The Two Essential Myths of Baby Ownership

I have been neglectful, and not only of the baby.

No, my blog is suffering from my new found freedom – maternity leave. I have been busy starting a new business and I’m hoping to build it up a little before returning to (boo, hiss) proper work. This, together with repeats of Homes Under the Hammer and Heir Hunters and I have had surprisingly little time for writing bollocks on here. Oh, yes, and I’ve got the baby.

Mustn’t forget the baby. She is 13 weeks old now. And still, despite my protests, has a fanny rather than a winkle.

Anyway, since having my second mini human, I have been encountering the same old baby myths that are spouted by those whose favourite past-times are hugging trees, eating couscous and partaking in group belly-button gazing.

These myths are dangerously disseminated across the middle classes. Like tapeworms across the Foundation Stage.

So, in my new (self-appointed) role of Baby Whisperer, I see it as my duty to dispel them.

1. Cloth Nappies Are Cheaper

This is, of course, quite true if by ‘cheaper’ you actually mean ‘costs more money’.

I still get told this by well meaning friends, whilst sitting in their houses, drinking tea, and surrounded by putrid nappy buckets.

Let’s look at the facts. And yes, let’s forget the thought of 6-7 minging, poo and wee stained, smelly nappies being kept in the conservatory.

180 nappies in Tesco’s (normally I’m an Aldi person but these were my latest purchase) are currently £15. Conservatively, these will last me (well, not me, the ginger baby), one month. So £15 x 12 months = £180 a year.

A kit of 10 Bum Genius Nappies is currently £140. I’m being generous here as I suspect you’d need more than 10 over the first 2.5 years. But anyway, 10. That’s without the buckets, liners, covers and rest of the malarkey.  Let’s not even begin to cost that.

Now the NPower website tells me that running the washing machine for 1 hour costs approximately 50p. Again, I’m being generous, as I suspect you’d have a wash cycle longer than 1 hour for poo. But still, 50p. You’d need to do a wash a day (this is what my ‘re-useable’ friends tell me – but in any case if it was a longer wash every two days, same thing), so thats 50p x 365 = £182.50

1 litre of water costs 0.0034p (South East Water website), a normal washing machine uses 45 litres per wash (waterwise.org.uk). So 45 x 0.0034p x 365 = £55.84.

So over 2.5 years:

Disposable Nappies : £180 x 2.5 = £450

Cloth Nappies: £140 + (£182.5 x 2.5 = £455) + (£55.84 x 2.5 = £139) = £734

Rather a win for the disposable brigade I feel. In fact, a MASSIVE win, especially since I have been over generous in cloth nappy start up costings and have not factored in a cost for carrying poo around in your handbag.

Now then, now then, now then, as a once revered old gent used to say, I do know that there will be some reading this, choking on their organic, caffeine-free Earl Grey, and spluttering over their copy of The Guardian, ‘BUT WILL SOMEONE NOT THINK OF THE ENVIRONMENT’. Well yes, that is indeed another argument – the environmental cost. However, this has been demonstrated to not be nearly as significant as previously thought when the impact of extra electricity generation and water production costs have been accounted for.

2. Breast Feeding is Better For Baby

This is a difficult one. But quite clear. And let me be honest here, I do and have previously breast fed. But EVERY SINGLE RECENT STUDY shows quite clearly that when the effect of maternal influence (education, social class etc) is taken into account, there is NO DIFFERENCE between breast fed babies and those who are (choke on that tea again) formula fed. Honestly, the way the media and ‘baby cafes’ currently act, you’d think you were injecting your baby with heroin rather than opening a small carton of Aptamil.

The big difference here is indeed cost. Formula feeding is decidedly more pricey than flopping out a breast.

And again let me be clear, if people want to flop breasts out, then let them. If people want to flop any body bit out, then let them, but do we really need group breast feeding gatherings? Silly people will always say silly things, and just because an immature teenage boy gets overly excited and makes a crass and ill-educated comment about seeing a nipple, does it not rather defeat the point for lots of ladies to gather together and all get their breasts out? In fact, I’m increasingly sure that many of these comments are deliberately made to ensure a group of ladies meet and get their breasts out in the nearest precinct.

