It’s a truth universally acknowledged that most parents secretly (or even not-so-secretly) crave just a few minutes each day to take a breath, drink a cup of tea whilst it’s hot and maybe even read half a page of a trashy magazine. You know, the ones with pictures of whippersnapper celebrities you don’t recognize, as they rose to fame after the baby arrived. It’s way too energy-taxing to read a ‘proper’ book on a diet of snack food sprinkled with sleep deprivation (or is that just me?).
Anyway, in an effort to achieve these few moments of peace, many parents invest a fair amount of time and money finding ways to entertain their little ones. Little O has a massive pile of ‘nearly new’ toys which, until recently, kept her urge to chew brightly coloured plastic objects reasonably well satisfied. But, as she gets older, Little O seems to gravitate towards non-toys for finding amusement. I seem to spend my days following her around the living room taking things out of her hands and steering her away from perilous household objects.
There are a few things she seems to adore, in particular:
1. Wooden Coasters
Such a simple and inexpensive item, but for Little O the humble drinks coaster is like a precious jewel. In particular, coasters made from wood. Once she has one in her possession, wrangling it back is nigh on impossible. For throwing, banging, chewing and all round general enjoyment, the coaster is second to none.
At least these are non-dangerous objects, unlike…..
2. Plug Sockets
The lure of the plug socket is too great for Little O to resist. Even with a socket guard to prevent her little fingers getting stuck in the plug holes, the little switch next to the socket is still the best thing in the world.
Little O can spot an un-guarded socket from 100 paces and either immediately commando crawl or scoot at 40 miles per hour in her walker towards it, with a look of glee on her face. That is, until mummy or daddy ninja-jumps in front of her to stop her in her tracks. Cue very angry baby, only to be distracted from shrieking by…
3. The Remote Control
Ok, so this one isn’t so weird, I can see that a remote control has interesting buttons and the power to switch on Little O’s favourite cartoons. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t want to press the buttons, or switch on the TV. She just wants to chew it.
Following on from the theme of plug sockets, Little O is also partial to electrical wires. She tries many creative strategies to get near to the wires at the back of the TV, floor lamps and even the hairdryer. We don’t let her, of course, to her absolute disgust. Once she realises she is not going to be able to grab a handful of wires, generally she heads for….
5. My Ears
Little O loves to play a game of ‘lets try to pull mummy’s ear off’. Occasionally she will grace Daddy with this game too. Somehow the humble human ear is a source of great amusement, to be examined, poked and pulled. Woe betide any innocent person daring to wear a dangly earring within arms-reach of Little O. Like the saying about a swan being able to take your arm off, Little O could surely take an ear off. I have therefore perfected the art of holding her and being able to dance-move my head away, the moment I see a hand reaching towards my lobes. I’m looking forward to this phase swiftly jogging on, hopefully soon. Until then, I’m in the market for a massive pair of protective ear muffs. Is anyone selling?
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