I read a piece recently, written by someone who must have lots of money and is trying to come up with ever more creative ways to spend it, about baby-proofing your home. Well, not even doing it yourself, but paying some clever arse who is great at inventing unnecessary job titles to do it for you. If anyone wants to pay me several hundred pounds, I’ll be round there like a shot to point out the obvious, saying words like ‘scale down your knife collection’ and ‘minimise access to power tools’.
It made me think how much I hate that whole concept, as if by sticking enough plastic corners to all your lovely furniture you can completely eliminate the risk of your child getting hurt. I don’t want to cover my house in all this crap, or have locks on all the cupboards and I’m all in favour of a little bit of risk-embracing in life. In this spirit I’m going to tell you about the ways in which I have already inadvertently damaged my baby and we’ve all lived to tell the tale.
Those little scratch mitts won’t last forever and you can’t keep ignoring the fact that your baby has started to sport nails rivalling those of Gail Devers in the Atlanta Olympics. Or Flo Jo, for the older readers. Cutting those nails is a right ball-ache, being as they are miniscule and moving at the speed of light, but it’s got to be done, so man up and get it sorted, yeah? The first time I did this, I came tantalisingly close to causing no damage at all, but obviously got over-confident after Nail Nine and pinched a bit of skin off with the clippers on the final one. It didn’t bleed but OH MY GOD I FELT DREADFUL. To give you an insight, my baby cried for twenty seconds and was then fine again; I cried on and off for the next nine hours, at one point driving off wailing “You’ll be better off without me, I can only do harm here”.
One day you’ll be sat there cuddling your baby, taking in those intoxicating aromas of off-milk and milky poo, and you’ll think to yourself, ‘Christ, this smells really bad’. There will be a new, worse-than-ever smell, and it’ll be coming from this little bundle of lusciousness because YOU’RE A BAD PERSON WHO HASN’T WASHED THEIR BABY PROPERLY. Your child will be secreting a minging cheese paste, probably within the folds of their fatty little neck. When you find it, all yellow and disgusting and wipe it off with your finger, gagging and grimacing throughout, it might even be sore underneath because of all the neglect and that. Bung on some Sudocrem and resolve to do better next time.
‘Golly, I’m so efficient! Look at me carrying my baby in a harness AND doing the hoovering! I’ll put that shopping away now, that’ll be fun for her to look at’. These were my thoughts five seconds before I opened the fridge door into my baby’s head. To give her credit, she only made a brief ‘Rargh!’ sound (think goats on youtube), but I felt absolutely terrible and once again considered phoning Social Services to report myself. It’s okay though, once you tell people this, everyone has a story about how they’ve accidentally wanged their child into a wall or some such. My favourite comes from a friend who was showing someone how he put his daughter into one of those harnesses. With a breezy “…and so, you just slot her in like that!”, he pushed her in from one side, failing to notice that the other side wasn’t shut, essentially posting her through and frantically grappling to catch her before she landed on the floor. Which he did, for those who enjoy a happy ending.
So there we go. There’ll be more obviously, since one of the first things my husband said about her was “Man, I can’t wait to teach her how to spin fire!”; not to mention the untold psychological damage inflicted by parents with a questionable music collection and a fondness for practical jokes. I just thought I’d tell my mates who are doing babies that it’s both okay and inevitable if you ruin them just a tiny little bit, it’s life innit.
P.S. Please don’t give me any tips on how to cut nails etc, or advising me to bite them for her instead, I think that’s rank. Kind Regards xxx