willingly, we now get a shaking head and a “no!”) However, Isla has started to take less kindly to Lilly snatching things off her (which she does all too often) and the other morning lashed out at her a bit with a big shout when Lilly tried pinching something out of her hands. As Tony said: “Come quick, I think they’re having their first row!”
In the last 6 weeks or so she’s taken notice of the tv for the first time. She was in raptures over the baby in the Tellytubby sunshine, and likes laughing at the funny faces the engines pull in Thomas The Tank engine. But mainly she just likes dancing to any theme music.
Food wise, Isla’s favourite things seem to be meals which contain cheese or fish, and it seems mince based dishes are a no-go. At the barbecue party for her birthday, she preferred cucumber to sausages – strange child!
Until the age of about 5 months, we would have described Isla as a very placid and easy baby. I think since then she has realised that she who shouts loudest gets heard, and she is wanting a piece of the action! When she starts going for it, you know about it! And I think the natural frustrations of not being able to talk or completely master walking come out quite often. She is not an overly giggly baby – you have to work hard to get a laugh out of her – and when it comes, it isn’t the typical baby giggle from the Cow & Gate advert – it’s a more grown up sounding laugh that sounds as if it has come out despite itself. It’s a gorgeous sound which we savour on the occasions we do hear it. That’s not to say she isn’t a happy baby – I believe she really is – but I think she is also quite curious and thoughtful. But, safe to say being placid has gone out of the window and I think we now have two feisty sisters on our hands!
Happy birthday to our darling little baby. We can’t imagine our world without you in it. And we know the next 12 months will see you grow and change so very, very much, learning so many new skills and developing into a little girl, not a little baby. We just can’t wait to enjoy every single stage along with way with you. Love you Isla xxx