She knocks the tower over, triumphant squeals despite the fact that this is not the first, not even the tenth time this has happened in the past few minutes. She toddles over to the scattered blocks and I scan the shelves for something else. Elsie may not be bored of the build-tower-topple-tower-build-tower game, but Mummy needs something new.
Spotting the perfect thing to draw my little girl away from her beloved blocks, I bring the bird to my lips and give a short sharp blow. The bird lets out a squawk and Elsie turns her head quickly, letting the blocks fall to the ground and allowing herself to be drawn to this new game. She comes over quickly, head tilted slightly, the edge of her mouth drawn upwards giving away the anticipation she feels. I bring the bird back to my mouth and blow into the wooden whistle again, seeing her face lift as the magic repeats.
Soon her hand is out, reaching for the toy and I hand it over explaining what to do. ‘Just like bubbles’ I explain, as she puts the whistle to her lips. ‘blow through the hole’. Before she can draw breath her face breaks into a wide grin and she puts the whistle in her mouth. She exhales, but not into the whistle or displaying any sign of having grasped how to make the bird sing. She squeals around the object in her mouth, imitating the bird’s squawk almost perfectly, but creating it all on her own.