When your baby starts crawling, you might think of buying a stairgate, locking your bleach away and installing eyes in the back of your head.
If you’re like me, you won’t have thought about the fact that every fiddly job gets 100 times trickier.
When your baby begins to move, it’s not just confined to their playmat, as they stretch to overturn their toy basket, discover how much Mummy loves washing being pulled off the airer and generally make anyone with OCD’s life a living nightmare.
Instead, they want to move all the time – and that’s regardless of whether their bums are caked in yesterday’s curry you really shouldn’t have fed them as ‘an experiment’, or not.
Changing Albie and getting him ready for bed was hard enough. Despite nine months of practice, I’ve yet to master the intricacies of dressing a wiggly baby.
One leg goes in the PJ bottoms and as the other hits fabric, an invisible spring shoots the first leg out. You repeat this process for a good few minutes, until giving up and deducing they’ll probably overheat in bottoms, anyway.
You pull the nappy over their front but can’t get it fastened in time before two chubby, inquisitive, male hands have set off on a voyage of discovery well ahead of their teenage years.
The hands are retrieved and after they’ve twice attempted to pull the picture from the wall (it was such a good place for it six months ago), they’re now eagerly searching for something else to grab.
This necessitates a 180-degree turn, whether it avoids the 4ft drop to a certain hospital stay if you don’t catch them or not, for a full-on search operation for anything to delay the inevitable nappy robing.
Of course, all nappies I’ve come across fasten at the front, and I’ve barely mastered the conventional change, let alone the super-advanced mode.
They definitely don’t tell you this at Parentcraft (baby/parenting classes). It’s a real gap in the programme that they try to flog you a TENS machine but a baby gurney isn’t on the menu.
Maybe I should set up an alternative parenting workshop…