Have you ever noticed how kids have the uncanny knack of ruining a moment? Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s annoying, sometimes it’s MORTIFYINGLY embarrassing, but always, the timing is superb. Why, only this evening, not ten minutes ago, Grace and I were in the throws of the bedtime routine. Bathed, talced, jammied and gro-bagged, we were snuggling on the big squidgey beany chair – lights-a-low- (I’m setting a scene here) and I’m giving her a bed-time bottle. Nestled in the crook of my arm she looks sleepily up at me as she sucks. I get all gooey at those big blue eyes and, feeling motherly, start to softly sing her a lullaby. Grace slowly and deliberately inserts her index finger up my left nostril. I can’t lean back far enough to un-insert and my hands are tied. Best just soldier on with the singing. A now very nasal-y rendition of rock-a-bye baby would appear to be very funny to her, and we both get the giggles.
A few weeks ago I bumped into a woman I used to work with. Everyone struggled to live up to her perfect, earth-motherly, organic, mung-beany, fair-tradey, recyley standards. You know the type: Look like they’re MADE of frigging hemp, say “ya” a lot, and just raise their eyebrows and speak volumes with their silence when you admit you didn’t breast feed till they were two, or (shock horror) you sometimes give them JARS not home-made food. (Don’t get me wrong. Nothing wrong with the earth mother stuff and all it encompasses. I know many mothers that do it and do it wonderfully well – but don’t drive a massive jock-off four-wheel drive and fly for several luxury holidays a year!)
“Daaarling” Mwah mwah (air kisses) “O M G you so suit the baby weight – you look radiant!”
Bitch. I look like a tramp that’s been dragged through a hedge backwards and she knows it. Her daughter stands waiting patiently and looking immaculate. Mine has copious amounts of Petite Filous smeared down her top, snot in her hair, and is sporting mittens that say “love” and “hate” across the knuckles (my lovely husband’s sense of humour.)
“She is divine!” continues Bitchy Bitch McBitcherson. “Are you attachment parenting?”
Eh? Am I whatting? “Oh God, ya!” I find myself saying. “Attachment parenting . . . absolutely!” (Memo to me – must google that at some point.)
“SO rewarding isn’t it? Can I?” She stretches her arms out to have a hold of Grace. I momentarily worry that the waft of essential oils spewing forth may give her a rash, but hand her over none the less.
“BUGGER BUGGER BUGGER” shouts my baby girl and smacks hemp woman full in the face. In my struggle to get her back, my shopping bag splits and out spill my Pot Noodles and Stu’s Lager . Oh bollocks.
Yes indeed, the wee ones have grand timing. Grace can sloppily fill her nappy at the most inappropriate moments (Great Aunties 100th birthday when the Mayor held her for a photo op’ springs to mind) She has marched happily into the room waving a box of my Tampons when the in-laws have been round, and she decided the sentimental bit in her naming ceremony was THE best time to show-case her new raspberry blowing skills.
Maybe we should take a leaf out of a baby’s book and care a bit less? Bless ’em x