Alice just keeps improving with age. She wasn’t a happy baby but the second she could move around a bit more for herself she started cheering up. It’s like being a baby just didn’t suit her and she was in a hurry to grow. Her jumperoo was a lifesaver from when she was about 3 months old and couldn’t sit up yet, but could quite happily be propped upright in there. The sense of glee on her face when she managed to pull herself up to standing and reach things she’d not been able to before was brilliant. Once she started crawling at 7 months she was a little tearaway, speeding around all over the place. I thought she’d be quick to walk, but she wasn’t really. She took her first steps at her first birthday party but still didn’t really walk properly for another month or so after that because she was so much faster when she was crawling so she stuck to that for a while. She was also obsessed with climbing. Everything. All the time. She was the one I couldn’t take my eyes off because if I did she’d be up on the table, up the stairs, trying to climb shelves etc.
Her enjoyment of moving hasn’t stopped as she’s got older. She does gymnastics classes each week and absolutely loves them. She seems pretty naturally bendy. As a toddler she’d sit in her high chair with her legs up around her ears for pretty much every meal as her default position. She can do the splits with no effort at all. She doesn’t like walking, even the 10 minute walk to school. She just seems to find it boring, whereas if she can scoot or ride her bike somewhere she’s all for it. If she wants to learn something physical she’ll spend ages persevering until she can do it whether it’s skipping, cartwheeling, doing handstands etc. She got a pogo stick for her birthday last year and spent literally all day getting her balance and seeing how many bounces she could do, then trying to beat her total, then trying to beat it again. She gave herself blisters on the insides of her legs because she’d bounced up and down so much she wore the skin off.
Alice is a real girly girl. Her favourite books are ones about fairies. She loves unicorns and mermaids and spends ages playing with her mermaids in the bath. She has lots of dolls that she plays mums and babies with, and lots of barbies and polly pockets that she role plays with. She was really excited to get a dolls house this year. All her friends at school are girls and she’s really not interested in the boys. It surprises me sometimes because physically she can definitely keep up with the boys, and at home her and Matthew are a real pair and play together a lot, but she never mentions the boys at school! Her birthday parties are very girly affairs, the last one involving ‘Sparkle the Unicorn Fairy’.
For someone who can stick at tasks she’s interested in for ages, she also has zero attention span for things she’s not so interested in! Katie and John can spend hours in the garden together, and Alice will usually join in for about 10 minutes and then get bored. Katie is the practical one and Alice is the imaginative one. She would much rather be swinging from something or playing a game than doing jobs.
Alice is a sociable little miss. She loved preschool and she loves school. She has a more the merrier attitude so she likes surrounding herself with people and having kids her age to play with. She seems to make friends quite easily and will happily chat to anyone. For the most part she takes life in her stride and seems pretty happy with her lot. When she was younger we joked that by having Matthew we were turning Alice into the awkward middle child, but so far she’s anything but that. She probably does get the least attention because Katie naturally demands more of it, and Matthew being the youngest has needed more by default as a baby and a toddler, and Alice gets what’s left. But she just goes with the flow, and we do make sure she gets one to one time with me or John when we can.
In terms of her attitude to school and friendships Alice is the one of the three of them that I relate to the most. She likes learning, it’s never a problem to get her to do her homework, she has friends, and she enjoys school, which is how I was when I was younger. John says he used to spend the holidays worrying about going back to school and used to stress about school trips, which is the opposite of me. I used to spend the holidays looking forward to going back to school and was excited for school trips, which is the same as Alice now. She has found the coronavirus lockdowns really hard going because we’re just not enough for her day in day out. She has been desperate to see her friends again and not just Mummy, Daddy, Katie, Matthew all day every day.
Alice is a funny one when it comes to animals. When she was very little she used to love pretending to be a dog and used to get us to throw things for her to go and fetch, and I thought she’d love animals but she really doesn’t! She’s scared of dogs, especially small energetic ones, and can really freak out if they come too close to her. I’m not sure where that’s come from as she’s not had any bad experiences with dogs. If we go to farm parks or anywhere like that she’s really not too interested in the animals and would rather play in the park or the soft play area. She’s quite hesitant to feed the animals and will just watch the others doing it. She even gets nervous around Fred sometimes even though he’s been our cat since before she was born and she’s never known life without him – and he’s really good with kids and doesn’t scratch or bite them. It’s weird because she’s so fearless in so many other areas but is so unsure of herself around animals.
For the most part Alice is a little ball of energy and spends her time skipping, swinging, jumping, whizzing around, but then she has funny little dips. She is the one who will get run down and catch a virus / spike a temperature / come out in a rash. Sometimes she gets dry patches round her mouth or her eyes will puff up for no apparent reason. She eats the best diet out of the three and loves fruit and vegetables, but she’s also the one who will get constipated. When the kids had chicken pox Katie and Matthew had the expected spots but Alice did it in style and was absolutely covered all over in angry looking spots and scabs. But thankfully it all tends to be short term and then she’s quickly back to running around full pelt.
Alice’s smile is fabulous. She doesn’t just smile – that grin is stretched all the way across her face, her dimples pop and her face literally lights up. She definitely wears her emotions on her sleeve. As a toddler she was grinning and laughing or howling with rage and there really wasn’t much in between. As she’s grown up a bit there is more of a middle ground but definitely when she’s in a bad mood you can practically see the thunder cloud hanging over her head and when she’s happy she’s almost radiating it. Her pride in herself when she achieves something is lovely too. She owns it and can’t wait to tell anyone she sees when she’s gone up a reading level or up to the next swimming class.
She’s a good egg.