Another milestone has been reached in our house this week.
Our youngest daughter Alyssa has started to crawl.
Well actually, I wouldn’t call it crawling. Shuffling is probably the right word.
She’s in the usual crawl position, except one of her legs is still out front, propelling her forward like a boat oar.
But basically, she is now mobile and she’s getting fast.
She can get from one end of the room to the other and is even trying her very best to pull herself up on the coffee table and the sofa.
Gone are the days when she could be plonked in the middle of the living room floor with a few toys, safe in the knowledge that she’d be in exactly the same spot when you returned following a quick dash to the toilet.
So now the child-proofing has begun once again.
It’s all about getting in the mind-set of a mischievous nine-month-old and thinking about where she could go and what she could be touching.
You have to ask yourself, what poses a risk?
The experts say the best way to do this is to be your child and actually get down on your hands and knees. This way you will see what your child sees and spot any potential problems.
Of course, there are the obvious things, like drinks. Whether they be hot or cold they now have to be put out of reach of wandering small hands.
All electrical cords must be hidden behind furniture and sockets must be covered up.
The safety gates must be closed at all times, otherwise it defeats the purpose.
It also seems that every object Alyssa gets in her hands, she now wants to put in her mouth.
So anything small has to be put at an unreachable height too.
Our other daughter Caitlin has had her Lego and crayons banished to her bedroom until Alyssa learns they are not food.
Although we’ve tried our best to baby-proof the house, sometimes it is a situation of trial and error.
We learned fast when it came to the copy of The News that was sitting on the coffee table. Alyssa got hold of it and turned it into confetti. Soon a piece of it was heading towards her mouth to become her next meal.
So newspapers now live at a height Alyssa can’t reach.
I’ve come to realise that it’s the things that wouldn’t normally pose a risk that we most need to put in a place that Alyssa can’t access.
Such as the pack of baby wipes she got hold of and emptied all over the floor, and the pot of nappy rash cream that she not only managed to open, but also smear all over herself and the carpet.
But at least now when we can’t find the TV remote, we know who’s got it.