The most ridiculous things you ever think are the things you think when you are pregnant with your first baby. Show me a woman who hasn’t daydreamed about cosy walks through the park while their baby slumbers, wrapped up in a designer blanket and a cashmere hat. Go on, show me! See? Now show me the same woman walking through then park a few months later, baby struggling to get out, hat pulled off by cross baby and thrown on the floor, blanket dragging on the pram wheels and covered in mud. In her fantasy, said woman was probably wearing a nice chunky cardigan and some hot boots (because, despite being a mum, she’s Still Got It). In reality of course she’s wearing a hoodie and uggs. And she’s too hot, but not in a good way.
I have a morbid fear of having spoilt children. Brats, if you will. So in my pre baby fantasy I was a very firm mum who would magically produce well mannered yet wonderfully confident children. Hadn’t quite considered exactly how I was going to do this, of course. But I knew that one thing I absolutely would not do was try and reason with my children. You can’t reason with a baby, my know it all former self would say. You just have to be firm and tell them yes and no. Oh right, thanks for that, former Hayley.
Let’s fast forward time to, ooh, say, now? And see how I’m getting on. Here I am at tea time. “Please don’t throw your pasta on the floor, Audrey. If you’ve had enough, just stop eating it” *pause as 3 more bits of penne hit the carpet* “right, fine. Mummy will just pick it all up, then” I crawl on the floor under the high chair to retrieve discarded penne. 10 more bits of penne are flung from the high chair. Onto my head. Former Hayley, smug bitch that she is, would probably firmly tell her daughter that’s quite enough and remove the bowl of pasta, leaving her with no pasta and no pudding, because That Is How Children Learn. Current Hayley is thinking that if AB doesn’t eat enough, she will be hungry and wake up in the night, then Current Hayley will have to get up and soothe cross baby at 3am. Current Hayley doesn’t fancy that much. Current Hayley gets the biscuits out.