Testing boundaries

Mummy and Daddy thought it would be a lovely and  fascinating thing to take the children on a narrated boat tour of the harbour. They had not banked on Rebel Baby’s mistaken belief they were taking a diving trip into deep water, and her determination to hurl herself overboard at concerningly frequent intervals. So hell-bent is she on plummeting fully-clothed into open water, that Daddy has to take the reigns and forcibly restrain her with both arms for the duration of the tour. Even this proves challenging.

RB has no sense of self-preservation and sees Daddy’s restraints only as an enjoyable challenge, meaning both Mummy and Daddy are wholly engaged in preventing her death for the full half hour and barely able to catch a glimpse of the fascinating sights they are listening to the captain describe. The whole experience is rather tiring and stressful for all involved.

At least Big Bro will have got something out of it,  thinks Mummy. He has been staring avidly out the boat from his seat beside the very loud speaker, unresponsive to attempts at conversation, apparently absorbed in the experience.

“Did you enjoy that?” asks Mummy as they disembark.

“Oh yes,” says Big Bro enthusiastically.

“Which bits did you find most interesting?” asks Mummy. Big Bro looks at her blankly. “The bit about the warships?” ventures Mummy. “Or maybe the story about the millionaire and the yacht?”

“Oh,” says Big Bro dismissively, “I wasn’t listening to any of it. I was looking at the water and thinking about what we’re having for dinner.”

“Perfect,” says Mummy. “£7.50 a head well spent.”


Mummy and Daddy are at the beach and Rebel Baby wants to play on the sand.

“You can play on the sand,” says Mummy, “but do not try to cuddle the sand. Do not kiss the sand, do not lick the sand, do not roll in the sand like a dog and – above all – do not lie on the sand moaning and gently caressing it like you did last time, causing at least two members of the public to express concern and ask if you need help.”

Mummy doesn’t know why she bothers. She does know, however, that she will spend the next five to ten days removing sand from every crease and orifice imaginable. Sigh….

A rude awakening

Mummy and Daddy have taken the children on holiday to the Isle of Wight, and are staying in a lovely holiday home. It is a lovely relaxing time. Squeezing four humans, two large car seats, a travel cot, a pushchair, high chair, four suitcases and a week’s supply of other essentials into a Ford Fiesta for several hours was especially relaxing.

Nonetheless, Mummy and Daddy awake upon their first morning of their first actual holiday feeling oddly serene. The minuscule holiday apartment is calm and peaceful, and the smell of damp only very distant now compared with when they arrived due to Mummy’s liberal application of bleach last night.

There is an odd noise from the living room.

“Did you get The Baby up?” asks Mummy, turning sleepily to Daddy.

“No,” says Daddy, “Why?”

“Oh… no reason,” says Mummy dismissively. “I thought I heard a sound that I thought sounded a little bit like The Baby was in the living room, that is all.”

“You must be mistaken,” says Daddy. “The Baby is in a very secure travel cot and asleep in her bedroom with Big Bro. She would have to get out of her cot, unzip the tent-cover which is zipped closed all around, get past her Big Bro and open two doors which I definitely closed, to get into the lounge. And she’s zipped into a sleeping bag so no way could she do that!”

Mummy laughs at the very suggestion. “Ho ho! What an amusing idea! How mistaken I must have been!” muses Mummy, “It was probably a gust of wind.” She and Daddy smile at each other and fall back to sleep for half an hour of sleepy bliss.

They are rudely awoken by a thud from the living room.

“Hmmmmm…” says Daddy, “That was a loud gust of wind.”

Mummy gets up to investigate.

Rebel Baby is in the lounge. It is evident, from the state of the lounge, she has been in the lounge for some time. She is in her sleeping bag. Apparently, she can crawl in her sleeping bag.

Apparently, she can unzip a tent cover, climb out of a travel cot, bypass an eight year old who is plugged into an MP3 player and is oblivious to a small human passing less than thirty centimetres from his nose, open two doors and let herself into the lounge, in her sleeping bag. Mummy is not sure she could do this in a sleeping bag. In fact, RB looks rather pleased about it.

So much for a relaxing holiday, thinks Mummy.

Mummy was too sleepy and confused to photograph the actual carnage that was the living room. But this was the look RB had when she was discovered. This look pretty much says it all.

