Elsie has sucked her thumb since she was two months old. This thumb-sucking has generally been accompanied by a cuddly blanket toy, which she twirls between her fingers as she sucks. In French these toys are called doudous, and Elsie has several of them.
A doudou accompanies Elsie to her creche every day and is put to one side until nap time, which Elsie sometimes does and sometimes does not join in with. This morning, after she zipped her boots and popped the poppers on her coat I noticed her empty hands.
'Elsie my love, which doudou are you taking today?'
She looked up at me, with a wide-eyed soulful look. 'No doudou' she said, shaking her head. 'Essie big girl!' and she flashed me a huge grin.
She kissed me goodbye and walked out of the door, hand in hand with her Daddy. I watched her go, my two-and-a-half year old big girl.