The Baby is eating solid food and it kills me. I hate it. I hate the dumb pureeing and the bits that fall onto the floor and having to remember to take it in small containers where ever you go and I really hate bibs, so don’t have any, and so his clothes get like this:
and then, because I my skills lie in non-domestic arenas, I forget to rinse them off and they go into the washing machine and come out with colour-less, squashy bits of banana and carrot still attached. He’s down with it though. Just look at that face! He’s very happy because he ate a raspberry. Imagine what a beautiful place the world would be if we could all just eat raspberries and be happy. There’d be no more wars, probably. Or anti-depressants or wrinkles.
This new phase just makes me long for the days when my bosoms were enough, and I was immersed in hormally-drenched love and he was still new. I keep saying to Mark that I would prefer to have a permanent five-month old baby, although that would make him effectively retarded and me continually sleep-deprived, but you know what I mean, right? Kids are fine, but babies are properly, sniffily, softly divine.
Two weeks ago, the kids had a day off school because of a strike, and so I teamed up with K and S and their (nice, calm, non-violent) girls and we took them to the Museum of London. Which should have been a perfectly pleasant outing. But from the moment we left the flat, it was apparently that the mysterious Switch Of Awfulness had been turned on, and there was not only the usual kicking of each other and darting across busy roads without looking and huggy/wrestly games that lead to them knocking people off the pavement, but also lying-on-the-tube-floor-tantrums, tipping the buggy over while going down the elevator, climbing up onto museum exhibits and throwing of food in the museum cafe. So I frogmarched them out of there in an embarrassed fury, and made them walk around and around a few streets in the City, passing the same patch of the Roman Wall for an hour and a half in the pathetic hope that they would get tired and stop being such awful children, before I would let them get onto the tube again.
We found Guildhall Square and they ran around like dogs for a bit, yelping and playing tag while people on their lunch break stuck their headphones in a little deeper:
It was weird, distressing and humiliating, and I thought that this parenting job really sucks and you get no pay and your clothes get dirty and no one thinks you are very interesting and you can only wear converse sneakers and there is always bits of kinder surprise foil wrappers in your sensible handbag and I QUIT.
But no one notices when I quit. I kind of quit on Mother’s Day. I told everyone the night before that all of Sunday I was going to
1) not walk the dog
2) not wipe down any benches
3) go out for breakfast
But when I got up, the dog was all sad and waiting to go out, the kitchen was strewn, there was no time for breakfast because the clocks had been put back an hour and we had a birthday party to go to, and NO ONE LOOKED UP FROM WATCHING TV. So I ate a banana and scowled at everyone. I did get some interesting cards from three of them, complicated collages of cardboard, too much PVA, feathers and mis-spellings, so I guess there was some sort of an attempt to say thank you for all the hours of unremarkable, thankless, dumb chores that I don’t actually want to do, but have no choice, because without me and my dishcloth/washing line/Ottolenghi cookbooks/dog lead/car keys/disinfectant they would all slowly die.
So one must reward oneself, if no one else will. I cleaned up a corner of the kitchen just the other day, sorting through one of my artful piles of papers, hidden under Vogue and on top of the reissued Teasmade which Mark refuses to put into the bedroom because he doesn’t understand the beauty of a bedside tea-making machine, and I found a department store gift voucher someone gave us for Otis, and so I drove to Westfield and bought myself a Clinique Colour Correction foundation-thing with it. The hygienic and conscientious among you may be thinking I could have used that money to buy bibs, but no one is a winner with more bibs in the house. So now I have dewy skin, which quite possibly makes me a better mother, and the entire family benefits.
You have to take these things where you can get them, I reckon.
On that note, Dear Reader, there is a Stella McCartney sample sale on Thursday and I am going to strap that baby upon my increasingly-redundant chest and get in there and elbow the other lovies out of my way and go buy some blazers, dammit. Maybe TWO.
Here’s a double-whammy of Casper, firstly in my scratched Tom Fords looking like an early Elton John (thanks, Ellen, good call), secondly with sellotape around his head.
And the fat dog, on the couch, relaxing:
And, at last, the baby. Cleanish:
Bibless, and all the better for it.