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James and Ola Jordan reveal toddler Ella's separation anxiety: 'It's so hard leaving her'

The professional dancers chat in their HELLO! Parenting column

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Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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It's the house of the terrible twos for the Jordans right now, with James and Ola's two-year-old daughter Ella hopping between tantrums, separation anxiety and some ultra-cute moments that melt mum and dad's hearts.

MORE: Exclusive: James and Ola Jordan on toddler Ella's tantrums, potty training and screen time

In their weekly HELLO! Parenting column below, the former Strictly dancers tell us all about their little girl's latest antics – including her first Covid test and her 'older boyfriend'.

WATCH: Ella play hide and seek with dad James

James says: "Ella is so cute and her speech is getting better all the time, but the toddler phase is really testing us – we have to pick our battles."

Catch up on the Jordans' week below…

Ella's first covid test and separation fears

Ola: Ella was off nursery on Tuesday because three of the teachers came down with Covid so we decided not to send her in.

James: The teacher who looks after Ella is off and we didn't want her to go in and not enjoy it or get the attention she normally gets. Because of teacher numbers, the nursery agreed, so it will be back to normal next week.

Ola: We kept her at home, but we worked yesterday so my sister came over to look after Ella.

James: And we gave Ella her first Covid test. I know that you don't have to, but morally I still feel it's the right thing to do. Ola's sister is a pharmacist and we were working in a school where there were parents and grandparents, so we all did a test. Ella didn't like it at all. She was over it within a few seconds.

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Ella loves being with her mum and dad

Ola: Yeah, but then she wasn't happy when we were leaving was she? She knows my sister and my niece was here though – it's really hard.

James: Even your sister said she was quite bad. When we left Ella literally screamed the house down.

Ola: We told her before: 'You're going to stay with your auntie and mummy and daddy are going to work.' It's only a few hours.

James: When we got home she said, 'Mummy and daddy always come back.' She obviously still has some kind of separation issues, but I suppose it's normal for kids.

Ola: We just don't go out without her very often, so when we do, she struggles. That was work; if it was a night out, I wouldn't want to go and put her through it.

James: But maybe we should do it more to make it more normal. Ola's sister said that Ella got herself so worked up being upset that she threw her dinner up.

Ola: Yep, she was eating her dinner and then threw it back up into the bowl! Her stress levels are going up – I can tell when I drop her at nursery, but what can you do?

James: She's got to get used to it.

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The adorable Ella Jordan

Ella's older 'boyfriend'

Ola: We went to a barbecue at the weekend and Ella was playing so nicely with an older boy who was about 10.

James: Yeah and she kept saying, 'My boyfriend, my new boyfriend'.

Ola: And he looked after her really nicely. They played together so well.

I also took Ella to her music class this week and one of my friends there said she sees a change in her; she's more upfront with people and goes to people now.

She's singing and dancing in the class which is adorable. When she's singing it makes me laugh because we're not singers, me and James, so I don't know where that comes from. She really goes for it with the singing.

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Ella plays with mum on a rocking horse

Ella's cute new furniture

James: We bought Ella her first little table and chairs, which she's currently on now with her iPad. She doesn't leave this table and chairs – we should have done it ages ago. She absolutely loves it.

Ola: She eats her breakfast and dinner there.

James: So she doesn't go in her high chair anymore – she wants to eat at her pink Peppa Pig table and chair.

Ola: It does not match my kitchen and I'm now planning to get a white one.

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The very popular pink table and chairs!

The tantrum situation

Ola: Ella is so bossy! She comes downstairs and goes, 'Peppa Pig on TV' and then, 'Get me my iPad'. If you say no, that's when you get the tantrums. Sometimes you just go with it…

James: We're choosing the battles I suppose at the moment. She doesn't care where she is when she has a tantrum. She'll have them at home or in public. It's like you walk around on eggshells, and I'm not that type of person.

Ola: If I go shopping with her, I need to avoid the yoghurt section because she wants a yoghurt.

James: Immediately.

Ola: I have to do the yoghurt section last.

James: I took her into Boots in Bluewater and she saw the yoghurts. I just let her have it and I paid for it empty at the till! It just wasn't worth the hassle.

Ola: I can't do a big food shop with her – it's impossible. She wants to get out of the trolley, then she runs around and I have to look for her. It's a nightmare.

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Ella likes to get her way!

James: Once we had to leave the Gravity trampoline park because our time was up – and she went mental. She was having a full tantrum as I carried her out, hitting me and screaming and crying. If she doesn't get her own way, she properly flips. She's like her mother…(laughs).

Ola: We do quite often let her scream it out with a tantrum because you don't want her to learn that she gets her own way all the time.

James: It's brave to do that in public though. I get embarrassed because people go, 'Oh look, there's James and Ola'. Sometimes in the shopping centre, she'll sit down and demand to be carried. We say no, she won't move so we walk off a bit and people look and laugh.

Ola: Because they've been in that situation too.

James: We'll be having a stand-off with a two-year-old – who's going to break first? Normally it's us. I normally go back and pick her up. We do try though. If we say we're going home she'll scream because she thinks we're leaving her. I think we're going to be scared of her as a teenager!

Ola: I try not to think about it. She'll have her dad wrapped around her finger.

James: She's such a strong character.

Ella's car comments

James: We'll be driving down the road and she says, 'Three O, or Four O'. We didn't know what she was going on about. Then we realized she was reading the speed limit signs.

So she tells us how fast we're supposed to be going. She often says when I'm driving, 'Faster daddy faster!'

Ola: When I get in, she goes, 'Daddy drives fast. Mummy drives slow.' So sweet.

James: She's started to put little sentences together. It's really nice to see that her speech has moved on a lot, I love it.

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