Time with her has meant: numerous visits to the park - a variety of local parks plus Coram's Fields and Regent's Park; a visit to the zoo; many lunches out including Carluccio's at Russell Square and Monkey Nuts closer to home in Crouch End; a couple of baby and toddler singing classes; a haircut; a housewarming party; our house full of guests - family and friends from Romania, Germany as well as from the outer reaches (i.e. outside of London) of the UK - each one of them playmates for Little Planet.
It was also my birthday this week - on Tuesday. M and I took the day off work (which for me means a day not writing) while the Grandmas looked after Little Planet. We began the day with breakfast at the Serpentine Pavilion.
A wander through the wondrous Wolfgang Tillmans photographic show.
A stroll through Hyde Park and down to the V&A for a wander round the magnificent new medieval and renaissance galleries.
To Soho for delicious, flavourful tempura and udon noodles at the charming Koya on Frith Street.
Followed by coffee and pastel de nata at Fernandez & Wells on Beak Street.
Then home in the late afternoon to celebrate with Little Planet and family. Cutsey cake courtesy of Little Planet ;-) via her didi-ma.
The next day, yesterday, M returned to work and I went to the British Library to write (I'm a member). We met up in Marylebone for dinner that night at Dinings for sublime and exquisite sushi and Japanese tapas.
My favourite presents were a pair of UGG slippers from Little Planet (thanks M!), an excellent Olympus E-PL1 compact camera from M which I can't wait to experiment with, and loads of potted plants and flowers from my mum.
A lovely birthday and a wonderful few days with Little Planet, who has been making us laugh with her toddler conversations and antics. At nearly 2.2 years old, she speaks in full sentences and it's amazing (and delightful) to hear. Here are some excerpts:
- We're all in the living room reading, playing and listening to Portuguese singer Mariza's soulful and often mournful fado on the iTouch. Little Planet looks up from her playing and states, "That lady is really sad. She wants her teddy."
- M is on the floor reading the paper whilst Little Planet is pretending to cut his hair. "I'm cutting your hair, Daddy. Do you want it curly wurly?"
- We're in Regent's Park and Little Planet is dozing off in her buggy. M and I are chatting away when suddenly a little voice pipes out with alacrity: "Don't talk! I'm trying to sleep!" Thereafter we're all whispers until she falls asleep.
- Little Planet is eating her dinner in the kitchen when a dog starts barking in a distant garden. She stops eating, gesticulates towards the garden and shouts, "Shush doggy! I'm having my dinner!"
- This is less about conversation and more about action. We're at a housewarming party where a little boy the same age as Little Planet starts pushing her and pulling her hair and grasping at her shoes. Rather than cry, she simply looks over at us with a quizzical look on her face that seems to say, "What the hell is this boy doing?!" Fortunately his mother pulled him away before we needed to.
- She's fallen down in the park and quite badly bloodied up both her knees. Her Grandma rushes towards her in alarm but she gets herself up and glowers at her: "I'm fine! I'm fine!" and she never cries.
- A phone conversation she has on her pretend mobile phone: "Oh, yes, it's Little Planet here." Pause. "Yes." Pause while nodding her head. "Yes." Another pause then "Okay bye now, I have to go pack the car." Then she gets her play keys out of the toy box, goes to the washing machine and fiddles the key in some bolt or the other, then calls back to me, "I'm packing the car now." Pause, then "Oh, I've forgotten my shopping list." She finds a piece of paper in her toy box and returns to her "car". "That's better now. See you soon, Mummy! I'll text you when I get there."
- She's woken up from a long sleep (12 hours of blissful 7pm to 7am sleep). As I open the door, she says, "Good morning. I've had a nice nap and I feel fresh."