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The Redster: Four and a half
The Cutester: One and a quarter

The Redster appears in the kitchen dressed as a fairy, wielding a wand.

Redster: I’m fed up with this toddler. I’m going to be-ding her back into a baby. Be-ding!

The spell failed. The Cutester (new name – as no-one has any reason to read this virtually defunct blog I can change her name as often as I like) is definitely still a toddler. I’m enjoying this stage. Like all the stages of my children’s development, it is surely the cutest possible stage, and surely can’t get any cuter. This is simultaneously true of the Redster and the Cutester. Ganny assured me a few years ago, when I asked her at what age they stop being adorable, that your children are still adorable at 34. (Sadly, I am now 36.)

It’s her complete inability to speak English combined with her complete ability to communicate – I think – or maybe that her whole physique is made up of spheres – or maybe it’s just that she loves me so uncritically.

Anyway, she turned a sharp corner last week. It’s hard to define exactly what’s changed and why she’s no longer just a baby walking on its hind legs; all I can think of is that she’s suddenly obsessed with books, even ones without flaps, and she’s started having RAGES. The rages only started yesterday. She was bashing the dial that turns the dishwasher on and off, and I’d just begun a wash.

‘No,’ I said, and gestured instead at the dozens of magnets stuck to the dishwasher that she is allowed to play with. It was a bit like that scene in the Garden of Eden – ‘you may eat of the fruit of any of the trees in the garden / bash any feature of this dishwasher, but if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil / touch the dial that turns it off, you will die / make Mummy very cross’ – see? almost identical. She howled with rage, and with one malicious sweep of her chubby arm, hurled all the magnets to the floor. I was impressed. Then at tea time she threw her beaker right at me in another deliberate act of rage.

I wonder how often she will have to do this for it to stop making me smile. It’s all so unbearably cute.

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