My daughter has reached the age where, if you put her down somewhere for a sec while you make a cup of tea/answer the phone/go to the loo/scratch your bum or quite literally do anything at all, when you turn back she’ll be gone. She’s been crawling for a while and that was bad enough but now she’s walking, really properly walking. No longer does she take the few faltering steps of a couple of weeks ago; it’s now full-on, knees-raised stompy walking in the style of R Whites’ secret lemonade drinker of the 70s. Damn it.
This walking causes me many problems. For example, if I have some food, any food at all, she will come stomping over to beg for some. And I really do mean beg. She makes this horrid whiny “mmmmmmm” noise and it seems the only way to stop it is to shove whatever it is I’m trying to eat in peace in her gob. Oh, she’s good. She seems to be of the opinion that my food is her food regardless of what it is and regardless of whether she actually likes it or not. I must admit it is pretty amusing when you give her toast with marmite and her whole face contorts and she shakes her head from side to side. What’s that you say? Evil parenting? Pah, she shouldn’t be so greedy. Or keep coming back for more when she knows she doesn’t like it. At least I haven’t videoed the marmite face…..yet.
But it’s not just food that’s fair game for her now. The cats find themselves of great interest and if they’re stupid enough to stick around when there’s an excitedly shrieking baby thudding towards them they’re likely to fall victim to a bashing or have their whiskers pulled. If she could say more words than “wassis”, “wassat”, “dog”, “cat” and “foot” (each with varying degrees of recognisability) she’d probably say “I’ll hug him and squeeze him and call him George” at the unfortunate kitties. Similarly the fish tank is regularly clobbered, sending the poor buggers zooming off to hide behind Spongebob’s house.
If I thought I was struggling to get anything done before the pesky little monkey became mobile, though, it’s absolutely impossible now. She’s so quick and she always makes a beeline for all of the things she’s not allowed, easily picking out the remote control or the phone over and above the millions of toys we have provided for her education and entertainment. And while sometimes it’s possible to get her to sit still with some toys and a cup of milk (but you have to strap her into her high chair so she can’t escape) it’s never for long and soon I’m back to chasing her around and stopping her from climbing the stairs or breaking things. She’s most contrary and I have no idea where she gets that from…
I realise I’m complaining about what most parents are overjoyed by but I have managed to produce possibly the cheekiest child ever to have been born. Plus she’s my third. I’ve seen it before. And well might my husband (for whom the demon child is his first) gasp in wonder at her increasingly sure and steady stomping, but he doesn’t have to chase after her all day.
So, against my better judgement, I have succumbed to the bright colours, dreadful songs and patronising speech of children’s television, most particularly CBeebies. I bloody hate CBeebies. It’s not just that programmes like Balamory and Big Cook Little Cook are a chore to watch (and believe me they are) it’s also that the presenters in between are absolutely terrible so there’s no respite from the awfulness. They talk utter twaddle. They sing very badly. They draw rubbish pictures. Aren’t they embarrassed? I am for them. They’ll never work again, not if anyone ever finds out they did CBeebies. In fact they really never do work again, as my older children are now 12 and 10 I’ve been subjected to CBeebies hell before and the presenters from then have disappeared. I suspect the BBC had them shot.
I may despise it but the effect on my pesky daughter is amazing to behold. She will quietly sit watching this rubbish for 15 whole minutes at a time. 15 whole minutes in which cats, fish and household objects are safe and I could relax if only I wasn’t screaming inside for this dreadful crap to end. I can only imagine what she’s thinking as she watches it, it’s hard to believe she’s enjoying it and I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s only watching it to gain ideas of how to use children’s television as a vehicle in her plot to take over the world. Seriously, I’ve seen it in her eyes.