Say What?


Way, way back in a galaxy long ago where I had a bump not a baby, I wrote about the ridiculous things people say to pregnant women; my new realisation is these things don’t stop once you’ve given birth. A whole host of ridiculous, sometimes ignorant, sometimes rude things are said to you when you have a baby. Allow me to share some…

Is that your first?
As if that makes any sort of difference to you, a complete stranger who we’ll probably never see again. I don’t get why people are obsessed with asking if you’ve got more children (who you’ve presumably left at home because you don’t like them as much now you’ve got a new baby?). The worst one I’ve had was a lady who decided an appropriate follow-up comment was: ‘I can tell’. Now that’s just rude. My child was happily sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, grinning at passers-by. I don’t see how that indicates I’ve had no previous experience?

Is she good?
I know what people mean by this comment: they’re essentially asking if your child sleeps well, eats well, doesn’t cry much etc. But the phrasing is a bit ridiculous. Can a seven month old baby be ‘good’? ‘No actually, she mentioned to be last night that she can see Hitler had a point!’ Erm…

Ooh her hands/feet/face is/are freezing/boiling.
Why are people obsessed with baby’s temperatures? A few times people have told me Alexandra’s hands are cold. I try to explain to them that firstly, baby’s extremities are colder than average, and secondly, even if she’s wearing mittens and has her hands tucked into a blanket she’s still cold. The rest of her could be on fire and her hands wouldn’t warm up any way (disclaimer: this is a theory. Don’t try it at home). Every time I check her chest (or actually take her temperature) she’s absolutely fine. I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business unless the baby is out in shorts during snow or a snowsuit in the Caribbean?

Dummies are just for parents who want to shut their kid up and not pay them any attention.
Comment made by lady in doctor’s surgery (I spend a lot of time there!). We were both waiting for half an hour as it was an incredibly busy day. Her child (who doesn’t have a dummy so is clearly better than my child) spent the entire time wailing while she ignored him and talked to everyone around her about her relationship troubles. My child (call social services now, she has a dummy) spent all of about 30 seconds with hers in her mouth after waking from a nap as we arrived. She then spent the next 29 minutes and 30 seconds smiling and gurgling at everyone. Sigh.

Will she be coming with you?
This has been said to me at least a dozen times when I’ve made plans. Each time, it’s made me chuckle slightly. It gives me a lovely image of Alexandra staying at home with the TV remote and a couple of bottles of milk stacked up next to her while I swan off to see friends. I love the fact people think this is any less of a ridiculous question than ‘will you be bringing your legs and arms with you?’ (This last one is very light-hearted because clearly it’s mostly my friends who are saying this compared to the ridiculous stranger comments above!)

Harriet and Alexandra x

The Hardest Little Button To Button

She's laughing at how long it took me to do the buttons and poppers on this outfit.

She’s laughing at how long it took me to do the buttons and poppers on this outfit.

In life, you know certain things are going to be easy and others will be oh-so-hard. You’re pretty sure before you enter into it that motherhood will fall firmly into the latter camp. Keeping your baby alive, getting them to sleep, wheeling a pram on and off a bus – all things I knew would be ridiculously difficult. However, there have been some hidden gems, some things I really didn’t even consider BA (Before Alexandra).

Credit to myself for the blogpost title. Pah.

Cutting their nails –
Seriously?! Take one squirming child who can’t keep still for longer than a second, a sharp implement and a teeny, tiny, minuscule nail which needs chopping just a millimetre shorter to stop them getting all Edward Scissorhands and making their own face look like Halloween.
How is this meant to work without at least one finger amputation?
Keeping bibs clean:
I thought I was doing a pretty good job with clothes. She has something clean on every day. Aside from the odd poonami after which we’ve bid goodbye and farewell to a vest, we haven’t had too many clothes casualties. Now she’s weaning though, game over.
Most baby food is brightly coloured. Most bibs (ones we own anyway) are pastel shades. See what’s gone wrong here? I may just give up and dye them all orange, they’re halfway there anyway.
Since somewhere around the mid 90s I’ve been managing to dress myself quite successfully most days. Fast forward to now and I find myself spending a good proportion of my day attempting to fasten tiny buttons and do up a ridiculous number of poppers.
I have a theory whoever designed baby clothes was a man who’d never seen a baby before. Some of them are like the final challenge on The Cube.
Dummy weaning:
Alexandra goes to sleep every night without fail without her dummy in her mouth. She can sleep for a good ten hours without it. However any time she wakes in the night or whenever she gets tired in the day, suddenly she needs that dummy like she’s never needed anything before. I know I could probably get her off it if I tried harder, but seriously – constant whining or instant quiet (she normally falls asleep within seconds of the dummy going in). Sometimes it’s better just to go along with something for the easy life.
There’s probably plenty more I haven’t included, if you’re dying to share anything with me do comment below or find me on social media or shout at me in the street.
Harriet and Alexandra x