Friday, 14 August 2015

I am a moustachioed, hessian-wearing librarian, and proud of it

My response to this.

Let's consider another example of what he might have said, to see how ridiculous this is.

"I don't know what it is with all these mothers these days, feeding their children bananas in public.  Don't they understand that I-and probably some other fellas for that matter-don't like to look at bananas?  They make me feel uncomfortable.  Don't they realise that bananas are quite phallic in appearance, and therefore they remind me of sex.  How inappropriate to be feeding your child-yes, a child-a banana in public!  It gives me associations in my head that I really do not want.  It's practically peodophilia.  And besides, bananas don't grow in this country so it's totally unnatural.

"Of course, it was different in the Stone Age, when people didn't have their own teeth.  Back then they had to eat bananas as they couldn't eat anything harder, what with the lack of teeth and everything.

"It seems to me that it's only these right-on, free-thinking librarian women that feed their children bananas anyway.  What's wrong with a bag of crisps?  They have some really nice flavours these days.

"However, if it's an attractive woman eating a banana, then of course that's fine.  I bet all the other fellas would agree too." 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

O Sleep How You Taunt Me

Piglet went to sleep at 7.15pm today.  ***KLAXON***

I am braced for a rough night when he inevitably wakes up in an hour or so, having regarded his current period of sleep as nothing but a later-than-normal nap, and sits bolt upright in bed, before launching himself at me head first and emitting a high pitched scream into my ear, headbutting me and biting my face.

This sort of physical attack is, I believe, what passes for a sign of affection with Piglet.

Either that or he actually detests me.

He is, of course, sleeping in the bed.  I would hardly be so bold as to put him in his cot.  For a start, there is no sheet on the mattress as the combined intellects of myself and my mother couldn't work out how to fit one on without the ends of the mattress curling up, and secondly, he will not sleep in a cot anyway.

An old photo, but one which I feel sums up roughly how Piglet feels about being in a cot.

I had long suspected this to be the case, but I had spent so many months gathering him up into my arms and taking him into the bed with me at the first sign of a whimper that he had barely spent any time in the cot and so I couldn't be sure.  Then, last week, when we were on holiday in Cornwall, came the acid test.

The travel cot we had ordered had been placed into what I can only assume was supposed to be the children's room in the caravan, judging by the size of the single bed in there, which was slightly narrower than the average shelf.  O the folly of these holiday caravan people who have never met Piglet and I, and who must have assumed that he has something known as a "routine," and sleeps at a time of his parents' (they must have assumed there were two, sleeping in the double bedroom) choosing, in a room which is designated for the exclusive use of a child or children plural.  O what folly (*shakes fist at the idea of a nuclear family with a routine*)

And so I bravely steeled myself for a night on the shelf (metaphorically, surely the story of my life), and laid Piglet down into the travel cot for his slumbers.

After feeding him to sleep of course (*guffaws heartily at the idea of him doing any of that "settling himself to sleep" that the parenting books are always talking about*).

It lasted about an hour.

I duly fed him to sleep again, and popped him back in the cot.

Another hour.

Now this, I told myself, was normal.  Piglet always wakes up at least every few hours and I then feed him to sleep again.  The only difference was that it would normally involve simply rolling over and proffering a boob rather than lifting him out of the cot, but still.  I even started to think that Piglet was getting the hang of this sleeping in a cot lark.  Who knows, perhaps in a few years time he'll even progress to settling himself to sleep like the parenting books say all babies should by the age of three months.

Again he went to sleep, and again he woke up an hour or so later.

Only this time, he was sitting bolt upright in the cot and surveying the room with interest.  Not a good sign.

The next two hours included the following:

Breastfeeding repeatedly in a desperate attempt to get him to go back to sleep
Leaving the room to find a fresh nappy only to wake up the entire caravan (damn you thin paper caravan walls!)
Piglet greeting the rest of the caravan's occupants with squeals and giggles
More breastfeeding

And finally:

Lying down on the very edge of the shelf with Piglet on there next to me, crammed against the thin caravan wall and intermittently banging on it, keeping my brother and his partner (in the "parents" room next door) awake.

I should probably add here that since I started writing this post I have had to put the laptop aside twice to feed Piglet back to sleep.

One day, he will learn to settle himself to sleep.  One day.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Piglet Breaks His Silence; Confirms He Is Dog-Lover

Piglet said his first word today.

So, was it "Mumma"?

No it was not.  

