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L Plate Gran

It is a paradox but 'constant change is here to stay' as far as small babies are concerned. When I first started minding Little G, she was a year old, toothless and verbally maladroit. Fast forward seven months and the changes in her are amazing.

Teeth have appeared - not many admittedly, but enough to make me less willing to stick a finger into her mouth to fish out some stray object she is trying to choke herself with. She is starting to speak, picking up new words all the time, and I am painfully aware of the bad language she hears in the street as we go about.

Alas, in one area of development, she has been resisting change: she is still not walking

It is driving You must be mad crazy. All the NCT babies are walking, apparently. All the babies we meet down at the little playground are walking - and many are younger than Little G.

This week however, the nursery reported excitedly that Little G had stood unsupported for the first time. Being a true sceptic, I decided to try it out on the first of my minding days, so I waited until she had bum-shuffled onto the carpet.

Then: 'Stand!' I commanded. Mirabile dictu! She stood

I gave her the sort of rapturous clapping and yelling that a teenager might give their favourite boy band. Encouraged, she stood again. On her return, I told You must be mad ... who also went through the same procedure. Several times. A milestone had been reached. We rejoiced.

Next day, flush with my ability to control a baby, I asked Little G to stand

She refused. I tried again. She shook her head. I decided it was probably just one of those things. She was tired. Eventually compliance would return. A short time later, I heard crowing and loud clapping coming from her room, where she was having some solo play time.

Creeping upstairs, I peered round the door. Little G was standing in the middle of the room, giving herself a huge round of applause ... and standing again.

Whoever said you should never work with children or small animals had it absolutely dead right

To be continued ... ....

Meet The Author...
Carol Hedges
Who Am I?

Carol Hedges is the successful UK author of 11 books for teenagers and young adults and one ebook. Her novels have been shortlisted for various prizes and her YA novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery is her first adult novel. It is published by Crooked Cat Books, and available as book and ebook on and or to order in bookshops.

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