Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bump


Over the past month, Ebony has been on a whirlwind tour of developmental milestones. She has cut her first teeth (two so far, but I think another is on the way), she has learnt how to sit up and, more importantly, how to safely fall down. About a month ago, I sat her on a chair in a cafe and I turned away for a moment, when I looked back she had stood up using the arm of the chair. Since then standing up is her new favourite activity. She will crawl towards sofas, tables, bins, potties and human legs in a desperate attempt to pull herself up to standing.

If I sit her in the cot while I get dressed, she will quickly pull herself up and shout: “eeer da da ba ra eeeer.” I think she is very proud of all her new skills, especially standing because she always has a huge smile on her face when she does it.
As superheroes will often tell us, with great power comes great responsibility. But Ebony doesn’t understand that, so the responsibility appears to be all mine. It’s all very well for her to showcase her new skills by crawling over to the fire hearth, or trying to stand up using a potty, but it is my responsibility to run round after her making sure she doesn’t get hurt. 
She is quick as lightning too. One minute she’s fine, the next minute I look up and she’s about to pull the lamp over, or she’s chewing a nappy (don’t worry, it’s usually a clean one) or she’s about to climb onto the Blu-Ray player. It’s never ending. She can make trouble and find danger anywhere.
With babies, it obviously takes them awhile to fully master each new skill. Sitting up was preceded by a few weeks of failed attempts. And by failed attempts I mean head bangs, and we have hardwood floors. I have actually resorted to having a full double duvet on the floor in the living room at all time. Because I don’t like rugs. I know that this makes no sense because at least a rug belongs on the floor. But I’m tired, so please excuse my preference for bed floors rather than appropriate floor attire.
Standing up is a skill that seems laced with danger. She can stand up, but she doesn’t seem to understand that if she lets go, she will fall. She may be a slow learner. The other evening, I had put her in the cot so I could get dressed. She immediately lifted herself up and screeched with excitement, she was moving her feet too. Danger. I looked at her from across the room, and was actually saying aloud: “Am I meant to stop you doing things like, or let you do it and just accept that you might get...” when I was interuppted by a loud bang and crying. She had, in all the excitement, stopped holding on and lifted a foot at the same time, resulting in her falling forwards and smacking her face against the bar. She cried, a lot. Then she got a little bruise, it was traumatic.
But, babies are bound to get a few bumps surely? I mean, we have very thick skulls and this must be  why? Or am I a terrible mother for not stopping her stand up when she hasn’t yet mastered the skill? How will she learn the importance of holding on if she doesn’t sometimes let go?
My husband isn’t convinced by my thoughts on this. So I googled it. I wanted to know how worried I should be about head bumps. Wherever you can find a worried mother, you can usually find an over saturated market of pointless products trying to ease her worries, for a fee of course. Head bumps is no exception, I found these helmets for babies.
These are, I think, quite honestly the most ridiculous baby product I have seen yet. Helmets for babies. It is horrid when Ebony bumps her head and cries, but it is part of learning (as long as it’s not a serious bang, obviously). She’s not going to seriously injure herself, because I am always there, in the same room, keeping an eye on her. The helmets are such a ridiculous reaction to head bumps that I actually want to cry a bit for the babies who are forced to wear them. I mean, I consider myself quite neurotic and over protective, but these helmet Mums are actually covering their kids in armour just to play with their toys.

What kind of death home must you have to live in to warrant a helmet for your baby?

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