The Perfect Pushchair

(could there be such a thing?)
I feel a bit weird about pushchairs, as I do about many of the abundant baby accessories with which new parents are apparently meant to fill their houses.It seems to me that we live in a very peculiar way and we use a huge quantity of artificial, plastic, manufactured goods to compensate for the lack of simple human and natural interactions that babies have evolved with over the millennia prior to the Victorians, when the modern era of consumption began.

All these goods are sold to us as being very beneficial for the health and development of a baby, from powdered milk formulae to plastic electronic books and endless metallic renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

But I have to note that my own baby seems happiest when surrounded by several familiar people, of different ages, including a few children, and there is some singing together, and a few new objects to play with, and perhaps a puppy or an old cat. In the garden.

This scenario is definitely part of our lives but doesnt happen nearly often enough. A lot of the time we are simply having to go round town to get some food or chores done, and most of the time she is in the care of one adult, and some of the time that is not someone she know particularly well, if we havehired someone to help out. There are a couple of kids round our way but not many. And her parents are the only people prepared to carry her around. She can walk a little but only with help and its very sore on the back for anyone over the age of about ten. So a pushchair does indeed seem a necessity.

So now I am looking for one, and they all seem terribly ugly to me, I despise these black nylon contraptions with fierce pink trim and it baffles me that so many baby clothes are all pretty and fussy with bits and bobs yet prams are designed as if they are part of the Hoxton Apple lovers essential designer gear.

Furthermore the seats look very uncomfortable and the child seems slumped in there, rattling around and unable to participate in the world as when she is being carried up high. THe tyres tend to be small and hard and they usually dont have enough space for our colbber and shopping.

I like the look of those little sort of trike things with a long handle – at least the kid can have some kind of fun and exercise while they are out. But she also needs to be able to nap in the thing which she does actually seem to like.

So I am designing a revolutionary pram, with changeable cloth hoods so you can have the look you want, and designed to allow the child to have more fun as well as being able to sleep.

I also think an electric vehicle might be better but that doesn’t allow for going into shops.

A diagram is pending!

Dear friends, forgive my absence, I long for our continued communication.

It has become nigh impossible to keep writing blog posts so I now have about ten or twelve articles swirling around in my head unreleased. These unshared thoughts torment me and I am resorting to writing myself an email at four am in an attempt to find peace. You see the baby-child is become highly interested in what I do and like a cat on a keyboard has a way of preventing me fro

Link

Edible Crayons

Baby is starting to draw, and is grabbing and asking for any pen or pencil she sees. Your ordinary standard pens and pencils however are dangerous pointy things made of highly toxic nasty substances and its not something I relish, seeing her stumbling around chewing on an inky pointy pen. So little Dahling needs some nice eco friendly crayons. I found these nice beeswax ones, but if you are feeling particularly crafty you might try this edible crayons recipe

Link

Lovely Lana

I drool over stuff like this, and so does the baby, for completely different reasons. The great thing about wool is, it is unbelievably forgiving of drool and all kinds of other substances. She can wear her home made woolen dungarees four or five times whereas all the cotton stuff looks filthy by the time breakfast is over. If you have the cash, I cant recommend this company highly enough. If not, you can make similar things out of old jumpers and blankets from charity shops. I’m talking about Beautiful beautiful Lana Bambini.

UH-OH

Uh oh

Here we goooooo….!!!

The dear baby is rapidly transforming herself into a lively creature, taking the form of what a friend has apparently defined as being similar to a ‘demented dwarf’. She suddenly started crawling, and the beginnings of walking, talking, signing, singing, dancing, reading, imitating animals, and trying our whether she can make us angry, all in the space of about a week. It’s pretty intense and I’ve just realised there a dangerous chemicals under the sink and we have a wooden staircase with a stone floor at the bottom, and pins in the sitting room, and razors in the bathroom……uh oh!

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter
One hears a lot about how awkward it is to look after children, what a burden of cost, energy, hassle, etc, they are, and parents tend to mention these things quite a lot, perhaps in a very British form of self-deprecation, and also because it is bloody hard work, especially when you are old and poor.

