There’s a Houdini loose in our house

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Happy days because this time next year, I should be a millionaire.

I’m currently working on the revolutionary design of the Velc-Gro Suit© – it’s a little Velcro outfit designed specifically for toddlers.

They put on the suit and then you just cover the rest of the house with the same material and, voila, no more Harry Houdini escape artists clambering freely around the house.

This week has been a monumental one for my son Jack. He’s gone from being a sedentary little pudding, happy to just sit there watching the world go by, to a snorting, crawling, climbing machine.

I’m not sure where he’s going or what he’s trying to achieve (at 10 months old I don’t think he’s got any real agenda), but he is very focused and determined to be somewhere else.

One of my favourite moves is the reverse sweep. He lies flat on his belly then drives himself backwards on the laminate floor with his hands.

If you have a pet in your home, you’ll know that fluff and fur can be an issue – but not for us!

When the wife is out, I just put him down in the lounge for a good 20 minutes, let him do a couple of laps, then pick him up and de-fluff his little shirt into the bin. A happy child and (with a squirt of Mr Sheen) a gleaming floor.

I’m investing considerable time and effort in child-proofing the house at the moment. When the Home-Start team first visited us to point out all of the potential dangers to a toddler, I felt like my home was as perilous as the cave scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

Every room contained a cornucopia of corners, electrical goods and tables that seem to attract children. After all, why would a youngster want to play with a myriad of attractive brightly-coloured, flashing, musical toys when they can shimmy up a bookshelf, or poke their tongue into a low-level plug socket?

Sometimes you just have to concede defeat.

My parents have put a hulking great fire guard up in their lounge. To you and me it’s a careful arrangement of welded steel, helping to preserve the life of young folk who have no understanding of the perils of fire.

To Jack, it’s a climbing frame. He manages to squeeze his little toes into the gaps and haul his rotund body skyward, like a portly spider with a runny nose.

I love watching him develop and explore and I know there will be a few bumps and knocks along the way. It’s the way we all learn – especially boys.

I’m retraining myself too i.e. not to leave personal things lying around.

Putting keys in the freezer might seem like fun to a toddler. Sadly doing a treasure hunt at 4.36am doesn’t really ring my bell.