I feel terrible for even thinking this, but I'm starting to realise that The Baby is perhaps not the sharpest lemon in the tree. She's not a complete idiot - she can hear the opening of a packet of carrot puffs from a hundred yards, and ferret out a mobile phone from its hiding place under a pile of cushions - but she's not exactly picking me up any medals in that most terrifying of competitions: the Parenting Olympics. It's my own fault, I didn't put in the necessary training: endless sessions of Baby Bounce, Baby Yoga, Baby Sign Language, Baby Ballet, Baby Jazzercise and whatever else it is they have nowadays. As a result (or so it feels), The Baby is currently letting the side down, especially in terms of walking, talking, and feeding herself with cutlery. I know that every baby will do things when they're ready and all that, and that it doesn't mean that she's going to be at any kind of disadvantage in later life (Husband hardly did anything til he was about 12 apparently, and he's not a total simpleton now), but if I hear one more tale of "Lucas carved a chicken and then ate it with chopsticks at 10 months" or "Olivia ran the Great North Run while reciting Juliet's soliloquy on her first birthday!, I think I will pull someone's eyes out. Possibly my own.
I shouldn't worry about it, I know. But I just can't help it. At least we're getting there with some things. To the question "What does a sheep go?", The Baby will now reply with the word "Ba", to much praise and adulation. Then, to the question "What does a cow go?", she will also reply with the word "Ba". Oh well, one step at a time.
And of course, how could I forget? There is one discipline at which The Baby excels. She may use a spoon as a way of transferring yoghurt to her hair, but when it comes to using her hands to fill her face with her own weight in pasta, this child is going for gold.