Today’s one of those days where nothing seems quite smooth-sailing for Arddun.

She wakes up with a nose that’s running like a faucet. She’s woozy, yet energetic – one of the most lethal combinations for a baby who’s just figured out crawling, because it means she goes hell for leather as usual, and then loses her balance and twacks something. Or uses up her reserves twice as fast, and then wonders why she’s feeling weepy.

The mother of a snotty baby cannot help but get snotty herself, eventually. I used to wonder how ‘flus make their rounds in families – don’t they practise good hygiene? – but since Arddun’s come down with this runny nose, I UNDERSTAND. She’s cute, but she’s now also disgusting. I doubt she even understands that her nose is running, because it all dribbles down past her mouth and starts to drip from her chin, but it doesn’t seem to bother her a stitch. You wipe her face and it’s clean and dry, and then you turn around 30 seconds later and it’s like she’s eaten a pot of glue. Every time she sneezes – which is often – it’s like a car just went over a puddle and you’re collateral damage.

She’s happy to see you, but she’s feeling about 75% so she wants more cuddles – all the better to wipe her face on your collar bone and shoulder.  All attempts to get her to blow her nose into Eucalyptus-infused Kleenex are fiercely rebutted. But she will help herself to your table cloth. Or crawl over while you’re doing the dishes, and bury her face in your pyjama pants (left leg). And then look up at you and grin so hard because she’s SO happy she’s here, right next to you and the pyjama pants that smell like you.

She is clumsier. Or perhaps she’s soukier (Singaporeans: more manja), which is why every infraction committed by the laws of gravity now solicits the loudest howls this side of the equator when previously, she’d Keep Calm and Carry On. She bumped her head twice on the playpen grills, twice on the cot rails, and absolutely smacked her forehead on the tiled floor when she face-planted after misjudging the distance between Mommy’s Arms and the cold, hard truth. Major histrionics ensued. The face-plant, I concur, deserved the howling and some frozen bag-o-peas TLC. Everything else was a leeetle put on, I thought.

But cuddle her I did. And loved her I did. And do. And do.

And she’d laugh and giggle until naptime, where she’d howl all over again. Only to sit up suddenly and hold her pillow up to you. The red, heart-shaped one with the hole in the middle to prevent flat-head. She holds the pillow up and peers through the hole in the centre. And she thinks it’s HA-LA-RIOUS that she thought of doing that. HA-LA-RIOUS that she can see you through that ridiculous hole. And she actually laughs, “Ha! Ha! Ha!”

And you think, how could I have ever thought this child was disgusting?

Business as usual, really. Except with 2,000% more tissues.