————————

So there we have it – two baby myths that have become totally confused. I think the initial press release must have had a serious typo.

What they meant to say was:

1. Breast Feeding is Cheaper

2. Cloth Nappies Are Better for Baby (infinitely more stylish).

 

Bad Mummy x x

 

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My daughter is not a princess.

[apologies in advance but this topic makes me swear and rant incoherently]

It’s all women’s fault.

I mean, it must be. Yes, you out there, who are primarily responsible for buying all the girly tat.

The fact that when you walk into ANY, and I mean ANY, children’s clothing department, all baby and toddler girls clothes make me want to throw up.

Even if I haven’t eaten anything in the last few hours, a small amount of bile rises to the back of my throat.

Pinks, pastels, bows, stick on flowers, princess produce and absolutely no bold colours or stripes.

So obviously I’ve been shopping in the boys’ section. But why the distinction? Why the buggery are bold colours (I’m talking blues, reds, greens, yellows) boyish? Why not just have a ‘baby’ section? If someone wants to dress their little girl like some sort of bloody fairy princess with tights, a ridiculous flowered hairband and a moronic tutu well more fool them – but let them do it I suppose.

Reluctantly, despite them clearly needing locking up, I do still believe in some form of free thought (an argument for another time is whether these people are actually capable of free thought…). And, if I try and look on the bright side, if we didn’t have girly girls, I suppose us non girly girls wouldn’t seem so frickin’ awesome. Someone explain these women to me. Please.

But lord above, I love my family and friends, but they know I am the least girly girl in the history of females on this earth. I suppose at 37 I’m probably more of a woman, but either suits. So why, why on earth do hideous pink things keep being sent through the post for my daughter? Why would any self respecting female want to wear make-up, jewellery or a dress? Far less a baby. What’s wrong with a sleepsuit? And no, not one with “I’m Mummy’s Princess” emblazoned upon it.

I just fundamentally resent that I have to shop in the boys’ section for any semblance of decent clothing. Why don’t girls deserve colour? Why must they be pushed towards highly impractical garments that are quite clearly meant to make them conform to society’s version of ‘pretty’?

Bugger it all I say. My baby is not pretty. She’s got a scabby face, dry ginger skin and she dribbles a lot. She shits herself. Her neck flaps often smell of slightly sour milk.

My daughter is not a princess.

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Innovative Uses For A Newborn Baby

So I thought I’d try, in the interest of spanking new parents across the globe, to write a useful post. (NB. That’s ‘spanking’ as in ‘new’, not as in ‘with whips’).

This is not, as my two regular subscribers will know, my normal style, so please excuse any newbie tipster mistakes I will invariably make.

‘Write about what you know’ goes the old mantra. Well, I know what I use my baby for, so thought I’d share my handy newborn tips. Parenting tips, if you like.

I’m hopeful that this will help hundreds of thousands (perhaps overly optimistic?) of new parents across the globe.

1. Draft excluder

DSC_1627 (683x1024)

Obviously best if you have longish baby although if you also borrow a friend’s child, you should be able to cover the width of a standard door with ease.  Please note that babies are better than normal draft excluders as they emit natural heat in addition to blocking drafts.

2. Tender and Succulent Roast For A Small Number Of Guests

1

Veal-like consistency and remarkably tender.
45mins at gas mark 6, remove baby’s clothing, rub with butter and baste every 10 minutes or so. Serve with vegetable of choice.

3. Cat Toy

I did try for a photo of this one, but dropped the camera as the cat ninja jumped me.

Essentially, tie bits of string and ribbon to baby’s feet, and put ham deep inside baby’s sleepsuit (onesie for my US readers).

Hey presto, cat is amused for HOURS.

4. Lego Base Plate

DSC_1633 (1024x683)

Surprisingly versatile (also works with Duplo) and builds strong sibling bonds.

(Double points to readers who got the exceedingly clever pun in that sentence).

5. Lamp Stand

DSC_1629 (683x1024)

Newborn first needs lashing to an upright pole for stability. This look creates an interesting centre piece for a modern living room.

