Evelyn's 3 Year Update

Evelyn is 3!!! There's now very little trace left of a toddler; she is, without a doubt, a young child &  she is a truly lovely one. She's cheeky & funny, confident & a bit of an adrenaline junkie, caring & pretty. Her personality is a great mix of girly & boisterous, which I adore, & although she sometimes struggles to communicate what she wants (which results in rudeness or frustration) she more than makes up for it with her kindness.

Without any direction from us she has decided that her favourites are:
Colour - pink and sometimes blue
Food - chocolate, hot-cross-buns, fish, roast chicken, "chips" (dry roasted poatoes suffice too), egg, ice-cream, breakfast
Activities - zip wire, running, face painting, dressing up, cooking, helping, swimming
Clothing - princess dresses, princess shoes, crown and a wand
Fictional characters - Ben & Holly
Music - The winner takes it all (ABBA), Runnin' (Naughty Boy ft Beyonce) & supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

We try to introduce her to new things as often as possible but there is also a comfort that comes with routine: she swims, sees her grandparents & goes to her ballet class weekly, gets fresh air & reads stories daily & there aren't many months that don't see us visiting Slimbridge or Bristol.

As for food there's very little that she wont try & I'm strict on insisting that she shares the same meal that I cook for George & I, even if it's only a mouthful of each food that she tries. Some of the meals that she's surprised me by loving include: Ramen, curries, tofu and fish dishes. There are a few things that she really doesn't enjoy: avocado, lasagna and tomatoes are amongst them. Still, we keep trying & I believe that if we continue to eat diverse and interesting foods then she'll continue to love them too. Hopefully.

Evelyn speaks English beautifully & her vocabulary is increasing daily but she's not really taken to trying out Swedish words yet, I do believe that she understands most of what we communicate to her in both languages though & she's happy to say "pardon?" (or sometimes "huh?") if she's not following. Sometimes she has such a strong understanding of what she believes we mean that she'll say "no mummy/daddy it's not ___ it's ___". I'm yet to help her understand a more polite way of sharing her opinions but we're getting there & I hope that it's in a way that allows her to keep her self-confidence. It's enviable.

On Monday, Mum & I met some friends at Slimbridge for a last minute birthday picnic & today George & I took the girls to West Midlands Safari. It's the first time that they've been & the weather was amazing for it, there weren't many people or cars there either which kept things relaxed. We arrived not long after opening (10ish) & drove around the safari, had a picnic & then walked around the park - visiting most of the attractions - before driving around the safari a final time.

We don't normally drive around the safari twice but we didn't feel that the day was quite "finished" at 3 so we decided to see if we could get a better look at the cats who had been a little elusive on our first drive. It was well worth it! We rarely saw another car which meant that the animals were a little more relaxed & because feeding time was coming up they were closer to the trail. We saw all of the big cats up close & most of them (save the Sumatran tiger who seemed to be solitary) were playing with each other and running around. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

Evelyn loved the elephants and the goats (she became particularly attached to a young white one & was content hugging it for quite some time) but was terrified of the dinosaurs which surprised me. There's very little that, up to this point, has seemed to phase her but I have noticed the beginings of "fear" starting to appear & the idea of walking around the new Dino attraction quite literally gave her cold sweats. She did eventually let George, quickly, carry her around & she seems very proud of herself as she's mentioned it to me several times this evening. "I didn't want to go see the dinosaurs, and then I went around & it wasn't scary".

Her main birthday gift from George & I was a camera which was strapped to her most of the trip & she took A LOT of photos, the following 6 are some of my favourites. I find it amazing being able to see what she sees & it was so lovely to witness her enthusiasm.

Evelyn is a blessing, great company &, along with her sister, the best challenge I've been given. I'm excited to see what happens in the next year :)

P.S. The big scratch along the right side of her face was a result of her diving off a merry-go-round.

P.P.S As well as being able to identify a few written vowels, Evelyn also knows her right from her left & often helps directs us to familiar locations when driving.

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