I sometimes imagine that having a very young toddler is a bit like trying to train an excitable puppy.
They are out of control, noisy and are hellbent on destruction.
They need to be contained in order not to wreak too much havoc and they have no safety filter so are just as likely to destroy themselves as the house.
But the key difference from a puppy is that a toddler has hands, can reach things and, frighteningly, is more than happy to pull things down.
We saw my wife’s Grandad and some great friends at the weekend. Crucially though, on location at their house.
It’s a good job they are understanding!
At Grandad’s, Harry had to be kept in the living room so he didn’t try to plunge down the perilously steep staircase.
The lounge has a fireplace full of glowing stones- like opium for a toddler. Keeping him away from there while simultaneously stopping him trampling all over a patiently playing Sophie was not easy.
Grandad was brilliant and entertained them with a lovely music box that he’s had for decades. Even then, Harry was yanking at the little drawers and trying to mercilessly twist the winding-up mechanism.
Half an hour was just right.
On to our friends’ house and it was amazing to share in their joy about new baby Samuel. He’s super cute, was sleeping soundly and later on woke up and beamed to the great delight of all of us.
Safe to say Harry was inquisitive. About everything.
He spent most of the time pootling round the same square – lounge to hall to kitchen to dining room to lounge again. And repeat.
Occasionally he’d stop to pull some books off the bookshelf, throw open some cupboards or slap the tv.
He made friends with Samuel by peering down at him and trying to stroke a gentle hello. He was clutching a car though and inadvertently whacked him in the face.
There was one point where he disappeared out of sight into the kitchen and my wife went after him to see what was going on. CRASH BANG SMASH later we heard her mournful voice: “Harry leave the baking trays alone!”
The safety catches our house is covered in to stop our whirlwind in his tracks
We are very grateful to other people for entertaining us and if you want to show us hospitality then that sounds wonderful.
We do bring a bit of baggage though…