Not been here much recently. Mostly because I haven't been, well, for want of a better word: here. So apologies for bloggy absence, but we were up in Scotland, looking at The House, seeing the in-laws, making plans and generally having a very busy, totally unrelaxing, but extremely enjoyable week off.
Anyway, it's all been a bit unsettling for all the girls, and especially L. We've been moving around a lot: she's been sleeping in different places, meeting new people, coming to the beginnings of an understanding about what moving is going to mean and generally having her routine totally blown to pieces. So yesterday morning we woke up in East Lothian at her cousins' house, piled in the car and drove south, planning to stop for lunch with friends in Yorkshire.
L slept in the car and we made very good time, so I was confident that when we got there she'd be on splendid form.
Not a bit of it. She was properly horrid. Whingy, moany, clingy, refusing to eat, refusing to sit down, refusing to do anything we wanted her to....
So I got cross. And I find that there's something even more cross-making about ordinary toddler behaviour when you're with friends and you really, really want them to see what a lovely child you have, and that child refuses to cooperate...
After half an hour of detailed negotiations over precisely which bit of utterly delicious lasagna she would and wouldn't eat, I lost it and I told her that either she sat down and ate her lunch or I'd put her in the car. (I am officially turning into my mother).
I put her in the car.
I got her out of the car.
She didn't eat.
I put her back in the car.
I got her back out of the car.
I sat her back down at the table, and we agreed that I would "help" her eat "very little spoons" of lasagna.
She looked at me, put her hand under my chin and said:
I looked at her.
"I want you to smile, Mummy".
Whereupon all thoughts of being a strict disciplinarian vanish. In a puff of delighted maternal love.