Small Z recently became two-and-a-half. As of the last two days she is officially out of nappies. None during the day, and none at night. The guru was right. And from this minute? Due to our great pre-planning and forethought, that gives me about fifty-one days of nappy free existence…until the next two-and-a-half years click over. [eyeroll]

Small Z is a lot of fun. I have loved almost every ‘stage’, but just lately? She is such a companion for me, and one that makes me laugh hugely many times a day. With her nighttime routine still in place I am more often than not getting some couch-time before going to bed myself. This helps me to be a better person in daylight hours – when I manage to get myself to bed before 10pm.

We are still co-sleeping and I’m happy with this. I like that I am able to be there if she wakes with a fright. I love that I can hear the freaky little sleep-talking that she does. During the day I don’t notice, but when her little voice comes abruptly out of the quiet night, I can hear what a baby she still is. It only happens every so often, but last night it was:

“Penguin. Penguin. Penguin. PENGUIN!
Tom bought me a PENGUIN!!”

I did make an attempt a month or two back to get her into her own bed, mostly in preparation for the new babe. It didn’t really work out, and why would it? She isn’t ready. If I was her age and used to snuggling up to my mum every night, I don’t think I’d be that keen on being in another room alone in a bed. I decided to just see how things roll when the new one arrives and to work it out as we go along. There’s no point stressing over the utterly unpredictable.

Yes. There are meltdowns. Mostly hers. And usually due to sleep deprivation. I do try and have quiet time with her, in lieu of the no-napping. The other day I was so sore and exhausted that I just lay on the couch. She is so small, but so patient. She laid a ‘blanket’ over me and climbed up to lie next to me.

Tell-me-a-story about Moon-Sheep… After a few stories she played with some toys near my feet while I got a catnap in. She also unzips my boots at the end of the day, when it is hardest to reach my own ankles. Grateful doesn’t cover it.

Her vocabulary has always been her strength. She continues to love words and obsess over rhyming. She corrects us if we baby-talk her and says things like “Look at my ENORMOUS poo!” and “I have brought you this wire, mama, please don’t leave it there again.” and “I am looking at a par-tic-u-lar cloud.” Right.

Two days ago we were lying on the bed just around noon when she pressed herself against me:
“I love you, mama. I am so glad you came here.”
I gulped and tried to do a mental screenshot capture of the moment. She had never said that to me before. And was lucky I didn’t squish her alive and then eat her up like a raspberry marshmallow. It was one of those parenting moments, and I won’t lie. I lapped it up like a puppy.

And here’s the thing. I am both excited about the new babe, and mourning the loss of having Small Z as my little ‘only’. She is still so small. And yet I know that alongside a newborn, she is going to immediately become the Incredible Hulk.

I am sad that just as everything has got a easier (pregnancy woes aside) we are going to plunge back into the new baby haze and all the upside down crazy shit that goes along with it. Of course we will adapt and change to accommodate. But my focus will have to split, and I can’t help feeling a bit forlorn about that.

So I really feel like grabbing these next (almost) two months and making them special. It’s the last chance I’ll get [cue: me crossing my fingers for a great birth and healthy baby…] I am also trying remember things from this time, but basically, what you’re reading here is the only written stuff I have, so excuse me for a few minutes while I get a few things down for posterity…

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We have a lovely routine going where we make porridge together in the morning and share a kiwi-fruit. We are usually assisted by her favourite toy of the moment – a bee, a Tigger, a crocodile, a train…

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Despite her predilection for excellent diction, she still has a few words escape her, and often says; I need to find my zizzors.

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Current obsessions include bees, trains, sea creatures, the moon (of course), and worms. We got a book out from the library called Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef and she has basically learnt it by heart. We had it in Collingwood a few weeks back at the time she went to the aquarium. This was recorded that night before we went to sleep…

Over in the Ocean – Aged 2.5

Over in the ocean on the sandy sea floor,
lived an old mother stingray and her little stingrays four.
Stir, said the mother. We stir, said the four.
So they stirred with their fins on the sandy floor.
Over in the ocean doing somersault tricks,
lived an old mother dolphin and her little dolphins six.
JUMP! Said the mother. We JUMP! said the six.
So they jumped and they played doing somersault tricks…
Over in the ocean their sea fan heaven,
lived a mother angelfish and her angelfish seven.
Graze, said the mother. We graze, said the seven.
So they lazed and they grazed in their sea fan heaven.
Over in the ocean drifting in a yellow line,
lived an old mother gruntfish and her little gruntfish nine…
(Much grunting…)
GRUNT! said the mama. We grunt, said the nine.
So they grunted in a yellow line.
Over in the ocean in their sea grass den,
lived an old father sea horse and his sea horses ten.
Flutter, said the father. We flutter, said the ten.
So they fluttered all around in their sea grass den…

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And the moons and the tigers persist. There was much joy when we discovered that Ligers actually do exist and weren’t something we had created merely for rhyming purposes. Who knew? This is some audio I recorded about three weeks ago, just as we woke up. Silvery Blue Moon Tiger Snackbox

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A large farting noise from Small Z.
Me: “Goodness. You are a stinker. What did your bum just say?”
She thought about it.
“It said… GO. TO. BED!!!!”
Me: “An excellent idea.”

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Her first ‘why’ question was about four months ago, as we were reading Possum Magic.
“What does ‘shrink’ mean?”
…and since then the questions tumble out like water. This morning it was colours while she was drawing with her pastels.
“What does green and yellow make? Ahhh. AVOCADO COLOUR!”

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There you go, Future Small Z. All those little snippets of the past five months or so that would otherwise be eaten by fatigue, the passing of time, or both. Of course, this is more for me than you… There are things I have already forgotten, and things I will remember later, but the most important thing is that there is a few bits and pieces here NOW. And a little part of me can relax and consider it captured in cyber-amber.