Monday 3 July 2017

10 Things My 10-Month-Old Loves

I had forgotten the joys of having a 10-month-old. One of the good things about a bigger age gap is that it’s a bit like going through it all for the first time again (this is also probably one of the bad things about the big age gap). Ember is such a happy baby, she spends most of the day pissing herself at things I don’t quite understand and the rest of the day furious that I won’t let her touch the oven/fall down the stairs/eat the cat (delete as appropriate). Here are ten of the things she loves doing at the moment:

1. Dancing
She has just recently figured out how to dance. I taught her everything she knows, of course. Her down-to-the-floor bounces are out of this world. It’s her only move which is similar to my own catalogue of dance moves (1. awkward swaying and 2. down-to-the-floor-bounces) though I’m not sure I could do them justice at my age (31 is tough). She dances to all the music she hears, even music blaring from passing cars while she’s in the sling, she will suddenly kick her legs out and try to bounce.

2. 5am
If I had to try and pick what her favourite thing was, it would be 5am. She loves it. She cannot get enough of 5am. She is at her loudest and most excitable at that time of day, much to the detriment of our neighbours. And myself, of course. I only fall asleep at midnight, so I am not clocking those much-needed eight hours of beauty sleep at the moment (and you can tell). My day starts at 5am now. It is terrible, but she loves it and if I try to convince her to go back to sleep, she crawls across the bed and starts slapping Laurie or Ebony in the face and laughing so I just have to get up at 5am now.

3. Throwing her food on the floor
The first time around, this stage drove me insane. WHY IS ALL THE FOOD ON THE FLOOR? I would sob this daily while picking cat hairs out of the pasta I was returning to the highchair tray. With Ember, it’s much easier because I know it’s only a stage and at some point she will realise that ‘food is for eating’ (said in a sing-song happy voice). Plus, she loves cat hair. And the floor is laminated, it was carpeted in our old house. Carpet is a terrible idea for baby led weaning. The carpet started off cream and ended up looking like an 80s pub carpet, bright blotches of pasta and curry creating a disco of patterns around the highchair.

4. Tipping her water on the floor
Ah, sippy cups, why don’t they come with a magical force field that forces all spilt water back into the damn cup? She drinks probably three drops of water and then the rest of the contents are tipped onto the floor. With wooden floors, this creates quite a slip hazard. Obviously, she then slips in it and looks across at me as though I am a monster. Me, the person who knows how to use a sippy cup. It is really not worth giving her a drink of water unless I am trying to give her a stealth bath, hiding behind her with shampoo, because it inevitably ends up all over her.

5. Tickling
Ember loves to tickle, it’s her favourite game. She reaches across and lovingly tickles anyone who’ll let her. She laughs crazily the whole time. The only problem is, she’s not very good at tickling and, actually, it’s more like scratching. Ok, fine. She loves scratching. She scratches my face, my boobs, my arms, her sister, everything. She is very good at scratching. She has a great future ahead of her in scratching. She even scratches herself.

6. Things that light up
We go to a couple of playgroups each week. You know the type, church halls filled wall-to-wall with sleep-deprived mothers sat around clutching cups of coffees while their children are kept safely indoors thanks to a safety gate at the exit. To mix things up a little, I signed us up to a fancy baby group recently. It’s £5 for 45 minutes which makes my purse cry tiny tears in the corner of the room, but Ember loves it. The women who run are enthusiastic (too enthusiastic, some might say). They have shitloads of props, deafeningly high-pitched songs and plenty of flashing lights. It turns out, my ten-month-old loves flashing lights. The rest of the babies are only just sitting, they sit politely admiring the lights from afar. Not my baby. She’s all over that shit. The first week, she managed to get the batteries out of one of the lights. The second week, she took the light up centrepiece and crawled off with it (I tried but I couldn’t get it back off her).

7. Pulling books off shelves
I like shelves. I like arranging my books so everyone can see how well-read I am and I love organising the books by colour so everyone can see how creative I am (or how much time I spend on Pinterest). Ember loves shelves too. She loves destroying them. She rips down the books, hurling the light ones over her shoulder and dropping the heavy ones right on her toes (then shoots me an evil stare as if it was my fault). She loves pulling all the books down. Not just at home, but everywhere we go. We no longer get invited, like, anywhere.

8. Untidying
I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough lately. It turns out, if I tidy up Ebony’s bedroom every day, it doesn’t get too messy. This might sound a bit obvious, but it has taken me five long years to learn this trick of the trade. It has become part of my daily routine when Ember wakes from her morning nap, we pop into Ebony’s room and quickly put books back on the shelves, pick up the toys and sort out the bed. Well, I do. Ember follows me closely, quickly undoing absolutely everything I do. She drags more books down off the shelf, tips the toy box over and drags clothes out of the chest of drawers. I am now a very speedy tidier, I have only speed on my side.

9. Pooing on the floor
That kid can whip her nappy off and curl one out on the floor quicker than you can say PLEASE DON’T SHIT ON THE RUG. It’s her signature move. If she is left without a nappy on for more than the blink of an eye, she will crap on the floor. Sometimes, she stands up, walks away from the potty and then poops just in front of it. This is gross but it’s not as bad as the time Ebony smeared poo all over herself, her cot and my side of the bed so I can forgive a bit of poo on the floor. I cannot forgive poo on my pillow.

10. Anything she isn’t allowed to do

She definitely understands the word no. I know this because of the way she smiles at me while she continues to smack the tv/climb over the edge of the sofa/open the grill. She never stops what she’s doing. Never. Not once. She knows all the things she isn’t allowed to do, and she does them with glee. The only thing that keeps me sane is the manic laughter that erupts from her as soon as she gets hold of something she shouldn’t. It’s like a warning siren. Silence, fine, I can handle that. Crazy evil laughter? Shit, she’s done something.

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