Sunday, July 15, 2007

Time out for a reality check

Writing this blog has been a lot of fun however sometimes I struggle to find something amusing to write about. I started this as a way to update family and friends on my pregnancy so that they didn’t all ring me with the same questions (one gets tired of talking about one’s blood pressure after all). Since, however, everything that happens from the minute you pee on the stick until the day your baby rifles through your wallet for your last tenner and legs it out his window for an underage beer is frankly ridiculous, this has become more of an avenue for venting than a real update. So, time, I think, for some words on the spud.

Vital Stats: He’s 10½ months old now but is wearing 12-18 month old clothes. He's 2'7" tall. He’s big. By that I don’t mean that he’s one of those babies with an extra baby stuffed underneath his skin or with his name down for the next Michelin Man auditions but he is very tall and quite, er, solid.

On the plus side however he is very very cute. Or it might just be us. The Frog said to me the other day in an area full of children ‘is it just me or is he the cutest baby here?’. ‘It’s just you’ I said gallantly because whatever one thinks about the tremendously astonishing cuteness of one’s own baby, it is just not cricket to admit to such things in public. The Spud is, however, a cute-o-matic at the moment. I am teaching him to ‘high five’. I have never ‘high fived’ anyone in my life but in this stuporific world of motherhood, it seems important that the Spud learn this meaningless trick.

He’s started waving and he shows all his teeth when he does it as he is so barmily pleased with himself- however it's the same smile he gave when he pulled the corkscrew out of the kitchen drawer this morning because in Spudland, taking out an eye ranks right up there with saying ‘bye bye’ to the postman.

He is, however, dangerously tall. He can reach the highest drawers in the flat, open them, pull out the scissors and, oh, say a fork and perhaps a saw to go with them (no not really) and start dismantling himself. Tall enough to reach a pot handle should one be overhanging the floor area from say the hot stove. He can climb into our bed without thinking (but not climb out without cracking a vertebrae), climb up the stairs (but not down) and he can lift the lid on the loo and paddle his fingers in the lime-scale remover but worse than all this is that he’s able to reach the door handles and has worked out what they do.

This means that unless things are in the cellar behind the stair gate (which he will doubtless have figured out by the end of the week) or hanging from the wall at eye level, all the dangerous things we have in the flat are now accessible to our fearless, incomprehending bundle of 10-month-old joy.

He is remarkably tenacious and once he realises that something DOES something he won’t stop until he’s worked it out. When one is 10½ months old, Working Things Out means Putting Things In Your Mouth and very soon there won’t be anything left functioning in the entire apartment as drool is remarkably destructive. I am now having nightmares both sleeping and waking that there is something I haven’t put away safely enough, that there will be a moment where I turn my back and something awful happens. Drawers and cupboards are sealed, the oven is latched, there are rubber corners on any sharp edges, the plugs are covered and yet he can crawl into a room and in under a minute have found something sharp to hit his head on and something inedible to shove into his mouth.

The real nightmare though is the cost of keeping him in clothing over the next 17 years. There is an old-wives tale doing the rounds at the moment which says that if you measure a child on it’s second birthday and double it, you’ll get an approximation of the height they will be as a full-grown adult. Charlie has grown around 7 inches since he was born. Even if he only gains another 7 in the next 13 ½ months, he will be 3’2” on his 2nd birthday. I can only hope that his growth is about to slow down because we are running out of high cupboards.

Finally, he's just learned how to nod and shake his head but not in any sort of order, just in a sort of Stevie Wonder-style happiness at the feeling of his head going around and around. I am trying to teach him to chair-dance to Motorhead, if only to counter-balance the waltzing to Strauss that we do when we think nobody is looking - I perch him on one hip, hold his free arm out and dance around imagining what it will be like when he’s 6 foot 4 and I can rest my withered hand on his strapping young shoulder and hope nobody thinks I’m his grandmother.

Every day brings a new stage, a new level of cute and a new and more complex series of house-hold dangers. Hold tight, here he comes again.

15 comments:

Rachele said...

Kai was born 4 months after Charlie, and we are just getting ready to start childproofing but he is already prioritizing his fascination with all things "not for baby!" and he's also a big, tall baby, and quick. We have so much babyproofing to do before he's crawling. I found your blog when Kai was just a week old, in my frustration, by typing in google, "Why are all boy baby clothes blue?" :) I instantly related to you, I was 36 when we had Kai and had a home birth with midwives. You can check out our blog at www.selfnonself.com We love photos & movies of Charlie!

