Unlike Suzy she was born into the world in a glorious rush - shooting into my trouser leg before I was even out of the car. Her threatened hip dysplasia never manifested beyond a pavlic harness. Mum said that when I was still being supported into the birth centre a midwife grabbed her and Eleanor and dragged them both inside quickly. Ella had cried when she was born but she was silent then and, worried about her temperature (aparently being born in the streets in October at 2am can bring your core temperature down - who knew!), the midwife flicked her foot. This caused, as Mum says, "her little face to crumple". I saw that crumple quite a bit in the early weeks - and it always caused me to melt. Suzy was just ANGRY when thwarted or hurt, Ella was sad. I used to worry that base sadness would struggle to stand up to Suzy - I shouldn't have done.
Ella knows what she wants and currently her volume is *loud*. She does not cry so much any more - it's just when she comes across an obstacle she cannot work out a way round she yells at it in increasing volume until the obstacle magically vanishes (mostly because an adult comes and saves her). She apparently has the dubious honour of being the loudest child that her childminder has ever known. If Suzy is causing an obstacle then she will get yelled at too. Although obviously in Ella's mind Suzy is one of the best things in the world.
Ella loves music and dancing on TV - she does a vertical wiggle when dancing by herself that just makes me happy. She has worked out how to crawl to the top of the stairs, swing herself round until she is about to descend the stairs feet first on her tummy - and then just slide down all the way calling loudly. She doesn't seem to have fear.
Ella is affectionate - she gives hugs with an arm around the nape of your neck, face nestled into the shoulder. She understood kissing from an early age - she will g "mmmmm" and present her mouth for a kiss - only at the last minute feignting and presenting her forehear instead, so a sort of kissing headbut.
I feel guilty because I wrote a love letter to Suzy at 10 months and now, even at a year 2 months, I can't write a love letter to Ella without including Suzy too. But they are our children and they are now a weird, loud, emotional package. Suzy has never been overtly jealous of Eleanor, never ever hitting out at her and including her in her "Princess Suzy" stories from the word go. She will without prompting name Eleanor as one of the top three people she loves. And Eleanor is so much further because she has Suzy to copy and follow around and laugh with - when they are on the same wave length.
We all know that some things did not go well in 2016. There are times when I question our wisdom in bringing the girls into a world that has reminded us that things don't just keep getting better and better without conscious and constant effort - that the "good guys" often don't win. But they are blessings and we are blessed. In a small corner of Walthamstow - we are currently very very happy