As it happens she might be able to remove herself from the crib sooner than we feared. Elsa has discovered that those feet things that always seem to follow her around are actually attached to her. She can grab them and move them with a newfound enthusiasm, causing a particularly hairy moment recently when we found her dangling them over the side of the pram cot. My daughter the lemming.
I don’t like change; I still say Opal Fruits and Jif even though I never eat the former and don’t get round to using the latter as often as I should. Peter Davison won’t ever top a public vote for the greatest Dr Who but he was the incumbent when I first watched and so will forever be synonymous with the role as far as I’m concerned. Similarly, I struggle to get my head round each new incarnation of Facebook, which seem to always arrive just as I’m settling into the previous one.
Begrudgingly I realise that nowadays it’s all about Starburst and Cif, Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It will soon be running around brandishing his sonic screwdriver and I’ve just about accepted the videos in my timeline starting without me wanting them to and draining my phone battery THANK YOU VERY MUCH ZUCKERBERG.
Never has my tolerance for change been tested more than these last few weeks. Elsa is constantly learning and developing; I walked into her room the other morning and she thrust her arms in the air. Initially I took this to be her celebrating the appearance of her dear father in much the same way as I would greet yet another fine poacher’s finish by Scunthorpe United’s Sam Winnall at Glanford Park but, in fact, it marks an important milestone in her being able to communicate with us. Essentially she was actually saying, “I’m properly bored in here Daddy, get me out of here and entertain me. Dance, Monkey Boy, dance”.
Or words to that effect.
She’s also so close to being able to roll over. She lies on her back, steels herself with a few deep breaths, brings her feet into her hands, throws herself over to the side and almost…ALMOST…lets the momentum take her over. The first time she succeeds it will be a bigger shock to her than anybody else but after that it can only be a matter of time before she’s crawling and we can never take our eyes off her again. Well, perhaps when she’s in her mid twenties, I guess.
Frustratingly she is now able to remove her own socks, goodness knows how. Inconveniently she can’t actually put them on as well, this is a one way street that I’m starting to believe is entirely intentional. I’ll dress her, turn away, turn back and they’re on the floor with a five month old beaming back at me as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
Yet despite these great leaps forward in development she still can’t master something as simple as drinking from a bottle. Yes, the thing that many babies manage from the actual day they are born. She just refuses. I’d love to be able to feed her, for the bonding experience as much as for the chance to let Jill have some time off. She just will not accept the same milk she happily guzzles all day direct from her mum. We know it’s not an issue with the milk and the fact that she happily takes a dummy means that it’s not the alien feel of a plastic teat in her mouth that bothers her. She’s just stubborn. This does not bode well for the future.
My mother-in-law, a farmer, did mention that with lambs she just sticks a tube down their throat and pumps the milk straight into their stomach but I’m 99% sure it wasn’t a serious suggestion for Elsa. We’ve tried all different models from Tommy Tippee, Avent, Mum, NUK, every different brand you can think of, so much so in fact that we’re thinking of opening up our own equivalent of the Mothercare factory shop with each bottle guaranteed to have only been used once and even then for only about a minute before Elsa batted it away in hysterics.
I guess that, at this rate, she’ll be chowing down on solids soon enough and supping from a cup and it’ll be another sign that my baby is growing up at a rate of knots. And I’m okay with that, I think. I suppose I can look forward to the day that she and I share a Marathon bar.