Conor said...

Hey Sparx, yes I've dissappeared temporarily one hopes! It's that new job I last wrote about in my blog, I sopend day and night working at the moment, so just haven't got a minuet to write anything, literalyy not a minute. Hopefully I will once again reclaim some small portion of my life soon to have time to doa ll those wonderfull things like Ironing all my shirts at once so they in the wardrobe when I get up for work, and not wrecking the kitchen in the morning slaming down and iron board to get a shirt ready on the spot before work, and things like moping floors instead merely covering them in bleachy water and hoping for the best and of course to once again write in here. In the meantime, I do occasionally pop by to read up on a few my favourite blogs here (Yours included of course :-0)

The Good Woman said...

I never understood the true value of high door handles until confronted by a child of my own.

Charlie sounds like a great wee character. Still can't wait for toilet training though. It's always funnier when its somebody elses challenge.

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

Holy shit hell!! A 10 month old can DO all of that?? SHIT! Isn't he still an embryo or something?? Jesus I didn't think they could do stuff like wave untill they were like two. Oh fuck me I know nothing about kids. God save the queen I'm out.

BOSSY said...

From 2'7" to 6'4" in a thousand words or less...

Clay Feet said...

I was starting to have a panic attack when I read the first few lines of this post. I thought it was a preamble to an announcement that you were going to stop posting altogether and I was going to protest for whatever good that would do. I'm glad that was not your intent and I hope you will continue to share your wonderful life with us for a long time to come. I really enjoy every one of your posts and share them with my family.

Sparx said...

Rachele - Hi again - I remember you from ages ago, thanks for coming by... all the baby proofing creeps up on you! One day he's popping out in a pool and the next he's popping out for a beer. I seem to have a big blank about the in between bits...

Conor - good to see you're stll around, hope it eases up soon.

TGW... I think I might hold back on my response to that!! Toilet training indeed.

Lindystar - calm down girl, they're not all like this I'm sure (tee hee) I'm sure, you can er, have a calm and obedient baby of this age... HA HA HA!!! Oh, I'm sure it's worth it.

Bossy - was that less than 1000 words? Must try harder.

Clay - your poor family!! Thanks for that, made my day!

lady macleod said...

LOL Fabulous. You make me miss the toddler days of Q - but remind me of the hair raising terror of them as well!

You will survive and Spud will live, albeit you may have less hair and a tick.

It's all quite wonderful and so much fun to read. Thank you for sharing your bundle of joy.

Sparx said...

Hi Lady M! I really, really hope we survive! I'm already losing my hair, he's yanking it out!

jenny said...

I loved this post! Though I must agree with Clay Feet, I thought you were gonna say goodbye! WHEW!! I'm so glad you're not!

Youngest, 18 months, doesnt quite talk in sentences yet, just a few words here and there. Her "yes" is a shake of the head which means "no". So I am forever asking her if she wants something and going, "no?" then she gets flustered until I remember "no" means "yes". Then the other day, she actually said-- "Ga-Ga" That is the first time I have actually heard a baby utter "ga-ga".

You are doing fine, don't panic! Spud will eventually stop putting things in his mouth and will replace that with endless "why" questions!

kathryn said...

Oh my goodness!!!!! Just not cricket!!!!!! I thought that was an Aussie thing!!!!!!! Nay, a far north queensland thing!!!! Holy snappin duck shit that's awesome!

Krissie said...

I too thought this was gonna be the end to this wonderful blog! Can you say relieved?

I am teaching him to ‘high five’. Of course you are. If there's anything he needs in this cruel world, it's to high-five! lol

P.S. Please, don't ever stop blogging! Thank you.

Lindystar the HOR blogger said...

Ok so I just realized that I forgot to say that I TOO thought you were going to stop bloging and for like 40 seconds I was in a really pissy state, cuz damn it you're funny and great and it would suck major donkey balls to loose you.

Elsie Button said...

ooohhh i loved hearing all this! i love babies - they are bloody amazing and funny - i want another one NOW!

Raj said...

To be frank, I was frightened by what you said at the beginning and was afraid you'd stop blogging. After all, you only write a few posts a month these days. I enjoy reading your blog and I hope your blog continues until Charlie's 6'4. That way, we will all learn how to handle adolescents from a smart Mum as well!!