Abi Jane has a new obsession with cleanliness. Unfortunately, this is resulting in her being grubbier than ever.
Let me explain.
Abi has worked out what wet wipes are for (a bit slow on the uptake, I know) and while previously she used to kick and scream whenever her face and hands were wiped, now it's even worse - she wants to do it herself.
Ever wanting to encourage development, of course, I let her. After dabbing her mouth daintily with one corner of the wipe like a miniature Hercule Poirot, the job's done as far as she's concerned - and off she toddles, covered in jam. Any attempt to finish the wiping for her is met with absolute outrage that Mummy doesn't appear to find her standards good enough.
Wipes, according to Abigail, are also for wiping surfaces, books, the carpet, the bottom of your shoe, the sootiest bit of the fireplace - and THEN your face. And then Mummy's face.
She likes them so much that yesterday, she took most of a packet out of the packet while I was next door preparing dinner, and hid them in her toybox for future mess making fun.
Meanwhile, upstairs in her nursery, she's become tall enough to reach the drawer where I keep her creams, cotton wool and other small hazardous items like nail scissors. (I'm going to have to start sellotaping things to the ceiling, I think. Or sellotaping her to the ceiling.) The other day, she found the cotton buds and approached me clutching one with a quizzical expression, and I made the mistake of showing her what it was for: "See, they're for cleaning your ears...NOOOO, don't actually put it in your ear! Yes, I see that it does also fit nicely up your nose...no, don't put it back in the box now, it's all...oh Abi, just give them back..."
Abi has also carried this new love of cleanliness into the realm of tidying, and follows me about while I am tidying up, collecting things and helpfully putting them in the bin. It would be marvellous, but the things she collects are mainly books and soft toys, and her bin of choice is the nappy bin.
Still, this answers the question of what to get her for her birthday and Christmas - toy cleaning equipment! I'll just have to be prepared for the months of extraordinary mess that will be bound to ensue...