The Andrex Toddler

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Sometimes I look at Little A and think he might be the reincarnated spirit of my parents’ dog, Rocco. Were it not for the fact that Rocco did not die until Little A was several months old, I would be certain that our child is channelling chocolate labrador. Given the crossover in boy/dog alive time, he may just be a chocolate coated labradoresque toddler.

Indications that Little A may, in fact, be the reincarnated spirit of Rocco:

1. He eats everything. Left to his own devices, he would eat until he keels over from either nausea or exhaustion. People who use the term ‘child-sized portions’ haven’t met Little A. I wouldn’t take him on in a broccoli fritter eating competition…there’s only one winner there and it isn’t mama.

2. He’s friendly. He bounds up to random Chinese people on the street and licks them (ok, sometimes it’s biting). It’s not hygienic but it’s better than head butting the ground (which is what he does if you try to keep him away from his people).

3. He bites. I have a red welt on my collarbone where he bit me yesterday in a fit of exuberance. I catch myself shouting ‘no bite!’ at him like I used to do with Rocco. I must occasionally remind myself that my son is not actually a labrador.

4. In the long tradition of labrador puppies, he likes playing with toilet paper. Only yesterday, when I was momentarily distracted, he managed to locate two brand new toilet rolls and gleefully threw them into the bath I was running for him. He found this hilarious. He knew he did wrong - he didn’t care. Thankfully we don’t have any stairs or he’d be re-enacting the Andrex ads on a daily basis.

5. He needs a lot of exercise. As AA Milne said “A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise”. He needs to be tired out on a daily basis. Running around in circles, chasing things and swimming are favorite past times.

6. He needs to be walked. But like Rocco, he doesn’t like walking under instruction (he’s a free spirit that way). I’ve got a little backpack for him with a…um…safety rope attached. It’s not a lead, I swear (I don’t walk my baby, really). He needs to be kept on the ‘safety rope’. You might think he’s walking in an appropriately orderly fashion and then suddenly he’ll see a leaf in the middle of the road, think “oooh, leaf!” and zoom off after it - for someone who’s only learned to walk a few months ago, he’s surprisingly nippy.

7. He sheds. Mostly his socks.

8. Like Rocco, he does not like being washed and goes ballistic when I try to rinse his hair. I think he’s being a tad unreasonable on this point - at least I’m not trying to rinse him outside in winter with a hose.

7. He’s also good natured, playful and he likes having his belly rubbed.

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