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May 09, 2006

Rain-covers, bibs and bus passes

As if working out that Iíll never be Olympic Medallist (or was it the Commonwealth, I forget) wasnít enough for one month. It as if the floodgates have been opened and middle age has descended on me from a great height. There is nothing I can do about it, everything I say and think is now sounding like my mother and occasionally, more worryingly, my father. Yesterday it slipped out, I couldnít help it and once Iíd said it I realised it really was the dot on the signature for the old bus pass.

No I didnít watch a gathering of mini-skirted young girls wander past and wrapping my arms around my torso and hunching my shoulders declare ĎMy! Theyíll catch the death of cold!í For in truth Iíve been doing that since I was twelve.

No I didnít bellow at my daughter, ĎI wonít tell you again. TIDY YOUR TOYS AWAY!í before reminding her 2.5 seconds later to, yes youíve guessed it, TIDY HER TOYS AWAY, because Iíve been doing that since my daughter was old enough to clear up after herself.

What I said was far more serious and spontaneous than either of these telling snippets into my thought process and I thank the Goddess (alas the Maiden has long abandoned me, the Mother is on her way out, I think my guardian is now the Crone) that there was only a bewildered one-year-old to witness my words.

I was babysitting for the afternoon the child of some friends of ours and had first been astonished by the Bib that Does Up At The Side. If I ever have any more kids I shall be eternally grateful that I no longer have to yank the kidís head forward and catch the velcro on the cute little tuft of hair at the nape of the neck. The Bib that Does Up At The Side is one of those marvellous why-did-no-one-think-of-this-earlier? type inventions. Mothers of the world unite in praise of she (letís face it) who thought up this simple yet life changing phenomenon, a time saver on our already over-cluttered days.

Next up I had to take her to fetch my own daughter from school. as it was raining I allowed an extra 15 minutes for getting ready, mainly to work out and position the rain-cover that had been slung on the basket at the bottom of the buggy. Our first pram we owned for nearly twelve months and even that was not ample time to decipher how the rain-cover worked, all those separate parts, it never quite looked right. We were convinced that we were sent the wrong one, until we got our stroller and what the hell was going on there? What was that ENORMOUS bubble for? How big did they expect my daughter to grow before she could walk?

But anyway there was I? Yesterday suddenly with 14 minutes to spare because the rain-cover was simple, just one sheet of plastic, the wider end clipped onto the hood and as it narrowed it clipped onto the bottom. Again, thank you! But I was caught off guard in its simplicity and without thinking I found myself leaning into the buggy and commenting;

ĎThings are so much easier now than when my kid was young.í

What?

I mean I would understand if there had been some New Dawn where motherhood was concerned and the debates as to whatís best for your child had become less emotive. If mothers were no longer ganging up on each other, championing their own formula of motherhood as if it was the only way; the correct age to give birth; what to feed your baby (breast is best so long as you donít do it in public) whether you should work or stay at home and heaven forbid you if you smack or donít smack your child.... as if all this had abated and someone had thrown their arms in the air and declared that if itís best for you, then itís probably best for your child.

But there was I concluding that everything was easier all over a couple of gadgets which together might save a mother a whole ten seconds from her day. If someone had invented a device that makes your baby sleep soundly between the hours of 10pm and 7am then I might have had a point and even today I'd pay good money for something like that.

And anyway if my not-even-five year old daughter is no longer young then what the hell does that make me? I know that the way she stamps her foot and storms up to her room at the slightest encouragement might appear teen-like but heavens above, she is still only four years old and 112 centimetres tall. It only been a few years since she clambered those stairs on her hands and knees for the first time, since I was battling with rain-covers and tying bibs at the back. It wasnít so long ago now was it?

Now my mouth is a little dry from all this reminiscing, I should have a Murray Mint lurking in the bottom of my handbag somewhere. Iím off to rummage in amongst the used tissues and old receipts.

Posted by purple elephant at May 9, 2006 09:40 AM