“I did a bad thing” I say to Bushman
“Yuh give her rum?” he asks
“No!” I said
“Yuh smoke weed with her?”
“No!” I said and cleared my throat
“I gave her a dummy”
Bushman sounded disappointed in me but I didn’t care, almost instantly I had revolutionised my life.
Here’s the thing I’ve realised. Try as we may, not to be judgemental, I’m sure its a human instinct. Whether in my childless days or even more recently, I will admit that I have looked at others parental practices and thought “God! I would never do that!” At the time I also felt that my way of doing things would be superior.
I feel shame and pride in equal measure when I tell you that many of the things I thought I would never do I have found myself doing and that many of my aspirations and ideals proved to be utterly ridiculous. Here are a few of them.
I swore BC (Before Child) that I would never sniff a bottom in order to discover the contents of a nappy. Tick – done that.
I was utterly convinced with my second child that she would sleep in my bed. Cross – never happened.
I seriously thought that I might be able to use washable nappies and thus have my son potty trained by one. What the fuck was I thinking? Cross - didn’t happen still in nappies at two years old.
I watched a child screw up a family photograph once and thought “I would never let my child do that.”. Wanna know the truth? If either of my kids give me five minutes peace in the day so I can mix a cocktail they can set fire to the whole fucking album for all I care. Tick – done that.
And don't even get me started on the hours of TV my child watches or processed food or how I thought I could continue being a glamourous socialiser and have kids.
I’m sure that mothers everywhere have similar confessions. Please feel free to share them with me if you so wish. I know I’m not alone.
As my friend Cupcake (Champion Breastfeeder) said to me the other day. “I’ve chilled out about the whole breastfeeding thing. I know so many amazing, strong women who I respect that don’t do it or couldn’t do it. What does it matter?”
Being judgemental about other people’s parenting choices is so instinctive. Of course you think your way is the best way. But the interesting thing about having a second child is that what worked for your first doesn’t necessarily work with your second, and those parenting techniques that you perfected and prized before are worth all but nothing now.
So now I got that off my chest we move on to my chest. I’m approaching dieting. I need to shake off some pounds before I embark upon all those Christmas indulgences. So here are my vital statistics.
Chest: a matronly 40”. Forty fucking inches. Both the tape and I were mortified. There not even big in a sexy way, more like in a Hattie Jacques way.
Waist: 35”. There no use pining over that 27 incher I used to have (albeit some years ago). Just no point.
Hips: 44” at their widest point. Making me, like most British women ‘pear-shaped’. I am worryingly wide.
Tops of legs: 24”. A wobbling wave of cellulite working its way down to my knees. I try not to think about the fact that 24” is near enough what my waist use to be.
I need to weigh myself but the last time I did I was 11st 9. I worry that I may weigh more than that as I stopped the breastfeeding and continued eating cake weeks ago.
Let’s see how I do.
Lastly, I want to share something useful with you. My laptop was near death a few days ago groaning under the weight of information I had loaded on to it. Then someone gave me a hot tip. Here’s the link to LBC’s gadget guru page where you can download a free program to help clean up your computer if it is running slowly. Read the instructions carefully, is my only advice. Now go clean up your act!!!