Lucy is now pretty much at full-speed around the house, having got the hang of crawling some time ago. She can make remarkable progress across the floor, despite her small size and inability to walk. Coupled with this ability to explore is also the desire to explore.
Everything which is within reach (and at times some things which aren’t), will be pushed, pulled, chewed and rattled. Our house is just a playground of new stuff to do now she’s got her crawling badge. Unfortunately, we can’t just let her loose in the kitchen cupboards, so we’ve needed to fit child safety catches on all of the doors. These are primitive lumps of plastic which screw to the door, with a corresponding catch screwing to the carcase of the cabinet. Pull the door open about 2 inches, push the plastic bit in slightly, then the door’s released. Easy.
Except these things are driving me nuts.
Each of our floor-level kitchen cupboards have drawers above them. That means the catches couldn’t be mounted at the top as designed. Nor could they be mounted to the side, because everything’s nice and flush-fitting, including the appliances, so there’s no room to get your fingers in. So the only place they could go was on the floor of the cabinet.
So now every time I need anything out of the kitchen cupboards (and that’s many times a day), I need to bend down, articulate my wrist in a monumentally uncomfortable way, pull the door open and then push the catch up into the cupboard.
Have you ever wondered why babies are so cute?
I think it’s mostly down to proportions. As an example, when babies are born their eyes and brains are a much larger percentage of their final, adult, size than the rest of their bodies. As a result, nature needs to make a baby’s head much larger in proportion to their bodies than that of an adult.
Here’s a demonstration: lift one of your arms above your head and notice where the fold of your elbow is. I’m guessing it will be slightly above the top of your head. With Lucy, however, do the same thing and the fold of her elbow barely passes the top of her ears.
I imagine that’s probably not the only reason, but when she looks this cute, do we really need to know why?
Despite all the rough play Daddy can sometimes subject her to, Lucy is still a plainly happy little girl who is entertained by the simplest of things. The other night I was sitting giving her a bottle and she looked up at me. I gave her a big smile and she smiled back from behind the bottle. Awwww.
I giggled at how funny this wide smile was when hidden by the teat, which made her chuckle a big, wide chuckle. That made me laugh more. Which made Lucy laugh a proper laugh. Which was funny because she was still sucking on the bottle. So I laughed.
I laughed so hard that it shook Lucy. This made her giggle really loudly with a massive smile on her face, which caused me to laugh some more, and thus we entered a giggle loop.
We went on like this for about five minutes, Lucy and myself both in fits of giggles, each one causing the other to keep going. At the same time, though, Lucy was desperate for a bottle, which meant she was still trying to laugh and put the bottle back in her mouth at the same time. More entertainment.
* The phrase “giggle loop” needs to be credited to Jeff from Coupling.
Lucy is now at the age where she’s off and crawling herself, padding noisily around the house and climbing up on everything she can get her hands on. It’s great fun to just watch her.
She’s also at the age, though, where she can enjoy “rough” play: i.e. when Daddy is rolling her around on the floor or the furniture, but she’s actually in no danger of any injury. Stuff like:
- “Throwing” her onto the sofa: I pick her up and hold her tightly with her back to the sofa and then shouting “boof” as I bump her into the cushions.
- Rolling her over from her front to lying on her back: that’s dead easy to do, just make sure her head doesn’t flop about and she’s happy. Bonus points if you follow that up immediately by “chomping” loudly on her tummy. It’s too hard to do flip from back to front though, because there’s a chance her arms get twisted up.
- Rolling onto the furniture: again, dead easy. She likes to stand holding onto the sofa with both arms holding onto the seat part for support. Kneel behind and to her left, with my left arm across her front, holding on to her right shoulder. Right hand under her bum and 1…. 2….. 3…. lift! Pick her up and as you do that, roll her right shoulder onto the sofa. Loves it.
But the joy of watching this ability to clamber around also comes a price: Lucy may not get hurt in all of this, but Daddy can.
One of her favourite things to do is crawl over to Daddy and try to stand up. Now the only thing handy to use as a support is Daddy himself, and if Daddy has shorts on, that means Lucy pulls herself upright using my leg-hairs for stability.
Other times when I’ve “taken one for the team”, Burnett-style include:
- Thumbs and/or fingers in the eyes (several times).
- With me on my back and Lucy lying on top of me, she’s held open my mouth at the sides with her thumbs (which hurts) and (unintentionally) dribbled directly into my mouth. That’s horrible because you can see it coming, but can’t do anything about it.
- See (2), but replace the word “dribbled” with the words “been sick”.
- Several solid kicks in the crown jewels. As she develops her leg muscles through walking, these become rapidly more painful.
- A couple of solid head-butts to the nose.
- Again, with Daddy lying on the floor Lucy was behind my head and decided to stand up, pulling herself upright with whatever convenient hand-hold was near. That’s my nostrils then: at the time I thought that hurt a lot…
- … until she did it again a couple of weeks later, but this time also managed to scratch the inside of my nose with a fingernail – enough to cause a nosebleed. Now that one hurt.
Good grief, being a Dad is fun.
Yesterday, Lucy started crawling. That’s right, the might of a seven-month-old has now just been unleashed onto the world. It really did come without warning – she had been trying without success for the past few weeks now, but not really got anywhere, until today.
Katrina was changing her nappy, went into the bathroom next door to get some water for her, then turned round to find a curious-looking head poking round the door wondering what she was doing. It’s now time for the stair gates I guess…
In other news, she also started clapping today. Again, no real warning, just a sudden desire to wake up one morning with coordination substantially improved since the previous evening. It’s like she goes to bed pondering these things, then wakes up the next day to try out her new theory.
Obviously we are now encouraging her to do more of this stuff, so every opportunity it’s "Can Lucy clap her hands?". Of course she can.