Saturday, 22 December 2012

The fuck-it list

When I was single and a bit lonely, especially the year three of my best friends got married (how was I to know I'd already met my husband and would get together with him later that year?), I used to make myself feel better by writing a list of my achievements thus far. Not a bucket list, because it was already done, more of a fuck-it list, as in I might be feeling a bit miserable but fuck-it, at least I was doing other stuff.

It had things on such as 'I have surfed in the Pacific ocean' (if one can count trying and failing to stand up on a surfboard as surfing) and I have been handgliding from the top of a mountain and learnt to cook Thai food in Thailand and been front page news in New Zealand and performed stand up comedy in New York etc etc.

I was reminded of this when filling out my daughter's baby book this week having not filled it in for several months. It's been on my pre-baby arriving maternity leave things to do list for weeks and given I'm now overdue I took to heart the advice my friend's mum gave her about medical information and applied it to all life experiences* - that once you have more than one child you remember that one of them has had or done something but you can't quite remember which thing belongs with which child so write it down.

Writing captions for photos it also read a bit like a fuck-it list:

At four months I marched for the alternative against Tory cuts 

At five months I visited the Tolpuddle Martyrs museum 
(Sense a theme?) 

At six months I got a ferry to France and went camping 

At 18 months I went to the London Olympics

and so on...

I do hope some of it has an influence. Future Olympian I can manage without, but a Tory, please no...


*Most of the time when I say 'a friend' and then recount an anecdote or piece of advice, it's from the writer of this awesome blog, When you ARE that woman.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The outfit to begin all outfits

As a second born child myself, I am keen to make sure baby number two doesn't always get the bum deal. It's why I eschew those buggies where the baby is tucked away underneath the main seat, with no view and the smell of toddler fart hanging over it. The baby is not here yet and already I feel awful telling my daughter she is my favourite person in the whole world, even though she is, and presumably will be until this one gets here at which point I'll have two favourites.

It's already posing issues though. We have huge amounts of baby clothes. In truth, we don't need anything for the new baby, with vests and babygros and cardigans bursting out of every drawer, cupboard, suitcase and box under the bed. But, but, but.... my baby should at least get to feel what it is like to wear something new out of the packet, I told myself as I bought just one cute pack of newborn vests. A bit unfair really - it'll only get its hopes up before being forced into a lifetime of hand-me-downs.

I wasn't going to buy the new baby a coming home from hospital outfit, even though this is something I expended huge amounts of energy on before the arrival of baby number one. I wanted something bright, unisex and, dare I say it, funky. I got what a wanted, a posh funky Toby Tiger number costing an arm and a leg yet despite this, having no feet. A friend with a baby already pointed this out to me as a potential problem, what with us having a winter baby, so wintry in fact that as we looked out of the hospital window on night one of her life the snow began to fall, as it also threatens to do this time. Still, the lack of feet wasn't the problem, more that it was aged 0-6 months and, as I now know, there's a big difference in the size of a six month old to that of a newborn. In fact it fit our daughter when she was about four months, and I put her in it for a photoshoot at Snappy Snaps that I'd won in a draw, the kind where you get your shoot for free and they then try to sell you prints for hundreds of pounds. I bought the two cheapest prints, just 7"x5", but I don't like them and they are not on display. The cheesy nature of the shots and the removal of my husband's glasses so he doesn't look like himself is bad enough, but the main thing is that babygro, bought for a newborn and therefore, to me, looking all wrong.

But others have been a little disapproving when I have said I wasn't intending to get this baby something chosen with equal care. So I went to John Lewis and bought a very cute penguin number. It's ultra cute, and I do like it, and yes perhaps I did also buy our toddler matching pyjamas. But will they wear them? Who knows. Because much as I try to remember what my daughter did wear when we bought her home from hospital, so desperate to escape after our several nights inside, I just can't summon up a picture of it at all.