news - first year

Monday 27th October 2003, Stockholm

written by Abbie (Isabelle's God-mummy)

Having not seen Isabelle since we left the UK at the end of July, I was certainly very apprehensive about whether she would recognise us or not. I had braced myself for the worst assuming we would "strangers" to her. I was wrong! Within about a hour of being with us, she was very comfortable and cuddly! Now, on our third day, she is coming to us as much as she does Tim and Caroline - just like it was in Cambridge! Obviously the big part we played in her first year has made a lasting impression! She is so special to Sean and me and it is so fanastic that our fears of her forgetting us have been detroyed so quickly!

There are some huge differences in the ISabelle staying with us here in Stockholm and the Isabelle we tearfully left behind three months ago. For one thing she is VERY confident on her feet now, indeed, she is now in her second pair of Clarks fitted shoes! She has kept us all on our toes with her toddling and watching her walk waist high in crunchy Autumn leaves was hilarious.

Isabelle is also a lot more vocal and although she is not saying full words, she says "Dad-Dad" to Tim. She also say "Feese!" for "PLease!" and makes lots of sounds to mimic speech. Linked to her "vocal-development" are her amazing leg-kicking, head-shaking, back-arching TANTRUMS! To be fair they have only happened when she is either very tired and over-stimulated or when she is having her face washed! She makes a wonderful screeching sound during these episodes and also this strangled, gurgling crying noise. Tim and Caroline are so fanstastic and calm when she "goes off on one" and she generally quietens down within 5 or so minutes.

One thing that has certainly not changed is Isabelle's general good nature and stunning looks. She is such a strikingly beautiful little girl with a wonderfully happy nature (despite the odd tantrum that I mentioned above). She is so smiley and happy - her eyes literally shine! I feel very proud pushing her along in her buggy as she draws looks from most people we pass. She has also maintained and developed her deliciously "dirty" laugh! Her giggles have entertained a packed Tunnelbana carriage and are incredibly infectious, so that everyone around her is soon laughing and smiling too!

In terms of food, long gone are the days when she would happily be fed some delicious hand made healthy concoction from Caroline. Now she is definitely "carbo-loading" any bread or potato food is fanastic - fruit and veg is yuck! This morning we tried her with some Oaty- Raisiny cereal instead of toast and marmite. She loved it and the throw on our sofa is evidence of this... In fact our day sightseeing around Stockholm started around 2 hours after it could have, due to the fact we were watching Isabelle spread her breakfast around the lounge! She was very careful not to eat the raisins though (far too healthy!...) She has also developed a passion for plain Cashew Nuts and although generally she is a very sharing baby, she won't share her nuts (so to apeak)... She also loves yoghurts.

There are two other things that definitely haven't changed and have infact become much more apparent. The first of these is Isabelle's love of books and "reading". Caroline and Tim have nutured this since she was very tiny and it is wonderful to see her so interested and calmed by looking at one of her story books. She is however generally much more dextrous and can even turn the thin pages of a magazine now one at a time without ripping them. The second thing that not chaged is Caroline and Tim's amazing skill as parents. I don't know whether all parents of small children are like them, but their patience, love and general ability to cope and deal with any situation that may arise involving Isabelle, is quite outstanding! I am truly in awe of them! I know this may sound silly and over sentimental, but they are such amazing people!