Soft Play and Sandwiches

Rebel Baby has turned the grand old age of one, and Mummy decides to take her to the soft play cafe to celebrate*. Mummy sort of loves the soft play cafe because she can largely ignore The Baby while drinking a latte someone else made from a mug someone else will wash up. She also sort of hates it because she can’t actually ignore The Baby, and it is always much more labour-intensive than she fantasises it will be. Rebel Baby loves the play cafe because she can completely ignore the soft play facilities and make it her sole aim to hoover up as many raisins and Pom-Bears that have been trodden into the carpet as possible, while Mummy runs around dragging her by the ankles out from underneath tables and coaxing her towards the manky ball pit.  It is too hot and oddly sticky at the soft play cafe, and Mummy immediately remembers that she should have brought Paracetamol. She orders the obligatory latte from the lady under the threatening sign about only consuming food or drink purchased on the premises, and ventures towards the entrance.

Feral children are roaming unsupervised and without socks, beneath signs informing parents they must supervise their children and ensure they wear socks. Mummy begins to twitch everso slightly. She lowers The Baby into the ball pit. The Baby climbs out of the ball pit. She looks at Mummy with a glint in her eye, and scurries off into the area labelled “2-6 year olds.” Mummy looks longing at her latte, and at the sign informing her no food or drink may be consumed in the play area. With a heavy heart, she puts it to one side.

The Baby is out of Mummy’s sight for less than twenty seconds. Less than twenty seconds is how long it takes Mummy to turn, place her latte on a table, remove her shoes, and enter the 2-6 year old play area with the intention of retrieving The Baby. In less than twenty seconds, Rebel Baby has acquired a ham sandwich. A. Ham. Sandwich. A whole one! A great big adult-sized triangle of ham and butter and bread which RB clearly intends to devour before (or perhaps whilst) plummeting headfirst down the age-inappropriate slide.  She is grinning at Mummy and ramming the crusts into her happy little gums. Paracetamol isn’t going to cut it, thinks Mummy…

*(and also to reignite the blog for a bit, as Mummy has now adjusted to returning to work and anyway is on holiday!)


Mummy was visiting another Mummy friend yesterday and their babies were playing nicely.*

Mummy’s friend: Do you ever find you just let her play with the inappropriate thing she wants, if it’s the only thing that keeps her happy?

Mummy: I don’t know what you mean…

She’s not actually licking it… honest.

*NB: for ‘playing nicely,’ read: RB was taking all the toys and hitting people in the face with them. Sigh…

First words

Rebel Baby is very close to saying her first word.

“She will say her first word any day now,” says Mummy.

“She has already said her first word,” says Daddy. But Daddy is wrong; Mummy refuses to accept that “Daddy” is her first word. It is a coincidental baby-noise that sounds like a word.

“Say MUMMY,” demands Mummy.

“Dadadadada,” babbles Rebel Baby.

“Mamamamamama,” echoes Mummy, insistently.

“Dadadadadada,” says The Baby again.

Mummy frowns. She needs to make this fun.

“Mummmmmeeeeeeeeee!” says Mummy, swinging The Baby into the air.

“Daddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” squeals Rebel Baby in delight.

Mummy is not happy. She will spend the next week repeating all words that are not Daddy most forcibly to The Baby, and referring to Daddy by other names so as not to reinforce a habit. Much as she would love RB’s first actual word to be “Mummy,” Mummy is resigned to the fact it is more likely to be, “Noooo,” “Give it to Mummy,” “Put that down,” or “What’s in your mouth? Spit it out, SPIT IT OUT!”



Mummy fail

The kitchen is a building site and soon Mummy won’t be able to use it at all. Probably for a month, says the builder.

“I will buy jars of baby food,” says Mummy, “for emergencies.” Mummy goes into Boots.

Boots are selling off jars of baby food for 15p. Mummy does love a bargain! “We will take them all!” says Mummy, who forsees lots of emergencies.

Mummy gets home and opens the 15p baby food. Rebel Baby does not like 15p baby food. She likes absolutely everything else in the world, including beetroot-flavoured scrambled eggs, and porridge with leek and onions. But she does not like 15p baby food. Not even a little tiny bit… not a morsel shall pass her lips.

Now, Mummy has ten tons of 15p baby food and no kitchen.

Bugger, thinks Mummy.

DIY Baby

Daddy is building a baby gate to stop Rebel Baby launching herself headfirst down the stairs at every given opportunity. Rebel Baby is watching intently, taking detailed mental notes. Rebel Baby will overcome the baby gate. A gate is no match for a Rebel Baby.