Don’t Break The Baby

Trying to break out of baby jail.

Trying to break out of baby jail.

About a year ago, Dylan and myself sat among a group of seven couples and decided one of our biggest parenting aims was not to drop the baby or break the baby. Up until she was around eight months old, I felt I was doing pretty well with these targets. I’ve never dropped her and, aside from accidently clipping the end of her finger during a minor nail cutting incident, don’t recall ever having injured her in any way. In the early days it was so gloriously easy – you put baby down in one place, turn your back for a minute and turn back and guess what? Baby’s still there.

Now the real parenting shit has started. Now she’s everywhere and into everything. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we have a crawler, a roller, a ‘standing holding on to stuff’ baby. Never did I realise how much sharp stuff we have in our house – or solid stuff. Walls, doors, tables, all built much harder than a baby’s head. I feel an overwhelming urge to remove every single bit of furniture from the house, pad the walls and buy her a helmet, maybe even a bubble wrap suit – is that a thing? Or perhaps I could put her permanently inside of those huge Zorbing balls and just let her roll around?

I like to think I’m a fairly laidback parent, when she comes into contact with something potentially germy I don’t run to A&E but instead try to think about all the good it’s doing to her microbiome. I try to let her explore and learn about textures and sounds and sights. But she’s really testing this to the limit by trying to pull over candles that live either side of our fire (thankfully not lit, I’m not an idiot), using our GLASS television table to pull herself up on, trying to constantly open and shut doors even if her tiny hands and feet are in the way.

We’re having constant panics of ‘where is the baby’ when it turns out she’s crawled under the little table to mess with the internet wires, or gone into the kitchen to lick the floor (think of the microbiome!), or is for some inexplicable reason trying to bash her head into the wall?!

In order to try and combat her constant urges to be like a dented-head, spatial-awareness-lacking Christopher Columbus, we’ve purchased a baby jail, otherwise known as a travel cot/playpen. It’s excellent in a lot of ways: she can sit in there with her toys and happily amuse herself, she can move around in it (but not too far!), I can see her through the mesh on each side while I’m trying to get some work done. The only downside is that I can’t make her live in it until she’s learned how to not smash her head off every object in the house!

Harriet and Alexandra x

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