Having now fully settled back in at work, I have books to mark, planning to create and the eternal obligation to spend at least 30% of my life carping on about how hard it is being a teacher ("we don't clock off at 3.30pm you know", etc, etc). So most weekday evenings, when I'm not playing a game called "Where The Bloody Hell Are These Flies Still Coming From?", I pretend I'm doing something worthwhile with bits of paper. Consequently, our beautiful little Poop isn't getting much of a look in.
The last few weeks in our house have not been much fun for a nine month old. Truth be told, of late our house has been little fun for anyone (unless you are an aspiring psychologist wishing to observe the real world triggers of human insanity). Whilst all new parents have their tired, emotional moments, we've welcomed the already stressful challenge of my return to work by discovering a dead cat closeted in our roof, which in turn has ensured our house has become infested with maggots, then subsequently swarms of flies, meaning our whole kitchen ceiling has had to be replaced, painted, and all the walls newly wallpapered - the entirety of which has been funded by money we haven't got and time we can't spare. Deep joy.
If only Boo could utter her first real* word and me be at work and miss it, that would be excellent.
(Even better if that first word could be either flies or cat, then my brain can happily make its final leap towards total implosion.)
* I say 'real', because she has said Daddy on numerous occasions, but I continue to kid myself that she doesn't know what it means, therefore it doesn't count.
So it is most definitely time for me to turn up my Mum Factor.
After a good think about what really floats her boat, we decided to return to the Baby Sensory Room.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; that place is DA BOMB. There are bubbles, lights, mirrors, fabrics, glittery things, balls, cushions, massage mats and music...if only they streamed Corrie onto a big screen and pumped out Victoria Sponge cake, I'd barricade myself and Boo in.
(And I'd put a little man flap in the door so Dave could get in and out in order to pay me compliments and take away our dirty washing.)
I strutted into the Centre, Poop in my arms, ready to be a super mummy who actually does stuff with her child.
I showed Boo the colour changing bubble tower and the fibre optic lights and the dancing patterns on the ceiling.
Not a jot of interest.
I pointed out the soft beanbags and the glittery ball and the curly mirrors.
I made a song and dance about the vibrating massage mat and the plinky plonky music and the sparkly lights.
Know why? Because she was busy. Busy scrumpling up a leaflet I'd just picked up in reception. Busy throwing it and ripping it. Busy scratching at it and balling it up and laughing at it. We've got scraps of paper at home for God's sake, yet this is what she stuck with for twenty five of the thirty minutes we had access to the room.
She spent the last five minutes looking in the mirror. We've got one of those at home an all.
(Granted, it's covered in smears of fly, but she could still just about see herself in that.)
See. Not all bad depriving your child of any stimulation or interaction for for a couple of weeks, is it?
It makes them grateful for the simple things in life.
If a little backward.