6. Hot Water Bottle

2

Add to baby to bed one hour before you want to settle down. Cold sheets will be brought up to body temperature. Uses no electricity and is not a fire hazard. Remove newborn before sleeping. Do not leave for longer than one hour – they can become smelly and leak fluid if left in the bed for longer periods.

7. Fabric Softener

DSC_1634 (1024x683)

Love that newborn smell? Can’t stop sniffing your baby? Add newborn to rinse cycle.
Clothes will smell of fresh baby and baby will emerge clean. Double win.

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Hope I’ve been of help,
Your obedient servant,

BAD MUMMY x x

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“It’s Like Throwing A Sausage Up The High Street”

Why the Good Lord thought to bless me with a ginger baby, I do not rightly know.

I feel for the poor mite already.

I am one of those awful people that self-deprecates and this sadly means, that by association, I other-deprecate (really not sure of my ongoing use of the English language here) those close to me, those who, really, deep down, I love very much indeed.

My poor man has had years of this – mainly, my pointing out to him that he’s little. Well, in particular, that he has small extremities – you know, head, feet, hands, and… ah-hem… the other extremity. It’s not his fault, and actually, he’s not really that little (c. 5ft 10ish – no, not his willy…) but he’s not who I envisioned myself ending up with. I had always thought (in my innocent teenage years) that my future man creature would be tall, dark and handsome. The actuality is smallish, gingerish and normal looking.

Please don’t feel too sorry for him though as recently he’s very keen to point out, that considering the nature of my recent 30 minute birth experience, that his winkie wouldn’t seem so small if I wasn’t blessed with a bucket for a fanny. Like throwing a sausage up the High Street so I’m told…

sausage

I’ll also hasten to add that I’m more than normal looking too. As are the children. Well suited you see. I suspect a tall dark and handsome man wouldn’t have settled for my good self. And, as I’ve commented before, if I had wildly attractive children, people may think I’d nicked them.

However, for me, if there’s something to comment on, or to put my foot in about, I’ll generally do it. So, three weeks ago, I had a ginger baby. Now, to put this in context, I really like ginger hair. My Scottish ancestry means many family members (including my father) are similarly blessed. However, can I stop commenting on it?

No, I bloody can’t.

I sing songs about it, take photos of it glinting in its full-on gingerness to post on social media and I introduce the her as ‘The Ginger Baby’ or ‘Meet My Carrot’. I then usually add that ginger is caused by a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein.

ginger baby(my ginger baby)

It’s not that she doesn’t have enough to contend with, what with my hatred of all things girly (see http://badmummydiary.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/give-me-a-willy-anyday/), so today, for instance, she’s dressed in a dinosaur camouflage suit.

My son was similarly mocked (although his hair is totally nondescript in colour) as he has quite (well, ok then, very) large ears. So what do I do? I take photos of him back-lit by the sun so that they light up red like magic dumbo ears….

428578_10150653544634841_824172050_n(no, they’re not large at all… they just light up like flares when the sun’s behind them…)

However, as I am quick to point out to the Man, my son and will do to The Carrot when she’s old enough – I only mock those I love.

So that’s OK then… isn’t it?

love,

BAD MUMMY x x x

baby(1 week old – in black and white, you can’t see the ginger…)

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A very, very quick birth story. Like Alien, but with more blood.

Right, apologies to my loyal readership (ah ha ha ha).

I had completely forgotten about this bloglet. I got caught up in recruiting my maternity cover (actually working for once), then going on maternity leave, then having a whole MONTH of visitors (16 Dec-16 Jan) and during this never ending torment, having a baby. Not being bored at work, I’ve had little time to write random rubbish.

Right, anyway, time to catch up. Let’s start with birth, it is the beginning after all…

Anyway, everyone loves a good birth story. So being the medicalised monster that I quite obviously am, I had rejected all offers of midwife led units and birthing pools and happy clappy home births and whale music.

‘No’, said I in an overly self-assured and confident manner, ‘I will be having baby number two in the hospital with an epidural. Just like baby 1″.

I even wrote a great birth plan;

“Epidural please at about 4-5cm. I understand this can statistically increase the risks of an instrumental delivery. Thanks”.

