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The sixth sense

Living

Diary of a First-Time Dad
Edwin McGreal

AT A recent policing meeting, one local councillor talked about being a youngster himself, many years ago. “One way to ensure we did something was for our parents to tell us we weren’t allowed do it,” he quipped.
It reminds me of Frankie a lot in recent weeks. She’s most drawn to whatever she knows to be off limits.
The kitchen and sitting room is usually clear of danger, and doors to the hall and back kitchen are closed. But it’s like Frankie has an in-built alarm that goes off as soon as something that is usually off limits becomes accessible. A sixth sense perhaps.
A door to the back kitchen might be left marginally ajar, instead of being closed fully. She is on the case straightaway, as if trying to escape from the confinement she feels we have her in.  
Often the door to the hall might be left wide open to let some heat out. Frankie goes straight for it though she knows well she is not allowed.
Halfway there she will turn her head around and look at us with a mischievous face. We might say ‘Ah ah, no!’ but it only emboldens her.
She’ll start laughing at us and take off towards freedom at double quick speed. She lets a little yelp out when we catch her, lift her and bring her back back, as if to say ‘Damn it, I’ve been caught again!’.
As Frankie gets taller, so more things become within reach. She has not brought anything down on top of herself yet but there have been a few close shaves where she’s been pulling at bags or books left on the table and now within reach.
Telling her ‘No’, funnily enough, does not work. It only serves to encourage her.
All the lower presses in the kitchen have been baby proofed now, but Frankie won’t give in. She pulls as hard as she can on them, perplexed as to why they will only open an inch for her but open fully for her parents.
I accidentally gave her a helping hand last week though, leaning in to get some cereal, I leaned on the safety clip and snapped it off.
I thought I would be okay – after all it was only one out of six presses that was no longer secure.
Silly me – the next time Frankie was in the kitchen that was the press she went straight to. We’re going to have a lot of challenges ahead if her sixth sense continues to work so well.

In his fortnightly column, first-time-father Edwin McGreal  charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.

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