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.