My midwife (a wise woman in all senses of the words) said that seeing as I had produced baby one in 7-8 hours, hadn’t thought it was that painful despite insisting on an epidural and that because I am (was?) fit, healthy and sporty with strong stomach muscles, it may be possible that number two may be fairly quick.

‘Pah’, I thought to myself, ‘I’ll still have time to get dripped up, what does she know? I like drugs’.

Anyway, as pregnancy things progressed, I was measuring small. This concerns the medical professionals in a manner that is not altogether healthy (ironically speaking). Seeing as I ‘measured small’ with my first pregnancy (fundal height 32cm at 40 weeks – the day he was spontaneously born), that I have a long back and stumpy legs and that all scans showed a ‘normal’ size baby, I was less concerned. However, at 40 weeks I was measuring 31cm and they decided this meant I needed to be induced.

So, in I pottered in on New Year’s Day (due date) at about 9pm. I was examined and told that my cervix was “posterior, high and not at all favourable”. 0/10 on the metaphorical scorecard for me. With this in mind, they inserted some magic gel (think it had a medical name too in case you’re wondering if I’d wandered into some quack’s joint) up my fanny and said that this would make it easier to break my waters the following morning. The Man then left and I settled in to a nice evening of playing on Facebook. With perhaps some Words With Friends thrown in.

As it transpired, I pressed the ‘call the midwife’ button at about 5.30am as I felt a little bit funny. I quite obviously looked a little bit funny too as the poor lady pottered along, took one look at me and said, in a slightly alarmed manner, ‘phone your partner now’. From my telephonic records, I rang the other half at 5.36am – this was just before the midwife examined me and said that I was 1cm dilated, cervix was still high and that the baby wasn’t engaged but that this didn’t matter because as far as she was concerned I was clearly just about to have a baby.

As it transpires, I’d encountered another wise woman as within 2 minutes, I could no longer stand up (perhaps she’d hexed me with a wise woman spell?). They threw me in a wheelchair and tried to get me down to the delivery suite. This wasn’t too clever because I couldn’t sit down. I couldn’t stand up either mind. All I could do was lie across the wheelchair and mumble “help me please” to anyone who’d listen (including a presumably now traumatised-for-life small child that was inexplicably wandering the ward corridor). They did suggest I put my knickers on as we were going into “public areas” of the hospital. I was unaware I had even removed my pants.

I must pause here to offer profound thanks to the lovely lady on either floor 3 or 4 of the hospital (excuse my lack of precision) who despite pressing the lift button once and being told by the midwife with me to bugger off (quite forcefully for a wise woman – she may have rattled her wise woman beads too), kept letting the lift door close and then pressing the lift button again too soon which meant the door kept re-opening and then re-shutting.

And then re-opening and then re-shutting.

And going bloody nowhere.

I think my wails of “help me, help me, help me” finally scared her off.

I’m imagining at this point, the scene in the lift resembled something akin to the John Hurt scene in Alien:

johnhurtFinally in the delivery suite, there were no midwives (it was just 6 hours after a bank holiday). One was finally found together with a poor healthcare assistant, brought in, I suspect, to ensure there were two people at the birth. I felt sorry for them both really and not only because I have some vague recollection of trying to bite the healthcare assistant – I’m hoping this was a hallucination…

By this stage I’d managed to expand my moaning repertoire from ‘help me, help me, please’ to ‘help me, help me, help me, PAIN RELIEF PLEASE’. I still couldn’t move and couldn’t open my legs. They had to manhandle me onto the bed. The healthcare assistant offered me the gas and air. I tried. I really did. It did nothing. I suspect some build up to the baby coming out may have helped. However, it did give me something to bite – rather like those films you see when they cut bullets out without anesthetic and give the patient a stick between their teeth. Here is the result of 5 mins of biting on a plastic tube – it was something to do I suppose:

photo(1)I really don’t think I’ve ever been in so much pain. Continual pain. There were no contractions. There was just pain. Anyway, less than 15 mins after getting to the room, they managed to wrench my legs apart to declare that a head was popping out. Then, inexplicably, the wise woman says, ‘do you want to touch it?’.

