Why is it that every new stage is so much harder than the last? Yet we never fully appreciate the stage that we are currently experiencing until we are sweating our butts off and losing our marbles in the next. Oh how I miss those days when she would scream to high heaven every time I so much as uncrossed my legs. Because only now do I recognise how easy that stage was...oh those were the days!
We appear to have well and truly entered that next stage in babyhood- the one where sitting down becomes a thing of the past. The one my friends called "fun." Fun. Ha...I had more fun having a full Brazilian wax in 28 degree heat two days before giving birth. This is just plain hard work.
Our daughter's almond shaped eyes have finally opened to the fascinating world that surrounds her and she wants to touch everything. We find ourselves saying "Oh Elsie, no!" a zillion times a day and she's not even walking just yet.
Long gone are the days when you can expect a simple shopping trip to go smoothly or a coffee date to be a breeze, or a picnic to be enjoyable. Take a simple visit to the beach a few weeks ago. The Hubster and I had a rare mid-week-yay-the-sun-is-out day off together. What shall we do on what's set to be the hottest day of the year so far? We'll head down to the coast of course, along with half the UK pulling a good old sickie from work because the sun is out. Genius plan.
We set off mid-morning with a car full of all those baby-beach essentials feeling all smug that we were heading out for a day by the sea. Little did we realise that nearly five and a half hours later, our butts would finally hit the sand. Oh pants. But we'd made it at last, what else could go wrong? Hot, sweaty, hungry, thirsty and beyond bored we finally plodded down to the beach only to quickly realise that our dear little daughter would not in fact sit there nicely on the picnic blanket playing with her toys in the sand. Oh no, she wanted to become the sand.
I've never experienced anything like it my life. Sun, sweat, seagulls, sun cream, soggy rice cakes, sand, babies and knackered parents are a terrible combination. It quickly dawned on us that our "chilled out" days are far behind us. Very far. Triffic.
It's not just the days out that have now turned into events that only an Octopus addicted to Redbull could handle. Oh no, just being at home has reached a whole other level. Life has become one big hazard perception test and one didn't even realise that I'd applied for a licence.
All her toys have been replaced with anything associated with the letter D: danger, dirt, damage, delicate, disastrous, disgusting and damn right annoying.
The television has become her new drum set. Excellent.
The washing machine is her new "Ooh look at all these buttons, knobs and flashy lights, I wonder what will happen when I press them all..." obsession. I'll tell you what won't happen little miss Elsie, that normal wash cycle that we wanted to happen. Nope. Instead we'll all spend the next half hour trying to figure out what cycle the wash will now be experiencing after you've pressed every single button.
The staircase has replaced the Jumperoo, although I won't say I'm sad to see that eye sore make it's way up to the loft until further notice that's for sure, but we sure could do with some sort of harness for our little explorer who currently has zero awareness for height and safety.
She loves a purse. I have no idea why, but she can clock them from a mile off. We were in a shop the other day and Elsie actually shouted at the woman in the queue behind us because she wanted her huge purse and obviously didn't hand it over. It was a tad embarrassing having to explain that 'she loves a purse' without sounding like I'm training my baby to be the next Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist.
Then there are things like wipes, keys, phones and glasses. Oh and of course handbags which are her all time fave. Find the kid a handbag filled with crap and you've just bagged yourself approximately six minutes. She literally won't give up until she's emptied the entire contents of whoever's handbag and scattered everything from tampons, odd plasters and other bag random crap all over the place. Not only will she leave your bag turned inside out, but you can bet your money that she'll find the smallest, most dangerous and choke-able item in the bag and casually begin to see what it tastes like. Excellent. It's our most fun game to date. Not.
Did I mention how in to cupboards and doors we are right now? The only plus side from this experience is that when Christmas rolls around this year and the game Twister is pulled out, I'm going to win a medal for the new skills I've picked up lately. I've learnt to hold drawers shut with one leg and a cupboard door with the other, whilst washing up- all at the same time. Boom.
It's all so very exhausting and worrying. Life is anything but relaxing these days. Although I am sort of having fun watching her explore her surroundings by herself a little more. Panic attacks and danger alerts aside, Elsie's world has just got a little more accessible and a lot more fun in her eyes and that's something very exciting indeed.