Thursday 27 June 2013

Your kid's poo may smell of roses but it still needs clearing up

As a parent you will probably fall into one of two categories - although I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule. If there are exceptions then such parents are obviously very secure individuals who would not be reading blogs likes this and instead would be writing the next 'supernanny' manual whilst sipping a herbal tea and singing something out of Mary Poppins. If you're not due to release any guides to parenting in the next few months then you may relate to one of the following descriptions: a 'Martyrdom mum' or a 'My kid's poo smells of roses' kind of mum. These are, of course, only revealed when parents are pushed to their limits and are feeling somewhat challenged about their choices as a parent. Let me explain:

"My Kid's poo smells of roses" category:
Such mums like to rave about how much they love being a parent and how their little one can do no wrong. When cracks start to show in their parenting, or their child's behaviour, they resort to a sort of code red, undercover operation in order to conceal that both they and their children are in fact far from perfect.  They're the sort that when asked how they are finding life with a newborn they say 'yes, loving it!' (when they are secretly tempted to curl up in a ball on the pavement and sleep for 3 hours). Their child behaves far better than yours, is cuter than yours and has poo that smells of roses. They're the sort that answer questions like "How was little Tarquin's birthday party?" with "Oh it was fantastic - such a delight to have 30 energetic children in our cosy terraced house, all munching on the delicious double chocolate cake I made... Of course I didn't mind that they got it everywhere, I love cleaning. The entertainer didn't show up either so I had to play a clown for 20 minutes while the children threw custard pies all over my Karen Millen dress (fake chuckle) - I've had it a while, Im sure the stains will come out it the wash. It was hilarious, we'll definitely be doing it again next year!"

'Martyrdom mum' category:
These mums like a good moan. No child or baby could be worse than theirs and no life could be harder than the one they lead. They use phrases like 'my baby was up all night'. Really? All night, or just most of it? Their baby slept far worse than yours did, fed worse than yours did, had the worst colic known to mankind... and no one had as traumatic a birth as theirs, don't even try to compete on that one! After all, everything is backed up with hard medical science... or something they read in Grazia magazine once.

I'm definitely more of the latter, I like a good moan. I wallow in my own self pity about being up all night with my little one, until I pop round to see my pal who was up twice as long. At the end of the day we're all in this together. All I ask is that whatever category you fall into, you're honest. Sometimes you have days where you can't cope and you just need that reassurance that others are there to help...your kid's poo may smell of roses but it still needs clearing up.

Which are you?

Monday 10 June 2013

"Bug"gies: why we all hate babies on wheels.

based on diary extract march 15 2011

There's a reason why buggies are known as such; they bug people, they bug parents, people in the street, people on the bus, people in the shops. Don't say you've never been bugged by one yourself because at some stage in your life you will fit into one of these categories:

a). You will have to give up your seat on the bus for a plastic monstrosity on wheels.
This seems like an honourable thing to do, yet in reality you feel that giving up a seat for an item that takes up three seat spaces is slightly unfair when, in reality, a baby does not need even one seat - it could be neatly strapped to his or her parent's chest. Besides which, the parent gets to occupy any available seat nearby to be near the 'baby on wheels' and gets to have a ready made shopping trolly too. This is made twice as painful when such parents are spotted on buses in rush hour. Could they not have waited for the 10am bus?!

b). You've been caught behind one in the supermarket, taking up most of the isle
...God forbid you get stuck behind a double buggy, equipped with 2 whining children. The worst kind are those parents who decide to go clothes shopping on a Saturday, pushing a silver cross pram down the isles of H&M and clogging up lift space. Do they not have a whole week off in which to go fannying around perusing clothes isles, is that not what maternity leave is for?!

c). You've settled down for a nice quiet cuppa with a friend in a quaint little tea room. 
All of a sudden there's a mother trying to barge her pram through the door, bashing it into everything in sight. Why on earth you would choose the tiniest of coffee shops to take your 'baby on wheels' is beyond everyone. Still, the mother perseveres to find a table that she can squash a pram next to to await her friend who has a buggy that's twice the size, eventually taking up two tables. People try to squeeze past just to order another coffee or a slice of cake, thinking that it would have been easier if all parents just stayed at home for coffee and baked cakes - is that not what women do on maternity leave anyway?!

d). You're a mother: Like me.
You've been given a dentist appointment at 9:10am and the only way you can get there is by bus. The bus doesn't pull up to the pavement properly, meaning that you have to hoist the baby up and ask for help from strangers who are wondering why the hell you are getting on a bus in rush hour. You then have to make a lady, who has a rather large briefcase, standup because you need the buggy space. Once you get off the bus the driver pulls up too far from the road again, and right in front of a bus shelter, meaning you have to do some sort of contortionist trick in order to get onto the street, almost tipping your baby out in the process. After the ordeal of the bus and the dentist your baby is getting restless for a feed so you decide to go for a coffee as you don't quite fancy feeding on the bus home. You look for a coffee shop that has ample room for a buggy and realise that these don't really exist, besides which your baby is screaming and you need to just find the nearest place possible. You try to open the cafe door with difficulty and no one comes to your aid, leaving you trying to manoeuvre the buggy back and forth and people look at you as though you were attempting to reverse up the M1. On the way home it rains, or worse, snows, and you've got the 'town buggy' which fits into smaller spaces and buses but can't quite move in general british weather, and you try to work out the rain cover, which is like when my husband tries to make the bed, it looks skewif and inside out (but you could have sworn that was the way it went). When you finally get back home you are relieved it's Saturday tomorrow and you will actually have the car, meaning you have ample time to nip to town and back without coffee shop stops and then you can go shopping and replace those saggy maternity leggings at H+M.

Which are you??

Wednesday 5 June 2013

How to get away with murder.

diary extract March 14th 2011
Last night Albie woke up pretty much every hour. I found myself getting SO angry with him, to the point where I wanted to banish him to the garden shed. Don't worry I didn't, we probably would still have heard him from there anyway. The images on the 'Cow and Gate' advert of mother gently caressing her baby seem a million miles away from my experience, let alone how pristine she looks - how does she manage that on no sleep?! The reality is me rigidly holding a child who screams for apparently no reason, with my hair resembling that of someone who has just been electrocuted and wearing a pair of milk stained pyjamas. Put that on your advert why don't you?

I often question what abilities we are naturally born with; the whole nature/nurture debate. I can definitely say that we are born selfish, or else why has my baby not considered what having no sleep does to me or my sanity?! Another trait which I'm sure is nature is manipulation. Are babies really that clever, you say? Yes. Here's why...

As I had just reached the end of my tether this morning, I went to tend to Albie's needs, muttering something about a caffeine drip under my breath. As I peered over his crib reluctantly, I no longer saw a whinging baby but a beautiful smile. He even gave a little chuckle! It would seem that something else we are naturally born with is to be complete suckers for baby smiles. I was left cooing away at him and laughing as though I had had the best night's sleep of my life.

That kid is going to get away with murder.

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