There was once a time where just turning up to my friend’s house was an easy, and actually quite a fun occasion. Those days are gone. It’s really not that my friends have become less fun, or that I don’t enjoy dropping over for a cuppa, anywhere near as much as the next person, I love it, and if you invite me I will come.
It’s that now those thoughtful pauses that existed between conversations and sips of tea are completely occupied by my octopus arms, yanking a certain bebe from bookshelves, or shielding her from precious ornaments, or sitting her on the floor as she’s about to share someone’s unsuspecting drink, or plate, or handbag. There is no serenity and she can’t even walk yet. All this action packed adventure takes place by climbing, crawling and hanging off things.
The minute I walk into someone’s house these days I scan the room, if you could see through my eyes you would see a computerised analysis doing a risk assessment of all corners of the room. What can be broken What might break her? What could she swallow? What could burn her? What could she unplug? What could she rip? And then I sit down.
I remember when my mum would have visitors with small children, and as a teenager they would wreck your things, throw food on the floor and dominate the lounge room, and their parents didn’t seem to care. Now I’m the awkward baby wrangler who feels completely uncoordinated balancing a teacup, biscuit, rusk stick, baby and all the glassware at people’s houses.