It is so easy to dismiss the small things in life that make us smile. Life rushes us off our feet and the brief moments of laughter are sometimes carried away by it all. I realized this a couple of days ago, how I was sometimes inadvertently missing out on laughing at the silly things in life. You know, laughing for no particular reason at all or spending a whole afternoon laughing and smiling at a somewhat normal episode.
Nearly all these episodes involve Cesca.
Raising a toddler offers many of these moments.
Cesca is now a little lady. ‘Lady’ is her word of choice. To me she is just my overgrown baby who happens to turn three in the next couple of weeks. I sometimes find myself staring at her, at how much of her own person she is, how assertive and mind-set she is and how her character is already set in stone. She is a small joker, loves nothing but being in the centre of attention, cuddles and hugs are her absolute favourite and she is a little teaser.
And she talks. Without stopping. All the time.
Her discovery of new words and phrases is the funniest thing ever. Her vocabulary expands daily, and I marvel at how she uses the correct phrase at the right moment.
Whenever she enters into a (usually my) dirty car, her first expression is always, “How disgusting!” Rightly so. Try to give her something she does not like to eat and she will roll her at eyes at you and primly tell you, “How disgusting”. And once it’s deemed as disgusting, nothing will change her mind.
Her latest phrase is now, “Okay, no problem”. So if I explain to her that she can’t have chocolate in the morning, she nods at me and tells me, “Okay, no problem. Have it later”. Whenever she asks to go on the purple slide (I always forget which one that is) at 8 o’clock at night and I tell her that she can’t because it’s bedtime, she shrugs her shoulders and replies, “No problem. We go tomorrow”. Nothing is truly a problem with Cesca.
She has now taken to starting up conversations with total strangers. As totally unlike me and her father as she can possible be, she manages to hold full conversations with supermarket assistants and shop attendants. Last week she went up to an unknown attendant, looked at her and told her, “Hello lady, how old are you?” The poor woman had to give her age, to which Cesca replied “I have two. Will be three in July”. When the attendant continued chatting to her, Cesca gave her the cold shoulder, said bye, pointed to an ‘Administration’ sign and started spelling it. She had the whole shop in tears of laughter.
She abhors the word ‘brava’. She barely tolerates ‘good girl’ and reacts better to ‘well done’ and ‘good job’. It is quite the feat biting back ‘brava’ because it comes so naturally to me. But she always lets me know that she is ‘no brava’. Ah, Cesca. I always thought children loved being called brava…
Avicii is her favourite band. It started off with “Hey Brother“, went on to “You Make Me” and now “Addicted To You” is growing on her. I had to look up these names, yet she will sing the words off these songs whenever she hears the beats. She runs to the computer, sits down on the chair and sings along like there’s no tomorrow. Sometimes she also breaks into a dance which is the funniest thing ever. Yet the honour of singing does not extend to her mother. Whenever I try and sneak in a hum or a song, she looks at me angrily and tells me “Don’t sing mama'”. I never thought I was that bad.
Writing this, I’m smiling and silently laughing. Life is definitely not dull with a toddler around.