Today, Mummy invited some friends round to play with The Baby, because that is the sort of thing that proper Mummies do. This will be lovely for The Baby, thought Mummy, as she pictured the four of them playing happily together on the mat and sharing their toys. “Oh yes that will be lovely,” did say Mummy’s friends as they merrily headed over to Mummy’s house with their unsuspecting little ones.
Mummy had neglected to mention Rebel Baby’s new-found love of grabbing faces. She just loves faces so very much and it fascinates her how you can push and pull the skin like playdough, or pummel the eyes to make a face screw up into funny shapes. Especially fun are mouths, which stretch in all directions and feel warm and gooey.
And it is not just that faces feel fun to play with – they taste interesting too. All the smooth bits and lumpy bits and hairy bits and moving parts… Rebel Baby loves to lick faces. Maybe even chew on a nose, if the opportunity presents itself. There are very few members of her close family who haven’t gone in for a cuddle and retracted with her latched on to a cheek or earlobe. It is just her way of showing love, Mummy tells people.
Mummy’s friends arrive with their little ones to play with The Baby. How lovely, thinks Mummy, won’t we have a lovely time! But it takes less than five minutes for RB to have reduced at least two visitors to tears. Rather than showing remorse, she is confused as to why they did not understand and appreciate her advances. RB has a lot to learn about making friends.
It soon becomes clear that she intends to persist in her face-grabbing venture, so Mummy is forced to send RB to Baby Prison for the remainder of her playdate – a laundry basket which Mummy has cunningly filled with plastic balls so as not to appear abusive.
“Ha ha, yes it’s a fun new toy! She loves it, honest!” lies Mummy to her friends, forcing The Baby into the plastic bucket. In this way, RB is kept a safe distance from the general public lest she should cause actual bodily harm or be the first person in the world to obtain an ASBO before her first birthday. She seems to like it well enough… which is not the idea. On the other hand, perhaps she will get early parole for good behaviour. Or perhaps not.