I couldn’t give you an exact date of which I began to notice that my baby boy was suddenly a lot less baby and a whole lot more boy because, that’s precisely how it happened- suddenly. With under two months to go until his first birthday, I knew that huge changes were inevitable.
What I didn’t consider though, was the possibility of said changes occurring before we officially received our ‘we made it the the next stage’ medal of recognition, placed upon a heavy instruction manual, gift wrapped and left on our doorstep in honour of our achievement.
That’s how it goes, right?
I write this as a hopeful survivor amidst difficult times of pandemic proportions.. literally.
The world is falling apart around the crazy solitude of our little home which goes unnoticed amongst the chaos and fear.
People are out there throwing punches and pulling hair over a four pack of Andrex toilet roll whilst I’m in here sweating buckets due to an ongoing wrestling match with a tiny person who possesses superhuman strength when it comes to getting him changed. All the while I find myself envious of the Supermarket brawls because, let’s be real, a trip to Asda baby-free is like an all-inclusive holiday abroad and that’s without the promise of entertainment.
Of course, the Coronavirus crisis is just that and not a matter to laugh over at all, however, like most breaking news and world events, I’m usually last to join the loop. It’s hard to throw yourself into the panic or become emotionally invested when Hey Duggee takes priority over Sky News for choice of background noise and I can’t check my damn phone without sticky, drooly fingers desperately trying to steal it from my grasp and ironically attempt to throw it down the toilet (this has twice been successful- don’t ask me how).
Maybe my lack of fear is down to my lack of knowledge over death tolls and the likes. The less you know.
So frankly, I wasn’t concerned until someone informed me that people were stockpiling nappies and wipes. Improvising when it comes to wiping my own arse is one thing but there aren’t enough old tea towels in the world to cope with the monstrosities that now take their leave out of my almost-toddler’s.
Take all the hand sanitizers to give you peace of mind for the next twenty years but prevent me from buying Ella’s Kitchen melty sticks and packs of rice crackers is to deny me a few of the only moments solitude I receive per day and, trust me on this- you’ll be running straight back to aisle seven to fight Karen with her ‘call the manager’ hair cut over 30p dried pasta in a heartbeat long before you attempt to get between a desperate, sleep deprived Mama and her thirty seconds of peace.
Anyway, I digress, I guess what I am trying to say is that it is difficult to prepare for Doomsday when you’re already in the middle of endless preparation for the Toddlerpocolypse.
One at a time, please.
I put myself and my little man into self isolation shortly after he attempted to steal a wooden Pizza on a stick from Pizza Hut which, otherwise known as a table number to you or me, to an almost-toddler it is a life or death must have.
He later went on to pull a rail of ladies nightwear down in Primark before emptying a box of wooden spoons in Wilko and having a screaming match for all to hear meaning we went home down £1 but an unneeded wooden utensil richer and one smug little monkey who knew exactly what he was doing.
I quickly began to realise just how aware he is of his actions and what he can gain from them and I think this was the realisation I needed to confirm he was no longer a baby baby. See now we have upgraded from crying to be carried as opposed to pushed in the pram when out and about, to full blown meltdowns to be carried around the house despite his new found ability to walk.
Such meltdowns include taking the form of a fish out of water in front of my feet whilst bashing his fists down on the ground and shouting ‘NA’ at the top of his lungs or just hitting me in the face for no apparent reason what so ever. Depends on what he’s feeling really.
I can no longer justify my child’s actions by saying ‘he’s a baby’ and that puts me in a whole new position when out in public, something I’m not sure I’m quite ready to confront just yet.
Instead, we have been hiding out at home as I try to get used to chasing this evolved creature with the body of a baby but the speed of a cheetah as he runs out of the room armed with a foam number in one hand and a remote control in the other, laughing hysterically on his merry little way.
He is most likely heading to the kitchen at this point to pull everything off my tea point that I was so proud of showing off. All my cereal boxes perfectly aligned now upside down in a sorry pile on the floor along with anything else that won’t fit in the cupboards. If not the counter, I can guarantee you he’s heading for the stairway to the magical drawer of things he knows he shouldn’t touch i.e. our lubes and massage oils.
Put it this way, I’m a little gutted it’s a virus and not Zombies because those I’d be ready for.
No amount of blood and gore will ever compare to watching the transformation that occurs in your baby’s nappies once they are on solids. Yes, I can vouch that sweetcorn and many other foods do not digest properly and I now know to make a note if Kaiber eats Tandoori Chicken before almost calling 111 the day after.
Being used as a human snot rag as well as touching a whole party of unidentified chewed up foods which mush into your nails as you try to remove your slimy almost-toddler from his high chair also play a big role in having a really strong stomach. Plus, I can guarantee that I am fitter than many regular gym-goers with all of my chasing down and tackling I do of late so I am confident I could out run a zombie or two.
So yes, instead of worrying over contracting Coronavirus, I will be spending my time in isolation figuring out how to tame this wild thing that seems to have three main goals in life right now: eat, destroy, shit in the bath.
I would go as far as to say that my chances of survival may be considerably lower but if we all make it out of this and we meet on the other side, expect grey hair and probably another line in the face or two but definitely some incredible looking toned legs as I hold the sticky hand of a ONE year old.
Just typing that terrifies me more than all of the above.