It was a great moment when Small finally struggled onto all fours and flopped on his face an inch forward of where he started. It was one of the monuments of development which was duly noted for posterity and used as a bragging tool against any of Small’s contemporaries that hadn’t already accomplished the feat. After all those weeks and months of struggle it felt like I was finally getting somewhere: Small was on the move.
Yes, Small was on the move and the trouble began. Up until that point, Small had been demanding and noisy but I could be fairly sure that if I left him somewhere he would still be there when I came back (he wasn’t a roller). Now I couldn’t leave him anywhere because by the time I came back he would be gone. As a result I had to make sure there was nothing dangerous at floor level and the stair gates that had been hanging around in their box for months had to be installed pronto.
Despite any comments about over sanitising things elsewhere in the book, I now needed to keep the floors clean and free from anything potentially harmful to an inquisitive crawler that had a tendency to explore the properties of things by sticking them in his mouth. For instance, the doidens’ (see Doidens) food bowls needed to be picked up after feeding (not that doiden food would have done Small much harm and it might have even be somewhat tastier than the mush he was used to).
Fortunately the doidens in the house had become fully acclimatised to Small because now he was joining them in their beds and was washing himself in their water bowl.
Also, having small sized doidens we have a doiden flap in the back door, which provided endless entertainment for Small and also an escape route into the garden, where all sorts of horrors awaited (see Garden).
Major points of interest for a crawling Small included electrical sockets, the TV and all the junk associated with it like sound bars, dvd/blueray players, games consoles, satellite/cable boxes and all those intriguing wires. We have all heard clichéd tales of toast posted into the video recorder and I can tell you that they are true (younger reader may have to look up what a video recorder is but it was like a clunky sort of dvd or blueray player). In fact, most of the clichés you hear about living with a Small are true.
I designated a drawer at floor level for Small and then filled it with all the things he most liked to play with. This provided him with a distraction from opening everything else. Well, mostly. In fact we had two drawers for Small, one in the living room and one in the kitchen. Technically, the one in the kitchen was not his, it was filled with our motley collection of plastic tubs, but it soon became his.
We had to fit child locks to cupboards and drawers with breakables and things that could be dangerous (cleaning fluids etc.). They are still in place, even though the smallest Small is well past the random destruction phase. [Destruction is much more focused these days.]
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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