Enjoy baby stage, one of the most charming ...
ALL stages of childhood have their own particular charms, although I have to say some are more charming than others.
Like the defiant, 'my parents are losers who know nothing' teenage stage is less delightful than it is just about getting though the day without stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork.
But if I had to pick a favourite, I'd say it is that six to 18-months-old period of babyhood.
They change and learn and grow such an unbelievable amount in that time, and every day there's something new and exciting that makes you cry and hear Elton John singing The Circle of Life in your head.
El Baberino hit the eight-month mark this week, and she loves her increasing mobility, finding her voice and trying to join in with the big kids. But to paraphrase Spiderman, with great power comes great whingeability.
See, with her increased awareness of her surroundings and the people in them comes the awareness that sometimes they leave the room.
At eight months old though, she doesn't have the knowledge that, when I leave the room, I'll come back.
It doesn't matter that there are still other people in the room with her; if mum walks out, it's on like Donkey Kong.
Which is why, if you walk past my front window, you'll hear my speaking very loudly and clearly, narrating my journey, "It's ok baby, mummy is just going into the kitchen to get something to clean the pumpkin off the rug before the rug starts growing pumpkins and then I'll be back, can you hear me?", while she cries mamamamamama until I return.
Yes, she's cracked out the mama's, which is just gorgeous. I just wish she would say it sometimes when she's happy.
Actually, it's not so much that's she's unhappy, more that she is completely flabbergasted by the fact that her serving wench occasionally has to do something other than blow raspberries on her fat little belly.
I'm not so impressed that I have to do other things either, but the other members of my household keep muttering things about dinner and clean clothes.
I've penned a couple of songs too, to keep her informed of my whereabouts.
"Mummy is on the toilet" is racing up the charts and so is "I'm right here, I didn't go anywhere".
Sometimes I manage a ninja escape, where she doesn't realise I've left the room until I either come back or I mistakenly speak louder than a whisper from the other room.
That's when she really gets the dirts, and her displeasure is noted with short sharp yells and a very scrunched-up face.
Which is absolutely hilarious.
But while this separation anxiety has meant the end of me having a shower without an audience for the foreseeable future, keeping her happy by keeping her with me isn't really such a big deal.
In fact, I'd be pretty happy for this stage to go on forever, because it can be pretty rough when they decide they don't need you at all.
She-Devil manages birthday on budget
MY SHE-DEVIL turns seven this week and that means one thing: birthday party talk.
Actually, the planning for this year has been going on for three months, which is an improvement on the previous year which had nine months of planning.
This kid seriously needs to go into event management when she is older.
But the ideas that she has for her parties are so ostentatious, they're like a Kardashian wedding.
I'm always concerned that she will be disappointed with the reality, but she seems happy enough with the budget mum version that I manage to scrape together.
The thing is, big birthday parties are expensive.
I once knew a woman who said her kids could have a party or a present, but not both. I was horrified at the time but now that we've tightened our budget right up, I sort of see where she was coming from.
So no big party this year for the She-Devil, just her very best friend. She's still making plans though.
For birthday number eight!