Friday, January 07, 2011


Lucy is turning two, and let me start by clarifying that I really do love her despite everything that is to follow.

I grew up with the nursery rhyme:

There was a little girl who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead,

and when she was good,
she was very, very good,
and when she was bad she was horrid.

That could have been written for Lucy.

Here she is being Lucy the Good:

and here she is being Lucifer:

I swear she just woke up looking like that. Horns and all.

She is not a morning person.

When she's good, she's smiley, impish, and helpful. You can't help but love her, she is the quintessential winsome toddler. She will gaze with real concern at any of your scars and suggest you need a band-aid. She will always help you wash up and 'clean'.

She loves to sing, and she can really bust a move on the dance floor. She is always exhorting people to dance if she hears any music at all. Even a theme tune or a commercial jingle will see her strutting her stuff in front of the TV. She is desperate to join Anna's ballet class. When we drop Anna off Lucy will scream with frustration and rage (always fun). Quite why Lucy is not allowed to join in until age 3 *sigh* is beyond me, since all Anna seems to have learned at her present ballet class is a rather fetching sideways gallop. On one occasion towards the end of last year Luce and I arrived a little early to pick Anna up. We caught the end of some truly spectacular group sideways galloping, and then each girl was given a handkerchief to 'free dance' with. Lucy was already squirming and howling at this point, but before I could run away, the teacher handed Lucy a scarf and suggested she join in for the last dance. She was beside herself, tear-streaked and snot-nosed she out-balleted them all, twirling and prancing her little diapered butt off.

She got her way, and was happy. And that's Lucy in a nutshell really. Strong sense of self, willful, driven, however you want to put it, she is stubborn as hell and it's not pretty when life doesn't capitulate - as it very often doesn't when you're two and want chocolate for breakfast.

She has comical tantrums, looking at us in disbelief when we veto scaling the cupboards for treats. She will scream with rage, race off to a suitable piece of open floorspace, and then throw herself theatrically down. That's when you've got off lightly. Usually she chooses to grind you down by repeating the same phrase over and over and over and over, hoping to wear you down by attrition. It's annoying enough when you know the thing she's after (tandy = candy), but it's really hard when she starts yelling Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! at you at 7:06am.

Turns out that Dammit = Gromit from Wallace and Gromit, and she would quite like to see that movie now, if you would be so kind.

She is quite a talker, stringing sentences together a lot faster than her sister ever did. Unlike Anna though, her vocabulary is not quite so extensive, and she finds it hard to pronounce words. She can't say a hard 'c' or 'k' sound, so wake up becomes 'wape up' and ice cream is ice peam.

She's doing the same inverse grammar thing that Anna did, so if she offers 'I hold you' or 'I read it', she's not volunteering, that's merely what she would like you to say to her. So woe betide the person who sits waiting for Lucy to read them Dora as that book will come flying at you in rage when you fail to start reading.

Her favourite book has been a Dora Halloween lift-the-flap for quite a while, although she's intrigued by all pop-ups and lift-the-flap books. The Dora Halloween book is packed full of hidden ghosts, so I think she naturally expects to find them in real life too. It's quite disconcerting when you walk into an empty room and Lucy turns to you to say 'ghost' in a knowing kind of way.

Or maybe she's like that boy in the Sixth Sense.

I really hope not. I can't imagine why anyone would want to haunt this 1978 stuccoed gem.

Lucy is a natural athlete. LK is quietly hopeful for another tennis star in the family. She has an arm like an outfielder, and the hand-eye coordination of a champion whack-a-moler. She is obsessed with balls, not a nice thing to say about your daughter, but it's true. She is also loves playing 'tennis' with a balloon, she could do that for hours. Want to come over and play? Please? My arm's getting tired. She is a tomboy, a runner, a climber, a sports fan.

She doesn't care what you think. We used to be able to stop Anna in her tracks with just the slightest stern tone. Lucy doesn't pick up on that, mainly because she's already a speck in the distance. She is fast. She is a woman on a mission. When she's become one with the curvature of the horizon, she may look back to see if she can still see you. If she catches you watching her, she'll take off running again. Oh how fun.

I know what you're thinking. 13-18yrs of age are going to be just a dream aren't they? Despite everything though, I love Lucy.


Eden Kennedy Onassis said...

God, she's beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Good on you girl! (Both her, and you!)And her name is so similar to mine...S x

Lise said...

Your entire post could have been written about my own second daughter. She had the strongest will of any child I've ever seen. Eventually she turned that will toward excelling in school, and became much easier to have around. At 22, she's a college graduate, wonderful mom to a little girl of her own, and is applying to medical schools. That strong personality is serving her well, but I wasn't always sure I would survive her childhood. I wish you much patience, strength, and masses of chocolate. I'd wish you joy, too, but clearly she is bringing you lots of that.

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