I don’t like to be prohibitive with Lo-Lo. You might say that’s contradictory when I have her in a routine so she can’t sleep when she wants. I feed her most of her meals as I figure fingerfood is not enough for her and most of our house is arranged so everything is off the floor! OK, so predominantly I am in control. Of course I am. I am the adult and should know what’s best for her. A baby won’t know that if it holds a knife it will injure itself. It is for me to teach her what is good, bad and dangerous. However I like to let her wander the house, corridors, pull things out of the recycling (of course I 1st make sure there’s nothing in there that’s dangerous or too messy), chew my slippers (I try to wash them when I can) basically do what she likes and go where she wants. I figure these are the ways she will discover the world around her, nothing wrong with being inquisitive. I also figure that I want to save the word ‘no’ for when she really needs to know the meaning of it.
We have a plant in our living room. The pot is big, sturdy and just the perfect height for Lo-Lo to pull herself up on. And of course said potted plant contain soil. Part of me is a bit like – I guess if she wants to eat dirt she’ll soon learn it doesn’t taste good, crack on! Yet the other side of me knows you can catch things from soil. I know it’s a bit of an extreme example but one of the main ways you can catch Legionnaire’s disease (similar to pneumonia) is from soil. So anyway, I’d had enough of her hands in the soil, the mess on the floor and of course soil ending up in her mouth. I sat next to her and very sternly took her hand away and said ‘NO!’. She looked at me unsure. She tried again. I repeated, ‘NO’. She looked very sad and then started to cry but she moved away. Since then she will hover near the pot and you can see she’s thinking about it. Can I? Can’t I? Can I get away with it? She’ll turn to see if we’re around and often finds us staring right at her. She cunningly tries some distraction techniques; smiling, giggling, but then turns to look at the pot again. She tests the limits a bit as well by putting her hand on the pot and as we all know spooning often leads to forking. So instead say her name in a warning tone, she often removes her hand with no crying. We reserve the ‘No’ for the actual soil. It’s working so far, will keep you posted.