Let's forget the possibility of it being "Dadda," as he has been repeating that sound for months without, clearly, the slightest clue as to what it may refer in some circles, since he has never heard me utter such a sound.  This naturally makes me somewhat smug when I come across parents who swear blind that their seven month old has been calling Daddy by his correct title for several weeks now, as if Piglet can identify and pronounce the "dadda" sound, despite his never having had any sort of a Dadda whatsoever, then that is surely incorrigible proof that babies make random sounds without having the slightest clue what they refer to in the adult world.

This is what I have been telling myself since lunchtime today, anyway.

We popped into our new local haunt the Cafe on the Square, a fabulous place which used to be a public toilet with "Kelly loves Darren 4EVA" scrawled on the walls in marker pen, but which has been turned into a tiny but very friendly cafe staffed by helpful Christians doing God's Work of serving lattes and paninis to a surprisingly gentrified bunch of locals, and got into a conversation with a blind lady and her guide dog (well, the human lady did most of the talking, but it was the dog who was of interest to Piglet).  The lady kindly allowed Piglet to stroke the dog, which he did enthusiastically, having recently discovered that animals are A Thing.  Yesterday he met a cat, and was similarly enthralled.  The cat, unfortunately, was somewhat less magnanimous than the guide dog, and very nearly attacked him.

Anyway, the guide dog and Piglet (via their respective guardians) were formally introduced and exchanged pleasantries, and upon being informed that the dog's name was AJ, Piglet yelled "AJ!" to the universal joy of everyone in the cafe.

Yes, Piglet's first word was the name of a dog.  He loves a random dog, that he has met a grand total of once, more than he loves his Mummy. 

An actual dog.

Later on, we went to the park and Mummy felt even worse after facing her Diane Keaton in Baby Boom moment (not the one where she starts a successful business selling apple-flavoured baby food and gets to return to her old company in triumph and then totally give them the finger.  I am still waiting for that one) after being privy to a parkside conversation about "when you did your circus skills course Hermione dahling" and fretting that not only does Piglet love a dog more than his Mummy, but Mummy has ruined Piglet's chances of going to a good university forever due to not enrolling him in circus skills, baby sing and sign, or that one where the babies get tickled with giant feathers, which he is probably too old for now anyway and it's all just TOO LATE.

There may, however, be a future for him at the Dogs Trust.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dangerous Times

Piglet is now a year old, and therefore almost a toddler.  I say almost, as he has not yet mastered the art of walking, and needs to be escorted around by a helpful adult, such as me or (more often) Granny, holding his hand at all times.

It's just as well that he is always accompanied, however, as he has become a walking Accident Waiting to Happen.

Basically, I have discovered that the world is a very dangerous place when you are a year old, and not just for the reasons the Daily Mail likes to dwell on (although the other day, when we were on holiday, I did insist that my mother not leave a sleeping Piglet outside the caravan because "LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO MADELEINE MCCANN!").

Today, for example, Piglet got his hand trapped underneath a door.  Underneath.  A.  Door.  I didn't even know that was a thing.  Luckily I was able to retrieve it without breaking the skin, but he did have the imprint of the bottom of the door stuck in his hand for a while.  On the plus side, he was trying to retrieve a copy of Spot Goes to Bed at the time, so at least his injury was the result of an interest in matters of a literary nature.

During a lunchtime visit to the pub (I know!  The pub!  At lunchtime!  For shame!  I am now One of Those Mothers who goes drinking during the day while Little One runs riot amid the drunks) I had to rescue Piglet from all of the following:
A large stick, to be thrown about on a field in the manner of a dog, but which he insisted on bringing into the pub and waving around, much to my mother's horror;
Wood chippings, which he tried to eat;
A log fire (deceptively not lit, so the danger was not at all obvious until Piglet pulled a metal grill off the front of the fireplace);
Rat poison (tantalisingly placed in a location close to several rotten apples, which had naturally piqued Piglet's interest, but fortunately in a clearly labelled container, so danger was relatively easily averted);
Several older children who were very keen to befriend him, but in a way that Piglet unfortunately found terrifying, despite the fact that they were far less scary than any of the above.

And this was just one brief lunchtime outing.  We didn't even stay for dessert.

Even our own dwelling is riven with danger, from the obvious perils of the cooker and stairs to the less clear hazards posed by the toilet roll holder (pulled off and used to attempt to smash up the toilet seat) and bathroom light switch (lovingly mouthed due to nobbly bit at the end which will at some point almost certainly break off and need to be retrieved from the said mouth before it can be swallowed).

Really, it is a wonder anyone has ever survived to adulthood.