Tag Archives: first words

The princess is here: a day in the life of a strong-willed toddler.

24 Jul
Princess and her crown

Princess and her crown

Where do I begin, essentially her words have arrived and this has empowered her to well and truly establish her reign over her subjects. She can now also open and close doors by herself so she has no real need for us save for the bare necessities of life!

On, Monday, daycare was closed so Malaika had the pleasure of spending the day with Mammi (I am still quite annoyed she’s chosen to reject calling me Mama unless she wants to sugar coat her request). I am going to digress here a little. We both do our best to speak to her in Shona, tell her the Shona equivalent of things but it is easier said than done. Much to our disappointment her first words have been English ones, perhaps we are fully to blame, perhaps we are not. We’ll see how her language develops. It has made us more determined to Shona-fy her! Anyway back to our day. We started off at the library, it was story-time, a session she used to love to take part in, that was until she paid more attention to the fact there are unmaned computers outside the story-time area. I even switched off the screen before she got to it but she adamantly sat at the blank screen and banged away at the keyboard for a good chunk of time, enthusiastically forcing a kiss on me and saying bye-bye so I could leave her be. This happens a lot lately and she did it twice later on in the day, once when she wanted to hang out in her room with the door closed (turns out she has the runs, I guess no one wants to share those moments either) and another time when she was ‘on-the-phone’ with a toy car. She’s not even a teenager yet and she wants to be left alone! Anyway after the keyboard had no life left in it and she briefly bound up the stairs and then discovered other toddlers players with lego, dinosaurs and trains. This could be fun you’re thinking, until a little boy didn’t want to share his train, she grabbed it from him, he took it back, she sulked, he gave it back and he wanted him back and she smacked him! He was clearly close to melting point anyway because he cried so much he began to heave and his mother took him home….

Sunny day in the play park

Sunny day in the play park

We then made our way to the baby area where is a rather popular kitchen, she didn’t want to share the kitchen with another little girl who got there first, that produced a few tears and when she moved on to some books another girl wanted to read with her and she would have none of it. I told her she wouldn’t make any friends if she didn’t learn to be more friendly to which a lady produced commented “well she’s pretty enough not to have to worry about making friends!”. Really? Wow, I was at a loss, all I could say was you can’t get by on just your looks, she clearly begged to differ. After these ‘words of wisdom’ we went to watch free CBC outdoor #musicalnooners concert before going home for lunch and a nap! The rest of the afternoon included a brief bike lesson, a meltdown at WholeFoods over chips, a reading and singing session followed by dinner over Pepper Pig for her whilst I dreamed of a large glass of wine!

This was also  the first day she has been able to properly open and close a door with no hesitation. Her world is now suddenly filled with all these possibilities. The prime one being, if she doesn’t want to sleep she can just get up, open the door and be on her way to more interesting things. It used to be for many months after dinner we would brush our teeth, hop into bed, read a book or two, sing a rhyme, whisper a lullaby, have a few sips of tea, kiss and hug goodnight, I would say ‘goodnight I love you, see you tomorrow’, she would nod and wave, I would close the door and that was it until the morning. Sometimes she would stall and ask for ‘pee pee’ or ‘num num’ (food) but that was all, now she can let you leave, think you’re out of the woods, settle in for some telly and dessert and then you see this little face in the shadow, slowly creeping towards you saying ‘Mamma……what’s this?’ Before you know it, it’s been 4 attempts, your ice-cream is melted, it’s midnight and you haven’t the energy to catch up on Being Mary Jane. It’s like this all week…as my mum reminded me ‘Some mothers do have them!’

Eating chibage

Eating chibage

We have some new words and phrases, No is still ranking at number one followed by ‘What’s this’ , ‘What is this’ (this is for when you reply incorrectly and she needs you to get it right, emphasis on the IS) , ‘Who’s this’, ‘All done’ (this generally signals the end of whatever you or she is doing), ‘Bye-bye see you’ (a must at the end of every elevator ride, screamed louder if the occupants do not respond the first time) and ‘Oh no..’. Then we have more new words book, phone, shiri (bird), car, choochoo (train). There are many more and she’s learning and asking the words for things all the time.  When she masters a new word she has to keep repeating it over and over again until you just about lose your mind. It’s hard to be stern with her, we really have to work at it. It’s funny the things you remember but I remember my mother I think either trying to shout or hit me and then she burst out laughing instead. I have been doing this at least twice a day the last week and a half I have been spending all day with her. That face looks at your and you can’t keep a straight face!

Today we are going to try uniforms for daycare and then we are off to the lake house with Uncle Matty for 4 days! A much needed break.

Have a great weekend everyone, stay curious…

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly

p.s. we have moved on from chicken skin , we now eat the whole wing and munch on the bones…

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What’s in a name? Mummy or Mhamha. Daddy or Baba.

24 Apr
Play Gym

Play Gym

I have been thinking about what Malaika will end up calling us when she starts to speak. It’s interesting because when I speak to her in english I say “Mummy” and when I am speaking in Shona I say “Mhamha”.  I do seem to keep saying Baba in reference to her father which is curious, maybe he just doesn’t seem like a Daddy! After moving from Zimbabwe to New Zealand and then to Canada I feel like we really are scatterlings of Africa and have an innate need to stay connected to our motherland, more so now that Malaika will not be having an African childhood, well at least not for the foreseeable future. My goddaughter and her little brother used to call their mother who is from Kenya ‘Umi’, I don’t know if they still do but it sounds soo cool… ‘Umi’: a bad-ass mum! Don’t mess with Umi but it also sounds so loving and nurturing. In any case, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. In any case I would imagine whichever way we prod her she’ll decide on her own which words she’ll use.

We’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. The crib conversion has gone quite well for the most part. She gets up once a night, after anywhere from 4 to 10 hours! Just depends how she’s feeling I think, full belly or not, the key looks to be tiring her out during the day. We took a road trip to Seattle on Monday for the day. Ended up being over 3 hours in the car in one direction, the wait at the border was about 30 minutes. She did very well for someone who rarely spends more than 20 minutes in the car. She had to be constantly entertained and attempted to remove her seat belt at some point! Shame, even I had had enough of the car. That night she slept for 11 hours straight! In Shona we say ‘Kakafenda’ (literally she fainted, passed out, out for the count…).Last week I caught a horrid tummy bug and she had a mild form of it. That turned her appetite down and she was a lot sleepier than usual during the day so at night she was up twice plus she wasn’t eating so the night feeding increased, then she was in bed with us a couple if times cause she was throwing up and I wanted to keep an eye on her but she transitioned back into the crib quite easily. Though when she did come to bed with us in the middle of the night no one slept because now she has two people to play with! Yay…..

Attempts at crawling are still ongoing.. yes I am still loving in the moment, not forcing it but its interesting to observe. She hasn’t quite figured out she can use her arms to move forward. So now she keeps rolling around until she reaches her destination. So far she can move her legs, lift her bum and then she’s stuck so she just stops, drops and rolls! It’s painful to watch but she’ll get there… I think she has little incentive to crawl, we are always soo close she doesn’t really have to go find anyone so she lays in wait watching you, knowing that eventually you’ll get be back within arms reach. As a result I have removed the play gym in the picture, she was always centred around it, now she moving around a lot more.

The next thing is starting to get used to a potty, we have one, we’ll start using it soon. Reason being we found a daycare for September (more on that next post) and she doesn’t potty train, I was hoping this would be my out, but no, it’s up to the parents! Oh the humanity…..I will keep you posted.

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