What has Izzie learned to do over the Christmas period? A whole heap, it seems.
Raspberries. She was pretty good before, but she’s perfected it now – perhaps because the funniest thing in the world is when daddy blows them on her belly and on her neck.
But I have created a monster.
It’s okay when she’s chomping on a wooden spoon – she blows on the bowl and uses her fingers along the handle like she’s playing a clarinet. And it’s tolerable when she has the dummy in her mouth – it just sounds like a lot of farts. But when she does it with food in her mouth – porridge, mushed-up carrots, rusks – it’s not pretty at all. Especially as I tend to be sitting right in front of her trying to feed her at the time. And she finds that pretty funny too.
She’s also making weird faces recently, like she’s trying to learn how all the muscles work. Mostly, she does duck impressions, sucking in her bottom lip, sticking out her top lip, and burbling. I guess it’s part of the process of learning to speak – after all the vowel sounds, double-ues and gees, she’s starting to make bee noises and something approximating an em, and the other day she randomly blurted out, ‘Hey you!’ which terrified the heck out of me.
Noise is something she’s fallen in love with over Christmas. The aforementioned wooden spoon that used to keep her quiet is now a drumstick for cracking out a rhythm on the tray of her high chair (always with her left hand). And the dummy is no longer a tool to help her sleep – it’s a passive-aggressive torture device she rattles back and forth along the slats of her cot like a prisoner with a mug along the bars of his cage. When she’s not laughing, that is, because bedtime is now an opportunity to chat to her teddy bears, kick the wooden headboard repeatedly, and generally have an amazing time.
Though she really ought to be tired, considering she barely sleeps at all during the day. She gets tired but she fights it, gets stroppy but resists any attempt to quieten her down, spits out her dummy, rubs her eyes, and cries. In fact, the sound she makes reminds me of that scene in Jaws where Quint is being eaten by the shark. She doesn’t want to miss anything, you see, though what she’s afraid of missing, I have no idea. The opportunity to be a nuisance, perhaps.
Because she’s loving being a nuisance too. She throws the dummy down the back of the cot so I have to pull the drawers out and crawl underneath to retrieve it (never fun at three in the morning). When she’s on her play mat she kicks the uprights over so it rolls up and buries her.
She constantly tries to turn the spoon round and jam the handle down her throat, and keep your face away from her if you value your ears – her current speciality is scrunching them up in her hands and digging in her fingernails, which is excruciatingly painful. And if she gets your phone, somewhere between chewing on the corner and drooling into the earphone socket, she sets the alarm for four in the morning.
But woe betide if you try to take it off her, because she knows what she wants.
She’s become fixated with the TV controller and screams if you prise her robot-strong fingers off it. She wants to stand up all the time, not sit, not crawl – stand. So this morning when we put her in her chair for breakfast she slammed her little fists into the arms and stamped her feet like an eight-year-old throwing a tantrum – she’s six months, for crying out loud. And the ball pit we bought her for Christmas isn’t going to get much use because all she does is press her face to the little holes in the side and strain to get out.
Which goes to show that the old adage is true: kids would rather play with the box than the toy within it. She got approximately a million toys for Christmas, and her favourite toy from the whole period? The bag container from inside the nappy bin. Typical!
But at least she’s not the dog, who followed the gingerbread house with a bag of popping candy chocolate orange segments…