On the whale vs the bowl of petunias.

You are beginning to notice how much more pleasant it is to be out and about with the Star lately.

This is perhaps because the Comet has learned to crawl, or rather, slither and you have discovered that her calmness was all a front. She has clearly just been spending the last five and a half months wisely, looking at things she couldn’t reach and making a mental note to head straight for them the minute she got mobile.

The last few days have been characterised by you tripping over a small body as she commandos her way towards another book or toy, or finding her wedged into the space between the sofa and the wall intending to gnaw on a power cable.

She also climbs. She has a good line in reaching up, snagging the edge of the coffee table with one hand, using that to gain purchase with the other and then hanging there, little legs scrambling for grip. Oh and she can damn near get herself into a sitting position too. She lists a bit, and eventually ends up with her nose in the carpet, but it won’t be long before she can do it.

She is, in fact, even more energetic than the Star was, and that was something you didn’t think was possible. Although you will give her the fact that she can be indoors in, say, an art gallery, without needing to shout as loudly as she possibly can, just because it is dark and quiet and she can.

The Star, in contrast, seems to have developed a bit of maturity. You like to think that the Star’s relative calmness these days is due to your water torture approach to discipline.

It seems that somewhere after the five millionth time you insisted on his holding your hand and did the whole right, now we stop at the edge of the read, check for cars, remember not to step out into the road randomly, you don’t want to be squashed like a bug, stop at the road, look there’s a car, it’s a road, stop, look, wait for Mama, it’s a road, there are cars, you might be squashed like a bug, stop, wait, look, wait, stop, stop, stop, SQUASHED LIKE A BUG, stop routine it has actually gone in. The Star will stop at roads now without you having to scream at him and lunge for his collar.  He even roundly told you off the other day for walking in the middle of a (temporarily closed off) road and insisted on using the pavement.

In fact, the Star is entering the age of reason. Or rather, the age where threats, bribes and shameless flattery actually work. Or perhaps it’s just that he’s now over his initial whalelike reaction to the world and is channelling the bowl of petunias*. It’s a lot easier to resist the shiny shiny when it isn’t also quite so new and therefore exciting.

It’s not perfect, of course, but generally his only remaining fault is his tendency to accelerate over the horizon in pursuit of a pigeon. Or a goose. Or a swan. Or any bird that is foolish enough to be big enough to catch a toddle’s eye.

So it is with a rather heavy heart that you realise that just as the Star enters childhood, where you can see the light at the end of the bum-wiping, spoon-feeding, clothes-dressing phase of motherhood for one child, you get to do it al over again with the Comet.

Well, of course you have already been doing it with the Comet, but there’s a big difference between a baby who stays where you put her and one who if you are in the slightest bit attentive will be investigating the contents of the sharps drawer before you know it.

Especially as she climbs.

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