So this morning my wife was at another Nearly New Sale. We kid ourselves these are in the name of recycling but she always defeats the purpose by coming back with more stuff than she set out to sell. It is, of course, stuff of a different size because Baby is growing.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Baby was giving me a much more practical demonstration of this. First she brought me the foot bit of the blue snowsuit with the enormous pink flowers mentioned in my is-it-a-boy-or-a-girl post. Since that’s still on my blog it has outlived the snowsuit which she has grown out of. While I was having a teary moment at this she disappeared.
This did not cause too much alarm. The kitchen door was closed and locked and the stair gate was closed, cutting off the possibility of Baby related calamity. Then I heard a familiar sound. The little
so-and-so darling climbing the stairs. She has worked out how to open the stair gate. I am metophorically buggered.
I remember this stage with the Boy. It involves a whole new phase of parent pain. From now until I am confident she can climb the stairs without risk (say, when she’s 10) I will be up and down the stairs 20 times a day behind her. I will develop the leg muscles of a Premiership footballer. And asthma.
I fetched her down and gave her a toy. She said ‘thank you Daddy’ and I bursted with pride. Then she threw said toy across the room. This used to be more annoying than dangerous but of late she seems to have developed an arm like Freddie Flintoff. I should probably reinforce the windows. With, y’know, steel bars.
Toys themselves are changing. Stacking rings and shape sorters are becoming phonics buses and dolls. She will bring me a book and hold it the right way up and say ‘book!’ and I will read to her. Soon it will be jigsaws and paints and a scooter and then, before I know it she’ll be at school and then, before I know it again, I’ll be searching her room for Thunderbird and Camel Lights while she’s out and tossing smelly long-haired boys in band T-Shirts down the street by their hair. It’s probably not long before I’m bed ridden and she’s feeding me mash and pretending she’s never heard the ‘Vicente played for Brighton once y’know’ story. Fuck.
Of course with every day I am starting to forget the bad things about her when she was new born. That she slept all day and not in the night. That she puked everywhere. That she cried non-stop for no fathomable reason. I am starting to remember instead that she was light as a feather and didn’t answer back. She certainly didn’t just open the stair gate and assault the North Face of the staircase without me knowing. I look at newborns in town now with an ‘aren’t they cute’ look instead of looking at the parents and thinking ‘you poor tired bastards’.
My Doctor had better damn well hurry up with that snip referral.