This weekend Lauren went oop north for the first time to visit some relations. This came as quite a culture shock to her. I tried to ease her in gently by stopping en route at Watford Gap services but she failed to adjust to her surroundings and with her walker marched straight into the coffee shop. You can take the girl out of Chiswick………..

So we arrived somewhat unprepared and the first area of confusion to arise was being called ‘duck’. She knows she is not one of those quacky things in the bath, so why did everyone keep refering to her and each other as such? Most odd.

We also had to overcome the language barrier. Upon arrival Great Grandma was treated to an exceptional performance of Lauren’s repertoire of animnal noises and was rightfully pretty impressed. Later on, Great Grandma wanted Lauren to do a repeat performance, so she was saying things like “Lauren, do mun-keh” to which Lauren would just look at her quizically until I whispered ‘monkey’ and she obligingly ooo-ooo,oo, ah-ah-ahhhhhed.

Her relations were not able to impressed by Lauren walking because she still can’t, not that I am surprised. First she couldn’t roll when all her friends could, then she was really slow to crawl and now she can’t walk. She’s definitely not forward when it comes to going forward.

She is progressing nicely vocally though. We have now learnt baboon “bah-boo” and bamboo “bah-boo”! She is immensely proud of these word(s) and tries to repeat everything back but basically fails unless the consonant involved is ‘b’. In place of totally unobtainable sounds is a breathy ‘huh’. So ‘quack’ becomes ‘huh’ and clock becomes ‘huh’ etc. Not sure at what age children are able to say these things because I’ve officially given up with parenting books. All they do is stress me out that her diet isn’t perfect, or she doesn’t sleep long enough. or she should be able to recognise a Dali versus a Picasso by now. For newborns,I think you’d have to be mega confident not to buy one and I found mine invaluable but now, I am just going to muddle along. I realise I risk being the weird mother but hey, if I had to suffer lunchboxes full of homemade yoghurt and dried figs when I was at school, then it’s only right Lauren follows in the family tradition. (Sorry mum, I loved my lunches really!)

Anyway, back in London on home turf, we did a bit of Christmas shopping on Kings Road. Lauren popped in to Trotters to see all the girls and buy some of her friends birthday presents. She mooed repeatedly at our store manager Tricia – I think she was trying to impress her. Then we went to Peter Jones and met Father Christmas, who despite coming from Lapland fortunately did not have a Northern accent so she could understand him. Phew!