Now I’m not saying we never hear about the good stuff but I think it’s time I mentioned some of the good stuff from this particular sofa.

Just to bring the mood back down, it occurs to me to write in the form of a letter to the bairn, which is something for her to have in the event that I were to (god forbid) vanish from her life at a premature date.

Dear daughter,
Thank you!
You have made me eat healthier, in an attempt to set you a good example.
You are making me fitter through continual heavy lifting and carrying. The steady weight increase allows me to increase my own strength in a nicely paced gradual way. I am developing the biceps of a sailor. I love to feel strong like this, carrying you.
You have made me realise I am actually a grown up and am entitled to charge properly when I work.
You have shown me how much I do know and how competent and skilled I really am.
I have had to stop worrying about how I look, which I regard as a pleasant holiday from the usual pressures.
You have made my parents very happy and we are getting along much better these days. Mum in particular is full of lightness and fun when you are there. When you laughed delightedly to see her the other day, I was very happy.
You make me smile a lot because you enjoy life and laugh so often.
Your delightful little body is so warm and delicious. Observing the development of its processes has taught me greater reverence for my own body, weary and saggy and voluminous and worn as it is. It works, and it’s quite powerful, and quite adept, and it gave you life, so that’s not bad.
You have allowed me to clear out a lot of junk, both literally and metaphorically.
Prioritisation has never been a strong point for me but I have made a significant improvement in this area. Similarly I am much more focused about how I spend my time. (That’s my excuse as to why I haven’t hardly done any jelly posts for so long).

Dear daughter, thank you for these and other gifts. I wish you find your place in the world, with a reasonable level of contentment, as I have, and have some good adventures along the way, as I have.
With love from your Ma.

(Well that’ll do for now.)

Magic Elastic

Magic elastic

For how many years will I have to keep picking things up off the floor?

Dearest darling bambina is now at the stage where she has discovered the joy of throwing. She also takes such an interest in things that if she sees a new thing while playing with an old thing, she will drop the old thing having completely and instantly lost interest in it, and grab the new thing. Each thing may entertain for anything between thirty seconds and about ten minutes, so in a day we can get through a lot of things. And a lot of stooping to pick up dropped things. The other day I foolishly allowed her to chew my wallet, which disappeared until the charming people at Star Anise wrote to me to say they had it, and I have lost two pairs of sunglasses (one was discovered by another walker who overtook us on the chalford towpath) and various less significant items.

It’s all getting a bit out of hand (as it were) and notwithstanding the skill, developed in late pregnancy, of picking things up with one’s feet, I propose to develop Magic Elastic TM, which is invisible and non-strangling, and may be attached easily to all things, and thus we can squeeze every last bit of interest from each thing, and more importantly, save my back from an early demise.

Baby Crystal Ball

Tell me what the baby will do today...

Tell me what the baby will do today…


One of the things I find hardest about looking after the baby is the unpredictable nature of her habits. Planning is almost impossible, as she may take a nap at nine for ten minutes or at ten thirty for an hour, and those naps are precious patches of sunlit freedom to sleep, wash, tidy up, or even, the unthinkable Do Some Work. Having to remain so utterly flexible is exhausting and I often need at least twenty minutes for my brain to unscramble and register that I can now focus on something from my own world. By that time she may well awake and bingo! My brain is a pile of fuzzy egg mash again.

A crystal ball would enhance my life enormously.

Baby Joy Bottle

Baby Joy Bottle

Bottle it!


At times, I feel as though this little creature is draining my life force away at an accelerated rate. I am like a salmon that has spawned and is dying, for its offspring and other predators to feed off it’s rotting remains.

But thankfully the baby comes with a kind of inbuilt booster juice which I can only describe as Baby Joy. She just is so charming and funny and happy (most of the time) that you get a fillip looking at her and it’s enough to get you limping on to the next task or moment of the day.

And if you could bottle that sh**, you’d be minted, as they say.