There is no doubt that Ingrid is actually crawling now. Proper crawling, on all fours, moving forward rather than backwards, and reaching whatever she wants to reach.

Not surprisingly the things she wants to reach are the things that she previously hasn’t been close to, and for very good reasons. These are things like bookshelves, plants, and the bundle of cables under our desks. At the moment she is still happy to explore the safer things, but it’s only a matter of time before she gets bored with them and wants to see the rest as well. After all, that’s what I would do if I found myself in her situation.

So what do we do now? There is no way we can remove everything breakable from the living room. We wouldn’t have anything left. And there is no real way to block off that half of the room, either. I don’t think it’s even possible to put a safety gate across a room that measures 6 metres wall to wall.

For now I try to have a relaxed interpretation of “child-safe”. The rules are still work-in-progress but the following seems to make sense:
– Things that would do permanent harm to her are not OK. (Blinds cords, or chewing on electricity cords.)
– Things that are expensive or hard to replace are not OK. (Pulling on computer cables, or books. Each book on its own is not expensive, but the contents of the lower bookshelf as a whole are expensive so the bookshelf is off limits.)

Everything else is really OK, even if it’s not ideal from an adult’s point of view. I think we just need to get used to a lot of cleaning up.
Bags: OK. A bit of baby drool won’t kill a rucksack. Same goes for carpets and most clothes.
Clothes rack: OK. It will hurt if she pulls it on her head, but won’t do any real damage.
Shoes: OK. A bit dirty, but then again she licks the floor as well.
The bag full of paper to be recycled: OK. Makes a real mess if spread out in the kitchen, but she’s old enough to not choke on the pieces, and it’s not that hard to pick it all up again.
Rubbish bin: OK. What’s the worst she can do? Spread mango peels and used napkins on the floor? That won’t kill us.

I’m not sure what to do about the plants though. We have so many that it’s hard to keep her away from them, and of course they look so very inviting, so great to play with. Some would survive if she pulled them down, and would survive a bit of chewing as well. Others would not. And some are harder to replace than others. I suspect that if she did pull one down, it would make such an interesting noise that she might want to repeat the experience, so plants are probably all off-limits for now.

I wonder how long it will take before it will actually be possible to tell her “no, don’t play with this” and have her listen. She completely ignores any such comments now.

Lots of work and more work and barely enough time to eat lunch. More work during most of the evening, and the weekend will probably not be much better.

Forgot my keys at home and didn’t discover this until I stood by the front door in the evening, with a backpack on my back and Ingrid on my front, and couldn’t get in. I’m very glad that mobile phones have already been invented!

I never swear. Well, never is a slight exaggeration – I know I swore in public once about 2 years ago, and I’ve probably done it a handful of times at home during recent years as well.

The thing is, I just don’t get the point of swearing. To me, swearing is an expression of impotent, inarticulate anger. I am not angry very often; if I am angry I’d rather do something about the cause than swear about it; and if I want to express my anger then I usually have something more specific to say about the cause than call it a f***ing f***er.

I keep wondering why other people swear. What satisfaction does it give them? In my experience swearing doesn’t even defuse the feeling or the situation, it just winds people up more.

Accompanied my brother on his shopping spree. (Two items of clothing and one pair of footwear counts as a spree in our world.)

My brother arrived and will be staying with us for about a week. We had lovely fresh ripe mango for dessert – another advantage of living in East London.

Eight months.

(This post is several days late but we’ll call that a rounding error.)

After sitting and rolling, Ingrid is now focusing her efforts on crawling. While she can move around, it still takes a great effort and she doesn’t have as much control as she would like to: she ends up in the wrong place, or cannot reach quite as far as she wants. She is very close to mastering real crawling now – in the last few days she has discovered the classical crawling position (on her hands and knees) and is just about to figure out what to do next. Right now she assumes the position but doesn’t yet move her hands or legs forward.

In the meantime she has been preparing for the next stage, which is standing and walking. One of her favourite games is to hold on to my hands and pull herself from sitting to standing. Initially she got sort of stuck in the standing position: her legs would get tired and go wobbly, and she would look a bit miserable, because she didn’t know how to sit down. But she’s figured that out now. She’s even experimenting with letting go of one hand, or holding onto my arm or knee or some other suitable thing (or unsuitable, such as the edge of my clothes, which don’t give her much support at all).

Sometimes she blithely lets go with both hands even though there’s no chance she can stay upright with no support, because she has no real concept of falling or hurting herself, and very little understanding of cause and effect. Anything that hurts her probably comes as an unpleasant surprise every time: I imagine it would feel as if the floor had suddenly hit her, or the world suddenly hurts. I’m in no hurry to teach her about those concepts yet. If she hurts herself by things that she does on her own (like kicking the floor), that’s one thing, but while she is playing with me, I’m happy for her to rely on me.

She seems to have learned to kiss. At least that’s what I think she’s trying to do. Her kisses are very wet and mostly open-mouthed, and sometimes mutate into a half-bite, half-kiss thing, but they are generally aimed at my face and she seems very happy when she does it, so I guess it’s kisses. It is really sweet.

Today I discovered the first tooth. I wonder if that will lead to even more chewing. It would seem impossible for her to be more chewy than she already is, but I’m sure she can surprise us.

We’ve been experimenting with food quite a bit. Ingrid has tried both chicken and fish, and rice and pasta and potato, and yoghurt. She likes drinking water and sucking on Finncrisp rye crispbread. Some store-bought baby food jars proved unexpectedly popular, while some things that I thought would be no-brainers (nectarine and apricot) were rejected immediately and decisively.

She has also rediscovered her ability to make sounds. She was making simple vowel sounds (aah and ääh) several months ago but then stopped and went quiet. Now she’s clearly trying out a new range of sounds again. Da-da-da is a common one, as is hä-hä-hä. The former could easily be interpreted as the beginnings of “daddy”, if it wasn’t for the fact that she says it in all sorts of situations that don’t involve daddy, so it’s really just vocal gymnastics.

Separation anxiety comes and goes. At times she is happy playing on her own, other times she gets upset the moment I leave the room and she cannot see me. On the other hand she is happy to go wherever I am, and doesn’t mind playing on the bathroom floor or sitting in the kitchen watching me make a sandwich.

The first tooth is now appearing!

(Just about 4 months after we first started guessing that she might be teething, because of her incessant drooling and fondness for chewing on everything.)

Somewhat hectic day at work with lots of test runs of a software rollout. Saw some terrifyingly messy Excel sheets (with comments like “must finish this part later”) so I am not looking forward to processing those sheets for real tomorrow.

Finished Wraeththu and was quite disappointed with the ending of the third part.

More Wraeththu and again it’s bedtime and I didn’t manage to finish it.