Recently we're having demands in our house. New demands. Demands involving preferences. Demands involving extensive, repetitive choices. The same DVDs. The same books. The same games. The same pyjamas. The same food. Over and over and over.
I know this is a toddler thing and to some extent have been expecting it. What I wasn't expecting was Dame bloody Fashionista moving into my son's tiny, pudgy little body, should, say, he have some sort of accident in his pyjamas requiring one half to be removed. You know. Lint on a sleeve. Or something. Anyway, should we replace one half of his pyjamas with a half of a different pair, we are likely to have some fairly insistent resistance. This involves said toddler padding off at a swiftish pace to rifle through his drawers until he finds a match. He then disrobes from the repellant mis-match and screams until he is dressed appropriately.
This is matched in the morning by an insistence on particular footwear. Even though he has never gone to nursery in his wellies, the other day he was inconsolable on being made to leave the house without them, to the point that the nursery rang me to say he'd been tearful all day and was he ok? Clearly, someone of import in his world had gone to nursery wearing their wellies and he was already feeling the fashion burn.
Bedtime now involves some extensive negotiation over reading material, additional to all the wardrobe decisions to be made. While we are still arguing over the 'one last book' clause in the bedtime contract, there is a lot of flexibility in the actual content of the bedtime read, although currently it's all a bit predictable.
At birth, the spud was given a collection of Charlie and Lola books with which he is at the moment reasonably obsessed. Having just mastered his own name and some of the personal pronouns ('me' and 'my') but being only two and therefore having difficulty differentiating between himself and the rest of the world, anything 'Charlie' is therefore 'me'. Thus, drawings of books which are carried by the character 'Charlie' are 'my books'. If Lola's brother is playing with a car, it's 'my car'. This explains why he's so fond of Lola because there he is, on TV and in the books, playing with her all the time. Clearly, she's his best mate. It also explains why I am now reading Charlie and Lola every night while Busy Airport and Thomas the Tank Engine are gathering dust.
It's also critical that the bedclothes are just so and that he has his nightlight in bed sometimes and on the nightstand others, and that teddy is, or is not, under the blanket, (just in case, you understand) and sometimes it's of concern which way his favourite car is parked. These things matter.
It won't be long before he moves on and adopts other books, other shoes, other pyjamas, much in the way he's moved on from his T'choupi DVD to Babar but I'm interested to know how long this phase of identifying with every Charlie in existance is going to last. It's just that it's going to be very interesting once we get to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Oompa Loompas, anyone?