Piglet seems to have developed a rather disturbing new habit. Several times this week I have caught him banging his head-apparently deliberately-on his cot or my bed. Upon consulting Dr Google about this distressing new hobby I have learned the following:
Piglet has above average intelligence
Head banging is totally normal
Piglet must be autistic
Piglet is a Romanian orphan
Obviously some of these possibilities are more appealing than others.
Anyway, in an attempt to stimulate the first of these options, today I took Piglet to the library. Now I must admit that Piglet does not seem to be overly keen on books at this present time. In fact, whenever I try to read to him he either a) tries to grab the book and throw it around or b) crawls as quickly as possible in the opposite direction, usually right off the side of the bed (I basically have to cling on to him at all times whilst on the bed. The other night I was woken up by an almighty crash and the sound of hysterical crying, only to find that he had rolled right off in his sleep. This did not go down well in light conversation at work, where I suddenly felt the eyebrows of all present company rise slightly as I regaled this witty oh-aren’t-children-funny anecdote, as though I had just casually admitted to waterboarding my son during his evening bath). Today, however, there was a Netmums meet-up at the library, during which they were going to be talking about some stuff that doesn’t apply to me, such as flexible working (ha ha ha) and starting your own business (I once sold some stuff on Ebay and made an actual loss).
Now one friend of mine, a devotee of Mumsnet, once told me that she preferred Mumsnet to Netmums because the latter was “a bit working class,” so I was expecting to feel right at home the place to be populated by people with Croydon facelifts and children called Chardonnay, but it turned out that in fact the Netmums posse consisted of nice well-spoken ladies with well-behaved children who sat still and looked on magnanimously as Piglet crawled around crazily trying to steal their scooters, pushchairs and any shoes they happened to have removed from their feet. This meant that I ended up somewhat disengaged from the conversation as I was continuously having to run across the library and stop Piglet from emptying entire bookshelves and throwing the contents across the floor, in much the same manner to how he rolls at home with my own book collection, now sadly mostly ripped to shreds or soaked with water on a daily basis. To be honest though, I pretty much switched off and decided to leave at the point when the speaker, who was talking about setting up a business when her children were small, decisively proclaimed that if you were always working when your child was young, by the time they turned ten you would have lost them forever, and due to your failure as a mother by not putting the effort in during the early years and being there to wipe away their every tear and change their every nappy, you were setting yourself up for a lifetime of emotional distance, bad behaviour, and basically having you and your child physically enact all the lyrics from Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin.
That song always made my dad cry. Not sure why, as it seems that in real life it’s generally only mothers who come in for the sort of criticism that blames every one of an individual’s personal failings/murderous tendencies/despotic dictatorships on the failure of their female parent to be a cookie-baking, treasure hunt-organising, dedicated to home and hearth Perfect Mother. The dads can work all they want and no one ever implies that they are neglecting their true vocation and ruining the next generation for all of humanity.
Anyway, my lack of motherly skills evident, I skulked off, only returning when I saw that the queue in Starbucks was a bit long, and I stealthily snuck back into the library to use the coffee shop, hoping not to be seen by any of the Net Mums. Sometimes I think when Piglet is older he will turn on me and accuse me of loving coffee more than him. The boy is basically being raised in the highchairs of Cafe Nero, Costa and Starbucks. The Starbucks staff don’t even have to ask me my name anymore. Some of them can even spell it.
And I made him play on his own while I watched an episode of Mad Men this evening. I’m going to Hell in a Handcart.