You wait years for your children to start speaking, imagining all the wonderful conversations you'll have when they can finally communicate in words rather than just pointing and saying 'ba!' How you will have intelligent discussions over the breakfast table, rather than spending the time dodging flying Weetabix and wiping the jam off your jeans.
Beside the bookcase is a broken breadstick. A half-eaten biscuit lies in the hallway. And Cheerios litter the kitchen floor like confetti. I do not need to go far to find the perpetrator of such food related carnage, the trail of crumbs weaving behind her as she toddles away makes identification easy.
Breastfeeding out and about gets a pretty bad image in the news. All we tend to hear about are stories of mums being asked to leave shops, restaurants, swimming pools, libraries, public transport and so on.
As a parent, being able to communicate with your small person is amazing. It eliminates most of the guesswork that was faced during their first year or so. Instead of just wailing when they want something they can generally express what it is that they actually want - the thing that will stop the wailing! It's a game changer.
That's the key thing about painting. It's learning. The two are inextricably linked, for children especially. Art-based activities help young minds to make sense of the world around them. They explore ideas by making shapes with tools.
It was lovely to see everyone, but I came away from it feeling sort of sad. We only had a couple of hours together. There were four couples and six kids between us. The amount of one on one chat time I got with my friends wasn't long enough.
Let me explain. The Curse was created by a particularly malevolent baby and is activated the moment you become smug about your baby's sleep. Beware. Smugness can be implicit - it doesn't have to be spoken out loud - but once you have a smug thought, you are doomed.
A tug at my trouser leg brought me back into the room. I looked down to find an eighteen month old offering me a small fistful of peanut butter and, for the first time since I gave up nutty spreads as a five year old, I accepted it.
When munchkin was about 14 months old, I began going to yoga classes while my husband watched the baby, and it was such a relief to do something just for me. And yes, I could almost hear the strains of Adele singing.... "HELLOOOO" in my mind as I did my downward dog. Yes, Hello, I was back.
We have the communities that we can physically go to and sit down with other mothers, or there are online communities that with a couple of taps of a button you can post your question or concern and within minutes you get so many replies and useful advice.
Offspring; the apple of your eye, your sweet little darlings, sponges of love, thieves of sleep and all round controllers of life. They give you joy you've never experienced and love you've never known.
I must confess, at the beginning, I found breastfeeding very daunting and scary because I have heard so many stories from mothers who have already gone through the experience of breastfeeding in public--and they were not good experiences.
Lila is potty training herself; you've heard of baby led weaning? Well this is the toilet version. I'm not sure if this is an actual thing or if I am just breaking out of the muma-society mould here, I'm sure you'll let me know...
Those lovely hormones that caused your hair to stick around for longer than usual were simply on loan as a consolation prize to make up for all the other crap that pregnancy hormones put you through. Now that your baby is here, they are simply leaving your body and taking the extra hair with them.
I'm totally shocked and appalled at the proposals the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) has made to ban writing certain prescriptions for dairy free formula in some areas in the UK. If this had been brought in to place when Archie and Frankie were babies I know that we would not have been able to afford £608 a month in formula for Frankie's Neocate milk.
If he's making a bit of a racket and needs calming down, I plonk him in the box. If he's looking a bit bored and in need of stimulation, I place it in front of him and watch him pummel it with delight. If he's being a bit cheeky, I close the flaps over his head so he's cocooned inside, then whip them open a few seconds later to see his grinning face staring manically back at me.