Boo is eleven months old today.
And what better way to celebrate than standing - unaided - for TEN WHOLE SECONDS. Alright, alright, so it's actually five seconds. Or maybe it's two? Whatever - when you're actual there, looking at her doing it, it seems like ages - and let me assure you - it is, categorically speaking, totally dead clever.
Understandably, me and Dave are utterly delighted with this latest milestone of progress. What is absolutely not in the least bit delightful about it is the fact that The Poop insists on practising her new skill in only the most specific of conditions. She will not merely stand to command like some performing monkey. The circumstances are to be just right.
a) Be placed on a slippery surface.
Ice/banana skins/wet marble/a greased baking tray/damp patio decking/a highly unsteady playground slide; if it is perilously polished or glisteningly glazed in any way it is THE PLACE in which her standing up will be rehearsed.
b) Be surrounded by a sea of treacherously sharp objects.
Like a scene from Home Alone, Boo collects together carving knives, corkscrews, coffee table corners and metre upon metre of barbed wire, before finally tracking down a few cocktail sticks and a handful of rotating lawnmower blades, which she scatters about the edge of her activity, placing them, where possible, directly in line with her eye sockets should she stumble or fall at any point. Only then can she happily embark upon the eye-wateringly risky business of learning to stand.
c) Be in the immediate proximity of impending doom.
The presence of any type of exposed naked flame, a 6000V electric fence, standing in the central reservation of the M6 or directly beside two people engrossed in a rather competitive game of Swingball; these apparently are the prime locations in which to practise your desire to not fall over.
Maybe the fear spurs her on but it definitely does nothing for me. It doesn't make me any more impressed by her burgeoning balance nor does it allow me to enjoy a second of her newly acquired skill. In fact, these conditions only serve to render me paralysed with fear and increasingly irritated by the vast wodges of cash we have wasted on sponge matting and plastic corner protectors and cot bumpers and fire guards.
And I'm proper gutted I knocked those fire eating classes on the head - we could have made a great double act. Take now for example; she's currently roller skating towards the closed patio doors while wearing a blindfold.
*Loud smash followed by aggressive barking*
Gotta go. She'd put a stray Rottweiler in the garden.