Feeling: Cautious and in dire need of some home improvement
So I’ve realised that this week, the baby has truly changed. He’s no longer a baby and he’s growing up to be a young toddler.
It’s happening too quickly!
Please stay small forever! 😦
And I stumble across this revelation as my baby crawls right off the cliff of our king-sized bed in his bid to follow me to the toilet when I wake up and brush my teeth.
My heart breaks to see him crawl off and hurt himself so badly but it seems like it’s a passage of life. To learn where you can and cannot go, the limits to your explorer’s spirit. Such a tough lesson to learn in one so young….
But yeah, moving on… The bub’s character has really been showing through in the past few days too. What he likes and dislikes seems very much more apparent as we interact and expose him to more things.
Besides being more clingy and wanting to be with mummy every second of the day, he is also very inquisitive and curious about everything else around him.
He also has started to recognize the evil spoon which delivers him vege purees. Every time we take out the spoon of doom, the poor fellow clamps his mouth so damn tight.. We’ve resorted to cheating him in a dozen little tricks we’ve had to come up with in order to get him to laugh, or smile, to open up and relax his lips so we can slip the food in…
We’ve also brought him to the car wash a few times. The car wash holds very fond memories for the hubs and I, growing up in an era where there were water rations and it would be a real indulgence to spend money on the service of getting your car washed.
To see the suds go up all around the car and darkening the interior and seeing all the bubbles get scrubbed off and rinsed out…. Ah, memories..
But of course our little baby took one look at the scary sponges swiping the outside and the scary faces that were peaking in, and he promptly freaked out, choosing to cling to mummy’s neck so that she could protect him from all the horrible new experiences.
And there was this time that went to a friends’ house and he saw a tiny poodle. We have a bigger dog at home so we didn’t expect him to be scared. But when the poochy yipped and yapped, baby (again) clung to me like a koala and started sniffling and burrowing into my neck to try and feel some sense of security from the wee beasty.
So we got a bit worried. Obviously we need to ensure that there’s a little more control around the bub and to make sure that he isn’t exposed to everything too quickly so that he feels overwhelmed.
Besides the fear of the untried, there’s also the risk of over-stimulation. And heaven forbid that we end up with a cranky and un-quiet-able baby…
Then we decided that we should start putting him into his play pen during the day.
The big problem with this is that he gets so ANGRY in there. It’s so restricting. It’s an equivalent of being sent to jail and even I feel bad putting him in there if it weren’t for the fact that it’s miles safer than letting him roam wild around the floor.
We put the bub in the pen and for all of 10 minutes he’d look at what we’ve gifted him in there, and bat and swat things around for a bit. But then figure that it’s just BORING to be in there doing the same things over and over..
And then the wailing would start and he would demand to be picked up.
I am only praying hard that the bub will figure out that there are so many fun things to do in the cot and be okay with being in there for a bit longer than 10 minutes. Otherwise I’m never going to get any work done.
But who am I kidding….
There is no choice.
We had to do SOMETHING to limit his crawling around. While we used to have him on a play mat on the floor, it also made me feel very conscious of the things that we adults left around the room when his searching hands and eyes managed to find and grab at them.
We are lucky that he hasn’t started to stand yet because just at a quick glance at my study table, we’ve got a metal ruler (potential sharp edges), scotch tape (toxic substances to eat), table legs (terrible things to bump into), telephone stand (things he can pull down on himself)….
The house is a veritable mine field!
And worse still is that all the things he manages to sneak past the parents’ watchful eye, he puts into his mouth.
Makes me realise how much I take for granted now that I look at my baby’s environment through a mother’s protective eyes.
And to think that we were thinking about bringing him to the beach. Lord know he’ll have a mouth full of sand within a minute of sitting down. Or perhaps even faster than that.
I talked about this before – about being with some friends who have toddlers and it seemed like they were constantly preventing some huge calamity from happening while I was sitting oblivious because my baby could barely do sit up without my help. But the reality of things is that now I have to really start to buck up on my observation skills.
Or I’m going to have to find some way to help him learn how to entertain himself in a non-threatening way.
I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon since he’s only just found out about how big and enticing the rest of the world is. Hell, if I’m thinking about controlling my baby NOW, can you imagine what life is going to be like when he’s a teenage and he REALLY has a mind of his own..
So for now, especially when he’s been left to his own devices.. I’m just going to have to be able to spy him out of the corner of my eye and save him from a moment’s danger in the nick of time.
He’s definitely too small to know better from the dangers around him now and the things that we as adults may find enjoyable – like the television, drinking glasses or eating on porcelain instead of plastic, hell, even the wires of the computer and the height of king-sized bed or sofa…..
But the bub is only just learning to understand and I think we really need to take things slowly so that he realises that learning and exploring may not necessarily be a scary thing.
Finding out about new things around you and figuring out whether you like it or not is just part and parcel of life and it can be an exciting and enjoyable part too.
Something that I guess I need to remember as an adult too! That life is more than the things that are in front of you and more about what you apply yourself to do. You can achieve so much more by making an effort to keep looking at things and being inquisitive about new experiences.
So while the bub is just learning about the world, I think that it’s time for us to relearn things alongside him (while keeping him safe too, of course!)
Who knows what new experiences we can have together from now on…
To infiinity and beyond,