Nappy Diaires

The child is going to be a star

The child is going to be a star. You can take that to the piggy bank. She’s right up there with the Trapp kids if we’re judging by talent alone. If you’ve watched the Sound of Music, you will recall the scene when Maria is teaching the kids to sing (if you haven’t, it’s a musical about a nun who becomes a nanny and is employed by a widower to take care of his seven children). “When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything,” the tune went.

Ever the innovator, my daughter knows just one note, but I’ll tell you what, the girl can sing. It’s a very high and piercing note that carries over brick and mortar, serenading all our neighbours often into the wee hours of the night. She sings until her soprano voice is worn out and then switches to alto. Like a boss. I look at her leveraging her single note for maximum effect, with a most enterprising expression on her face, and I am amazed. Yeah, turn down for what? Sleeping is for losers.

After about an hour of this one little woman show, Mama is usually so worn out she would sell her soul for a few winks. But not baby. Baby can shriek, sorry sing, until the cows come home. You’ve got to give it to the kid, she’s resilient.

When she’s not trying to wake the dead, she’s practicing new skills. The skill du jour is sitting up. And because it is sitting up, there can be no lying down. Even to sleep. As soon as she realises that Mama is trying to place her in a reclining position, all hell breaks loose. She can go from singing to screaming faster than you can say baa, baa, black sheep.

The child wants to sit up even when she’s having a bath. I don’t have to tell you how much fun that is. So much fun that I may just have to construct a swimming pool to accommodate baby’s bath time gymnastics.

With so much fanfare, you might be tempted to think that baby is always on the go. You would be wrong. She’s pretty good at keeping her own counsel. But you would be foolish if you believed that she wasn’t up to something. I’m not ashamed to admit that she’s made a fool of me more times than I care to remember.

She’s taken to bunching her hair up in her fists and yanking on it. She pulls and pulls probably unaware that her hair is attached to her head. And when she’s not doing that, she’s trying to suck on her toes. Recently, she’s been able to get her feet into her mouth. She’s even figured out how to take off her socks. But trouble starts when she can’t decide what to munch on first – the socks, or the toes. These are the kinds of dilemmas that no doubt keep her up at night.

Everything must be tasted, that much we have established. But what to taste first? Decisions, decisions. It really is tough out there for a kid. These hard choices notwithstanding, the child has tasted everything, including her wash cloth. It was soaked in soap and water at the time. She didn’t seem to mind. And predictably, when I told her to “stop that immediately!” she stuffed even more of the soggy flannel into her mouth. I swear there was a twinkle in her eye, the little rascal.

I’m getting the feeling that she’s slowly but surely wrapping me around her little finger, or toe, as the case may be. She’s already mastered the elusive art of the poker face. Her blankest looks are reserved for her most mischievous moments. If she’s about to pee in your face as you change her diaper, you would never tell for the serene expression on her face. Because I know this, I’m always expecting trouble when she’s giving me that ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt’ look. But she’s a cheeky lass, she is. Sometimes she smiles ever so sweetly, distracting you with an overdose of cuteness.

As I say, the child is going to be a star. For someone who’s been on the planet for such a short time, her repertoire of tricks is impressive. Looks like I’m going to have to bring my A game. You know things are thick when you’re battling with an infant and she’s winning.