Driven up the wall by mini-terrorist

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THE battle in our house at the moment is getting the baby to stay in her cot. Well I say baby but she is actually two-and-a-half, which is one of the most memorable times any parent has of their child’s life.

Not so much because they are so incredibly cute and come out with some heart- warming phrases, which they do, but more because every day living with them is a battle. No word of a lie – I can only equate it to living with a mini-terrorist.

The house is like a war zone. You can’t leave her alone or she starts wreaking havoc.

Drawers and cupboard doors are randomly pulled open and their contents flung across the floor.

Handbags are a firm favourite – I have lost count of the number of times I have found her covered in my favourite shade of lipstick with the prized product lying useless and broken at her feet.

I never buy expensive make-up any more as I know somehow it will end up in her hands and be broken into pieces.

Morning, noon and night we step gingerly round the house to avoid any minefields or traps she may have laid for us.

Scattered toys litter the floor ready to go off like IEDs (improvised explosive devices). I even found myself in a classic cartoon situation the other day when I slipped on a strategically placed roller skate left at the bottom of the staircase.

But the worst offence is not squeezing the last drop of shampoo into the bath or smearing chocolate all over the cream couch.

No, it is the nightly intrusions into our bed.

She is still in a cot (or cage would be more apt) because of her rummaging habit.

Putting her to bed like this gives us a little bit of peace away from her two-year-old ways.

But now she has taken to yelling “Mum, dad – let me out” at the top of her lungs the instant we leave her room.

If you don’t go back to her she keeps going, making us fear the neighbours will think something dreadful is going on and call the police!

Some nights we just end up giving in and putting her into the ‘big bed’ as she calls it.

But within seconds she has slipped out of this and got up to her usual tricks. The other night I came back into the house after planting a new rose in the garden to discover her at the back door saying “What are you doing Mummy?”

I am sure her squawks of protest were heard all the way in Rotherham as I tried unsuccessfully to put her back in the cot.

I know any day now she will actually break free from her cot as each day she tries to get her legs over the side and escape.

She has her eye on her big brother’s bed and I know we will have to give in soon and let her have a bed instead of a cot.

We did have several months of our son pounding the corridors after we switched him to a big bed.

Often we would find him fast asleep in the hallway instead of his bed. But eventually this ended and now he sleeps brilliantly in his own room.

And I remember my elder daughter ‘painting’ the bathroom green with some lavatory rim block cleaner she had found. Of course this would happen the night we had guests who we were trying to impress. It took ages to get this off the floor and walls.

The memory must play tricks on you as these incidents are happily forgotten once they have passed and it does not appear to stop people going on to have more children. A bit like giving birth. Maybe the human race would die out if we remembered all the worst bits so we are programmed to forget them instead.

Now my plan of action is to just exhaust my daughter as much as possible during the day so she hasn’t got any energy to get up to mischief later on in the house.

This weekend I am going to encourage her to climb the highest wall she can find at the annual Cliffhanger event.

The Sheffield City Council backed outdoor festival is expected to be the biggest ever this year as it comes to Graves Park for the first time. For more information on the event and what’s on offer for families of all ages visit: http://www.cliff-hanger.co.uk/