Because what the internet needs is more wittering about rubbish parenting

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Before I begin, I must apologise to Husband, who, as house-trained husbands go, is actually pretty good. I also must apologise to the many men who are surely out there who are true domestic gods.


After some careful and considered research (ie chatting with my friends), it seems that there are some things that most men are just completely incapable of comprehending. Such as:

- if you have to step over something because it's in your way, it probably doesn't go there. Pick it up and put it away.
- the cereal won't go soft and rubbish if you close the packet.
- that tea bags, fish fingers, salt, washing-up liquid, toilet rolls, shower gel, and in fact all things, do not just appear as if by magic. Someone has to go out and buy them. Preferably before the last one has run out.
- if you or the magic replenishment fairy has actually bought a new one before the last one has run out, use the last one before opening the new one.
- if we wanted all our stuff on display at all times, we would have bought shelves, not cupboards and drawers. Close them.
- women have a code. "Dinner's nearly ready" means "come and get the cutlery and tell me how much mash you want". It does NOT mean, "start doing something else at the other side of the house". "Do you know where the such-and-such is?" is not a question which requires a yes or no answer. It is an instruction for you to go and look for it.
- that sinks, baths and showers aren't self-cleaning, just because they have water in them
- that the woman carrying your child does not give a tiny rat's ass if you are tired, or miserable, or uncomfortable.
- that food is cooked when it is hot and not burned, not when the packet tells you it is.
- that saying you were going to do something nice as a surprise, but then changed your mind and didn't, is not quite as good. Just don't say anything.
- that we will never believe that the baby really likes watching you play Grand Theft Auto.
- that it's only nagging because you didn't listen and do it properly the first three hundred times.

And of course, that women are utterly perfect and have no flaws whatsoever.

Friday, 27 August 2010


Got horrid ulcers all over my mouth and throat. Too miserable to blog. Going to sit here in silence (talking makes it hurt more) feeling sorry for myself. Meh.

Monday, 23 August 2010


Hoo. Ray.

The Baby, perhaps sensing my fear that she would still only be saying "yaddle yaddle" when she reached 14, has decided to say her first word. It is "No". Usually in response to a perfectly valid question such as "Are you going to drink your water?" or "Will you get down from there please?", and after a small pause, during which she manages to give you the impression that she is giving your question due consideration, but, in the end, finds it unfavourable. So we get a dainty shake of the head, and a "No". Brilliant. Does she not realise that she's never going to be able to live this down? That this will become the stuff of family legend? That Husband will probably be compelled to mention it in his father-of-the-bride speech? (Not that he's ever going to let her go near a BOY, of course).

Anyway, it's very fun and cute and we're very proud. In other news, she's developing a fondness for putting things in other things. The other day, I was rooting around in my inexplicably big handbag for my phone, and pulled out an Indian takeaway menu, half a tissue, and a decorative twine ball that belongs in a vase on my bedroom windowsill. Pretty sure I did not put them there. She also amused herself for about twenty minutes last week, putting crayons in the thing that you fill the iron up with, then trying to get them out again.

While we're on the subject, does anyone know what that thing's called? Does it have a name? Is it a bottle? It doesn't have a top. A jug? it's too skinny. In our house, we call it the iron thing.

I wonder about strange things.

Friday, 20 August 2010


Too tired to blog. Ugh. Put The Baby's UV sun tent (used for about 30 minutes on holiday) up in the living room for her to play in - Husband keeps crawling into it to nap. Spent a lot of today watching Masterchef and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Bleurgh. Will try and write something interesting once The Baby is over the effects of her MMR jab. And possibly tooth number 8. And bronchiolitis. And just, you know, life.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Saying the Unsayable

Ok. I'm going to say it. I'm going to say the thing that I'm sure most parents must think, but would never dream of saying, at least not so plainly. Here goes.

Sometimes my child does my nut in.

There. I said it. Please don't take her away from me. It's not qualified with "I love her so much but...". She's my daughter, of course I bloody do. I'm not watering it down with ".. but I wouldn't change a single second". That would be a lie. If I could, I would have changed several thousand seconds just today, when we were subjected to a screaming fit of epic and baffling proportions. It's just the truth.

We're not supposed to say things like this. You feel like we're not even supposed to think things like this. It's as if the second you give birth, you are expected to become a paragon of patience, selflessness and calm. Feelings of frustration, exasperation and resentment are not to be spoken of, because you have your beautiful little baby so it's all worth it. Of course it's worth it. But there are times when it's really, really hard to remember that. Times when you feel like your eardrum has been perforated by the crazed bawling of an angry infant. Times when you have fed, changed, stroked, rocked, fed again, taken off a layer of clothing, added a layer of clothing, put down, picked up, fed again (just in case), and even medicated your baby, and still they are not happy. Times when you just want to, or perhaps even find yourself asking "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME???!!!!!".

