Every other sentence this month has started with the word ‘no’. ‘No, don’t touch that’, ‘no, don’t put that in your mouth’ ‘no, take that out of your mouth’, ‘no, that’s dirty’, ‘no, that’s not for babies’, and so on. A couple of months ago she would have cried if I’d have pointed my finger at her and sternly said ‘no!’. 

She spent the first ten months being extremely well behaved, not touching things when I told her not to, lulling me into a false sense of security. ‘She’s just not that into things’ I remember telling friends and family when actually she was being sneaky.

Gaining my trust whilst making a mental note of all the things she wanted to touch and taste when she could finally reach them for herself whilst my back was turned. Since being on the move she’s become very sassy. 

The response I now get to ‘no!’ is a vacant glance before turning around to continue doing what I don’t want her to do or screw up her face and yell a high pitched squeal at me followed by the cheekiest of smiles before carrying on doing what I don’t want her to do.

Sometimes I mix it up a bit in the hope she doesn’t become immune to the word ‘no’. ‘Not the eyes!’ I shout as she hurls a hooked finger towards a dog’s face. ‘I think the doggy wants to keep her eyes’ I say, trying to reason with her whilst holding back her finger as she squirms it free to try and gouge out the dog’s retinas. 

Shaving foam, the kitchen bin, pram wheels and flip flops seem to be the current obsession to lick and the dirtier the better it seems. I’ve learnt my lesson with the wicker basket full of nappy changing paraphernalia I kept on the floor. She kept going for the tube of nappy rash cream with the lethal spike to punch a hole in the lid which is now caked in crusty cream from when I opened it last September.

Her absolute favourite is the pile of crumbs I sweep from the kitchen floor into the corner of the room that I never get round to clearing up. ‘Dirty! Yuck! Urgh!’ I shout from the kitchen sink mid-way through the stash of washing up.

She hovers on all fours, gazing up at me with a ‘can I get away this this?’ look. ‘Not the floor crumbs!’ I command. I can see her calculating whether she has enough time to grab a handful of crusty food debris and shovel it into her mouth before I dash across the room to move her hand out of the way. I‘ve even watched her find things on the floor, crawl around it and sit down with her back to me, carefully picking it up and popping it into her mouth, hoping I haven’t noticed.

There’s nothing like a crawling baby to highlight every dirty nook and cranny of your home.

Most of the time I find it really hard to remain composed; the funny faces she pulls in response to my attempt at discipline are hilarious. I’m telling her no with a smirk on my face, pushing my finger nails into my hand with force to stop myself from bursting into laughter.

As I type this, she has somehow found the packet of raisins buried deep in the changing bag under the pram and is happily eating them off the floor. When she catches my eye she starts laughing, then clapping. I can’t help but laugh back.