AKA - Destroy Mode
Mila’s suddenly become very naughty. I don’t know how or when this happened, but there’s suddenly a mischievous glint in her eye and a seeming desire to destroy. It seems to have coincided with her new found ability to crawl, pull herself up and climb.
I’ve spent the last few days frantically baby proofing our home in a desperate attempt to prevent our eight-month old baby from cutting her face open on one of our home’s several sharp corners. It’s only now that I have a mobile baby (and by this I mean a baby who can move around on her own, not a novelty mobile phone) that I realise what a death trap our home is. There’s danger at every corner. It’s only now that I see our home for what it really is. The ancient, booby trapped temple from the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I’ve just finished Mila proofing our razor sharp coffee table by covering it’s edges in soft, spongy foam. I sit back and admire my handwork. Mila also seems to be full of admiration. She crawls towards the table and runs her baby hands across the protective softness, her eyes wide in appreciative wonder.
Mila turns to me and smiles.
I stand there proudly. That’s right baby girl. I did that for you. I made it soft for you. All because I love you and don’t want to have to rush you to the hospital with blood gushing from a gaping wound.
Mila returns her gaze to the coffee table. Suddenly that mischievous glint appears. She clenches her gums, yanks on the cushioned pad with all her might and tears it from the coffee table.
“You little shit!” I say in exasperation.
“Honey!” says Zsuzsa, appearing apparently from thin air. “Don’t speak to her like that. She’ll pick up on your anger and it’ll affect her.”
“But she’s like one of those bloody baboons that tear your windscreen wipers off at safari parks!” I mutter, frustrated.
“She’s just a baby. She doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
I look at Mila. She’s now sitting next to the table, looking like an innocent angel chewing on protective foam. She smiles at me. She knows what she's doing. She’s rubbing my nose in it.
“And please try not to speak to her with a negative tone. Her mind is very impressionable at the moment. If you’re angry with her she won’t grow up to be the professional tennis playing, ballet dancing, kung-fu fighting, award winning scientist and successful writer that you want her to be.” adds Zsuzsa.
It’s true. This is what Mila is going to be. A professional tennis playing, ballet dancing, kung-fu fighting, award winning scientist and successful writer. She has no say in the matter.
“I don’t think me calling her 'a little shit' is going to do anything. It’s not going to make her become a pole dancing bank robber or anything.” I reply.
“You never know.” says Zsuzsa. “Best to play it safe.”
It's now several days later. We're on a plane flying back from Spain. So far Mila has been a very good little lady. She’s given me a few ‘hand-off’s’ to the face when I attempted to kiss her cheek, but that’s about it, and maybe that’s more related to the sausage that I’ve been eating than anything else.
Zsuzsa is by the window, I’m in the middle seat and a Slovakian woman who has more than her fair share of nose is sitting to my left. Mila is on my lap, taking a breather in between breast feeds (our way of sedating Mila on flights).
“What a cute baby.” says the Slovakian lady.
“Thanks” I reply.
Mila fixes the Slovakian lady with an adorable smile. The Slovakian lady's heart melts, she smiles back and leans in, inches from Mila’s face. Suddenly something changes in Mila’s face. It’s subtle and the un-initiated wouldn’t have recognised it, but I do. I’ve seen that look before. The glint. The mischievous glint.
“Back off Slovakian lady!” I want to say, but I’m not quick enough.
With the speed of a spider monkey, Mila reaches out and grabs the Slovakian lady’s bulbous nose. The Slovakian lady suppresses a squeal as Mila applies surprising force to her grab. I try to pull Mila away, but she clings on with freakish strength and the Slovakian lady’s face comes with her. The Slovakian lady and myself (with my one free hand) attempt to prise Mila’s fingers from the increasingly scarlet nose. Eventually we are successful and the Slovakian lady sits back and tries to compose herself.
“I’m so sorry.” I say. “She’s going through a bit of a naughty phase.”
“Don’t worry about it.” says the Slovak, trying her best to act nonchalant, but with the colour of her nose betraying her.
I keep our naughty little lady away from strangers noses for the remainder of the flight. She’s got a long way to go to becoming a professional tennis playing, ballet dancing, kung-fu fighting, award winning scientist and successful writer, but we’ll get there.