Forced back to reality, I just about managed to express disgust (please refer back to the lack of whale music and happy clappy stuff – I’m not into ‘enjoying’ and ‘touching’ the birth experience).

Then at 6.26am – baby came out.

So to recap:
5.45am(ish) 1cm dilated
6am(ish) Delivery suite
6.26am Baby Born
6.27am Rang other half to tell him off (he had only just got to his parents to drop Child One off). Pah.
6.30am Starting to get bored, phoned mother.
6.45am Cut cord myself. Nearly took off a baby finger too.
6.47am Midwife took my photo and I posted it to Facebook (still bored).
7.04am The Man FINALLY arrived.

The End.

Don’t miss the next thrilling installment on the Bad Mummy Bloglet;
‘Not Only Female But It’s Ginger!’

And for getting this far – a newborn photo (I have a new subject for my photography – poor child):

150114 ARTY 2 PS

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Starting School and Misogyny

Deary me, I’m not getting on very well with this school lark.
Tarquin’s Mum (see last post).
The insistence that parents must “allow time” to change reading books each morning (what, despite not being there and at work?). So Child One will never get a reading book.
The constant calling me “Mrs” Bad Mummy when I’m a Miss.

But today, they have surpassed themselves…

Latest missive from the School of Doom;

Free Group Coaching for Women
Have you had some time out of work?
Perhaps you are a Mum who has been wondering if it is a good time to return to work but not sure what to do or whether you can hold down a demanding job and look after your family.
Perhaps you are not sure how to take the next step –or maybe not sure what the next step is?

OR CONVERSELY…

Perhaps I’m wondering how condescending and patronising it is to assume that because I am a woman (as opposed to a man) with a child that I’d question my ability to do a “demanding” job?
Or perhaps I’m a man who resents the assumption that it’s only the little lady that “looks after the family”. After all, I’ll be too busy earning money and putting my pipe and slippers on when I get home to consider looking after my children.

surfadvertHONESTLY, I wouldn’t be surprised to get a letter home tomorrow telling me that the girls are going to do home economics and the boys woodwork…

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Tarquin’s Mum Has Got It Going On

Lord above I’m struggling with Child One’s school. The whole set-up seems to be geared towards what I have affectionately termed “Tarquin’s Mum”.

Tarquin’s Mum is mid 30s.
She wears floaty skirts. Or perhaps tailored trousers. [not combat trousers and hoodies like Bad Mummy].
She calls her children Tarquin and Hermione.
She does not like school dinners (see http://badmummydiary.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/premature-labour-and-school-dinners/ for details).
She LIVES for the school drop-off and pick-up. The highlight of her day.
She likes sitting in over-priced coffee shops (UK ones, not Dutch) and attending NCT classes.
She likes to talk to the teacher about Tarquin’s ‘learning journey’.

Then there’s us normal folk – seemingly in a very small minority. You know, that WORK for a living. That can’t drop our children off. Can’t pick them up. Can’t harass teachers morning, noon and night. But what does the school do? Why, it caters for Tarquin’s mum, of course. Because Tarquin’s mum is there. In their face. Harassing them. Telling them about Tarquin’s slight wheat allergy and his elementary grasp of Latin verbs. All communication is to Tarquin’s mum. Bad Mummy Mum doesn’t get a look in and is seen as ‘not engaging’. Not engaging I may add because I can’t attend school meetings in the middle of the day at 24 hours notice. Apparently they would prefer it if “parents made an effort“. Tut tut.

Well, f*ck’em all, I say.

Luckily, I believe in Child One and hope he can negotiate his way through the lack of pushiness and total absence of engagement by his mother to grow up to be NORMAL HUMAN BEAN. In this sense, maybe I feel sorry for Tarquin. Having to sit at home learning to conjugate French verbs. Poor sod.

All together now: (to the tune of Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne)

Tarquin’s mom has got it goin’ on
Tarquin’s mom has got it goin’ on
Tarquin’s mom has got it goin’ on
Tarquin’s mom has got it goin’ on

This post is sponsored by Pissed Off Parent plc.

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