I think (and I really hope I'm right, otherwise I am a terrible mother and horrible person) that it's normal to feel this way. And that it's OK to feel this way. Parenting is harder work than you could ever have imagined before you do it. The pay is crap, the hours are punishing, the work is smelly, tiring, repetitive, and your client shows her gratitude by weeing on your jeans and smearing jam into your sofa. Yes, it's magical, rewarding, fulfilling, blahdy blarble blah, but because it is, it means you feel guilty about the times when you feel like putting your head in a blender would be preferable to listening to any more screaming.

So I'm not going to feel guilty anymore. I'm going to put my hand up and admit that dealing with a baby screaming for hours for no apparent reason sucks. That having a dead arm from hours of constantly carting around a clinging child is not fun. That having a small person climb across your face and put their knee in your throat at 5.30 in the morning is unpleasant. And that although there are many many incredible things that more than make up for the bad times, anyone who loves every moment of having a child is either a) insane, b) lying, or c) a far, far better person than me.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

A friend and I were chatting today, and I told him that one of my regrets is that I didn't get out and do more before giving my life over to nappies, early nights and mornings, and When I look back, I seem to have spent a disproportionate amount of my twenties sitting on the sofa eating Pringles and watching America's Next Top Model (I actually have 1 year, 1 month and 1 day of my twenties left to go, but I really don't see anything happening to rectify the situation, apart from the fact that it is more likely to be MasterChef on the TV. ANTM's lost its mojo.). Surely your twenties are for going out, drinking, travelling, having intellectual discussions with fascintating strangers and having your ears blown out by festival PA systems, and I should have done more of it.

But when I really think about it, if I could go back and do these years again, how much more would I actually do? How many nights out would I have not passed on, just because they clashed with The X-Factor? How much of my spare cash would I have saved towards going to Glastonbury or on that mass outing to Prague, instead of spending it on Marks and Spencers ready-meals and cushions? How many times would I have rallied my friends to go to the pub, instead of thinking, "I just can't be bothered to move"?

The truth is, I suspect, not that many. The truth is that I am a lazy and boring person. I actually really love Pringles, sofas, and reality TV talent shows. I love comfy clothes, warm houses, and going to bed early. Which is why being a parent is BRILLIANT! All of a sudden, I don't need an excuse for my unsociable tendencies. People invite me to things, but aren't offended if I don't show up, because I have a baby. If I do go somewhere and want to leave at a pathetically early hour, it's OK, because I have a baby. And when I do go out and do something, I know it's something that matters enough to me to make the effort, and that I'll have a great time.

Now, where are those Pringles?

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

When You Say Nothing At All

I feel terrible for even thinking this, but I'm starting to realise that The Baby is perhaps not the sharpest lemon in the tree. She's not a complete idiot - she can hear the opening of a packet of carrot puffs from a hundred yards, and ferret out a mobile phone from its hiding place under a pile of cushions - but she's not exactly picking me up any medals in that most terrifying of competitions: the Parenting Olympics. It's my own fault, I didn't put in the necessary training: endless sessions of Baby Bounce, Baby Yoga, Baby Sign Language, Baby Ballet, Baby Jazzercise and whatever else it is they have nowadays. As a result (or so it feels), The Baby is currently letting the side down, especially in terms of walking, talking, and feeding herself with cutlery. I know that every baby will do things when they're ready and all that, and that it doesn't mean that she's going to be at any kind of disadvantage in later life (Husband hardly did anything til he was about 12 apparently, and he's not a total simpleton now), but if I hear one more tale of "Lucas carved a chicken and then ate it with chopsticks at 10 months" or "Olivia ran the Great North Run while reciting Juliet's soliloquy on her first birthday!, I think I will pull someone's eyes out. Possibly my own.

I shouldn't worry about it, I know. But I just can't help it. At least we're getting there with some things. To the question "What does a sheep go?", The Baby will now reply with the word "Ba", to much praise and adulation. Then, to the question "What does a cow go?", she will also reply with the word "Ba". Oh well, one step at a time.

And of course, how could I forget? There is one discipline at which The Baby excels. She may use a spoon as a way of transferring yoghurt to her hair, but when it comes to using her hands to fill her face with her own weight in pasta, this child is going for gold.