14/09/2012 15:19 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Terrible Twos: Everything In Its Place

Toddler giggling Getty

From memory, I haven't had as much of a squirrelling problem with Ruby as I did with her older sister.

My eldest daughter Ava used to grab the chance to take (usually quite important) things and put them in a special place – a place only she knew of. It wasn't that she was being naughty really – and it was my fault in part for absent-mindedly leaving things where she could lay her hands on them – she just used to get carried away in her imagination, and everyday objects would become, for example, ingredients for cooking in her toy kitchen.

But Ruby, well, she's always been a more logical sort of person, and she's more of a tidier than a squirreller (I know that's not a real word). She likes things to be in their place. Often, if she finds my keys (after rooting through my handbag) she'll come over to me with them and say: "Here go, mummy!" and tell me to put them on the hook.

So I was a bit surprised when Dan told me he had lost the case for his phone... and the last place he had seen it was in Ruby's hands.

Dan really needs his phone case. I'm sure he won't mind me admitting, on his behalf, that he drops his phone a lot. For the last several days, his phone has been in mortal danger. But I couldn't find it anywhere.

So I asked Ruby about it:

"Darling, do you know where daddy's phone case is?"

"Er, nooooo."

"You know? Daddy's phone? It has a little black case it lives in. You don't know where it is?"


So I looked in all the places I thought Ru might have left it without thinking – in the toy box, on the book shelf, under the kitchen table (where she likes hiding when I say it's bath time).

Then (perhaps beginning to doubt Dan a bit) I looked in some grown-up places: on the dresser, next to the radio on the worktop, and in the drawer where i keep my glasses, all the pens and a hundred other things.

It was nowhere I could think of. The phone case exited my mind on the conveyer belt of things-not-important-enough-to-worry-about.

Then a couple of days later, on Monday, when I asked Ruby what she'd like do, she said: "Dwawing, mummy!"

She toddled over to the mini desk and chair in the living room and opened the drawer. And as she was faffing about, rummaging through the contents and choosing her colours, I noticed the corner of something black.

There it was, Dan's phone case, neatly stowed away – with something green poking out of it.

It made me grin all over when I realised what she'd done. Her somewhat garish sunglasses (which did not come with a case like mine did), had been neatly slid inside. Then the case had been closed, and she'd popped them safely into the drawer where she keeps her pens and a hundred other things.

Dan has his phone case back (for now), but as I continue to unravel my little girl's emerging personality, I'll have a good idea where to look next time it disappears.

You can catch up on previous Terrible Twos here.