Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Time for some serious sucking up

Vacuuming has become something of a mammoth task. Before George came along there was only the coffee table to negotiate – apart from the main items of furniture such as armchairs and bookcases – now there's a playmat, a garage, two big teddies, a toybox, a walker, a playgym thing that plays Puff the Magic Dragon and various sea-shanty type ditties, and a paddling pool brimming over with colourful balls.

After seeing this style of home design at friends who'd started a family before we did, it's a look we vowed we'd never have, but it seems that George goes for bold and brash primary colours rather than the relaxing neutrals mummy and daddy prefer – and the additional embellishments to the living room mean we tend to prevaricate over the vacuuming.

It's not just the obstacles that make the chore a nuisance, the vacuum cleaner itself doesn't help. It's getting on a bit. Not only does the head keep falling off the end of the pipe, the pipe falls out of the other bit of pipe and the head has only got one wheel. As for the suction – it sucks, or rather more accurately, it doesn't. Mummy has been on at daddy about getting a new vacuum cleaner, and now that daddy does more vacuuming it seems like her wish may be granted.

There's one sure sign that the vacuuming needs doing – when George finds a crumb of breadstick that might have escaped his tiny fingers during a previous snack, that could be anything up to a few days old and that's big enough to put in his mouth and have a toothless chew on.

Actually, it won't be long before George is no longer toothless. There's a sharp little protrusion on his left lower gum that you can't see but can certainly feel – especially if he bites down hard while you're trying to ascertain the progress of his dental development with your finger.

Considering he has no teeth, he does quite well with the chewing business, even if he does take an age to munch down an ever soggier piece of toast. The meals we make for him are getting more textured and occasionally he will find a pea or a tiny chunk of carrot that he'll take out of his mouth and examine before replacing for consumption. Of course, we always make sure his food isn't too hot before the spoon gets anywhere near his mouth, and I often check the temperature with my top lip, which can have its drawbacks. Here's a handy hint for anyone else who uses this method: Mashed carrot and swede stain – before you go out, check that your mouth doesn't look like you've been attempting the world carrot-stick eating record.

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