I just ate my dinner from start to finish with an angry Piglet sitting in his chair kicking his legs around and shouting at the TV, which I had turned him around to face to try and take his mind off the fact that Mummy was eating and not playing with him.
I am a terrible mother.
OK I may now have redeemed myself by cuddling him all through Downton Abbey (it is now several hours after I started writing this-nearly 11pm-and I have just put Piglet in his cot for the fourth time). He has been fussing all evening. His bedtime routine started at 6.20pm as usual and I was hoping he would be in bed in time for Strictly Come Dancing. O what folly! Instead he decided to whinge all the way through Strictly, X Factor and Downton. Clearly one night of uninterrupted television (two. Or maybe three as there’s a new series on Thursday I like the look of) is too much to ask, for the rest of my life, ever. Oh well, Piglet is worth it I suppose.
I had been reading another baby book that I got from the library the other day in an attempt to pick up some tips, in particular on sleep routines. The thing about baby books is that the advice proffered is guaranteed to make you feel bad as inevitably there will be something the book suggests you do which you haven’t done (or that the book says you should never do, which you do all the time), and as a result you will be made to feel that your child is now destined to grow up and become an axe murderer or general menace to society because you didn’t give him a bottle of expressed breast milk for his night feed (please also note the use of the singular here, “night FEED.” Clearly the implication is that if your offspring is having more than one feed during the nocturnal hours then you are a failure and a bad parent who will end up being talked about in hushed tones at the school gates as the mother of “Piglet, who has NO boundaries. Did you know that yesterday he weed-yes, WEED all over the headteacher’s office?”
Another annoying thing about these books is the outrageous assumption they make that you are a) middle class-live in a house rather than a flat, have a car and a selection of Cath Kidston aprons; are not a teenage mother and b) have a husband, which I find somewhat presumptuous. There are, for example, many mothers who are single, or who are married to other women. Clearly I myself am in the former category. In the particular book I borrowed from the library, there was far too long a list of baby-related items that the author deemed “essential” to purchase. For example, a baby monitor-not necessary when you live in a one bedroom flat. I know only too well that I can hear Piglet cry wherever I am in my very small flat. Not everyone lives in some sort of palatial stately home where one may find oneself in a completely different wing of the house to the baby (like in Downton Abbey. Has Lady Mary actually met her son? It seems to me that Lady Edith spends more time with her secret daughter who lives in a different house than Lady Mary does with the son and heir whose name I don’t even remember. She could definitely do with a baby monitor). Also, the book kept banging on about things you need for the “nursery”-not just a baby monitor, apparently, but a night light and a special chair for breastfeeding. Firstly, my iphone has a perfectly good light on it thanks, so why would I go wasting money on some sort of specialist baby light that is bound to be bright pink, plastic and shaped like a character from In the Night Garden and ruin the feng shui? Secondly, a chair specifically for breastfeeding? What’s wrong with a normal chair? What is a breastfeeding chair anyway? One shaped like a breast? And lastly, who even has a nursery to put these things in? Who do they think I am, Tamara bloody Ecclestone? Clearly this book is a ruse to make me feel bad about being single and impoverished. Not only this, but the author proudly boasted about how she moved her children into their poncey nurseries when they were only Piglet’s age, in clear contradiction of the current guidelines which state that the baby should be in the same room as you for at least the first six months. The woman is a charlatan. She is practically Lady Mary, banishing her child like that.
And I did not just say that to make me feel better about the fact that Piglet and I will more than likely still be sharing a room when he is in his teens (I mean due to financial constraints, not because I am weird). I think I will write a baby book of my own. After all, I’m sure Britney Spears’ mother wrote a parenting manual at some point. And look how poor Britters turned out. Admittedly she’s done all right for herself, all things considered, but I’m pretty sure she’s mentally deranged as a result. Anyway, I could be a pushy stage mother, easy. This week I suggested to Piglet that he might want to try ballet when he’s older. That’s definitely a start.