Clio's magic moments: From newborn to sparkly 7-year-old, a mother's enchanting photo diary of her little girl's big steps forward
00:50 GMT, 24 September 2012
When I had my daughter Clio seven years ago, a number stuck in my mind from the day she was born.
It was 4,380 – the number of days she had before she turned into a teenager. As she is my second child, I knew how fleeting are the precious moments of childhood, unless they are recorded.
So every time Clio played a new game that showed a step in her understanding of the world, I took a picture. Rather than giving her Bratz dolls and
computer games, I left her to work out her own entertainment – with
balls, skipping ropes, chalk and crayons.
peer pressure raised its head – as it did with crazes such as Moshi
Monsters – I stood firm and remembered that the happiest days of my
childhood were spent on the garden swing, not in front of a screen.
is such an incredible journey and I wanted Clio to have a record of how
far she had come: how amazing it was that the tiny, star-shaped hands
that could once only swipe at toys above the cot were now so skilled
they could do joined-up writing.
at her photos is one of Clio’s favourite pastimes. It helps her
appreciate the milestones she’s passed and how much she can still
achieve. Here are a few of the pictures that make up a portrait of her
childhood . . .
One week old: Just home from hospital, Clio is trying to focus on her reflection in her mobile's mirror
Two months old: Now she is more alert and is starting to grasp small objects
Seven months old: Clio seems delighted to have worked out that the baby in the mirror playing peek-a-boo is actually a reflection of herself
11 months old: Here's Clio learning how to pretend. She roars like a
lion while looking at a book of the nursery rhyme The Lion
And The Unicorn
12 months old: She can't blow bubbles herself yet, but Clio scrunches up her face as they land on her nose
Fifteen months: Now she has some words – including 'Ca' for cat and 'Da'
for over there, Clio has a lot to say to her big sister Lily
23 months: Hosting her first teddy bears' picnic, Clio decides to serve up chocolate muffins to her lucky cuddly toys
Two years: It's Clio's birthday, in March 2007, so we go to a children's
farm for a treat. And she is entranced when she meets a pony
Two years, two months: With utmost authority, Doctor Clio tells her big sister to breathe in and out as she wields her toy stethoscope. Lily almost looks too scared to refuse!
Two years, eight months: Sweet-toothed Clio discovers that the best part of making biscuits is getting to lick the wooden spoon afterwards
Two years, ten months: She may be experiencing a bit of a balance challenge, but clio achieves lift-off on the trampoline
Two years, 11 months: Clio doesn't seem sure about her dress when she checks it out in the mirror just before her third birthday
Three years, four months: She gets to grips with holding a violin for
the first time. Soon she will play her first tune – Twinkle, Twinkle,
Three years, six months: Clio enjoys drawing and she is very proud of her self-portrait, complete with long blonde hair
Four years, two months: Now she is in the reception class at school, and Clio can read her favourite teddy-bear book, Corduroy, to the restof the family
Four years, four months: Clio learns about making plants grow by watering her newly planted radishes
Four years, six months: Clio tries to find out if a bashful playmate likes butter by holding a buttercup under his chin
Five years, one month: Her musical repertoire has expanded to include the folk song Go Tell Aunt Rhody
Five years, five months: Clio whiles away the hours on a swing at her grandparents' house
Five years, ten months: Inspired by the book The Snowman, Clio is hopeful her creation will be able to fly, too
Six years: Clio's come a long way from her first ballet lesson, which basically involved skipping around theroom
Six years, five months: Clio is desperate for a pet dog – but makes do by creating a doggie-grooming parlour for her soft toys
Seven years, five months: The best toy this summer is a tub of chalks, which Clio uses to mark out hopscotch