I’ve recently come into possession of two books written by ‘The Baby Whisperer’.
I’m not a huge fan of whisperers. Give me a shouter any day. At least they show a bit of passion. Never trust a whisperer - that’s my motto. They nearly always have a hidden agenda. Hence all the whispering.
The Baby Whisperer offers advice on all issues related to bringing up a child. From the outset she questions the most tried and tested parenting methods and not surprisingly rejects them and offers her own alternatives.
I’ve only read the opening few chapters of one of the books, but from what I can gather everything we’ve done with Lucy to date is wrong, everything my parents did with me was wrong and everything my parents’ parents did with them was wrong. Of course that’s exactly what I expected. Childcare gurus wouldn’t sell many books if their message was ‘go with your instinct and listen to your parents’.
Speaking of parents, the most annoying thing about being a new parent is the fact that I’ve entered a new target market. As such I’m constantly being informed of new parenting techniques that make last week’s parenting techniques look like child abuse.
I try to take it all with a pinch of salt, except I can’t because according to the experts you’re not allowed to bring salt anywhere near your baby.
As a new parent I’m bombarded with products that I’m supposed to buy for my baby. Their selling point is basically if you don’t buy ‘insert name of new and innovative and essentially unnecessary product here’ for your baby then you obviously don’t care about your child.
In recent years, in light of the growing trend of male grooming, I’d begun to get overwhelmed by the volume of products in the men’s aisle. But this was nothing to prepare me for the baby aisle.
In terms of milk alone you’ve got milk in powdered form, milk in cartons, milk in sachets, milk for tiny babies, milk for hungry babies and milk for very hungry babies. They’ve also got ‘follow on’ milk, but thankfully not ‘follow through’ milk.
Lucy has recently got her first tooth coming through and I was disappointed to learn there is no special milk for babies with their first tooth coming through. I may have spotted a potential gap in the market.
Nappies are even more of a minefield. You’ve got nappies for tiny babies, nappies for new babies, nappies for active babies, nappies for babies who shouldn’t be wearing nappies, nappies to keep your baby dry, nappies to keep your baby super dry and nappies to keep your baby simply dry.
This nappy frenzy sums up the baby market. A few decades ago babies wore towelling nappies with safety pins and as far as I’m aware most of them survived. Some even ended up learning to walk, talk and drive cars. But because there’s no resale value in cloth nappies and safety pins they’ve been virtually wiped out.
As a new parent I’ve been told by the experts to talk to Lucy using simple, short sentences to describe what she can see. That’s simple when we’re out for a walk in the park. I’ll say things like ‘Look, a tree’, ‘The dog goes woof’ and ‘Daddy very tired’.
It gets a bit more difficult when you go to Tesco. For example, on Saturday myself and Lucy were meandering down the home baking aisle when we encountered a woman wearing a rasta jacket embroidered with the face of Bob Marley.
Lucy stared at the jacket in horror. I sensed tears were on the way. The poor little girl thought she was face to face with the ghost of Bob Marley.
I needed to tell her that it wasn’t Bob Marley. That it was just an ordinary woman. And not to burst into tears.
What I said was, “No. Woman. No cry.”
When I relocated Karen I told her about my quick wittedness.
Instead of rolling around the floor laughing she said, “You were supposed to be getting very hungry milk and super dry nappies. Can I leave you to do nothing?”
There’s no pleasing some people.
The answer to last week’s teaser was: the men may have been looking in opposite directions but they were facing each other and therefore the first could tell that the second was looking rough.
Here’s this week’s teaser: What nationality is someone who is born in Dubai?