Useless or useful?

Just when I find myself offering advice based on my one baby to a pregnant friend another survey, poll or article comes along to prove just how different every baby, and experience is. This time it’s the Which survey of over 2000 parents revealing the least useful items people purchased for their baby. I was pretty surprised to see a baby carrier (which I completely rely on) at number 5 and frankly a bit annoyed to see the door bouncer that I’d just got right up there at number 1! That said a nappy stacker (6) seems like being properly lazy (apologies to anyone who has one but really?!) and even though I got one last week I can see the Bumbo (7) retiring to the attic fairly soon.
That said while laughing at the person who buys a special baby washing bowl I have to admit there is a corner of the nursery where a pile of guilt inducing unused baby things are already building up. The beautiful wool blanket I got on holiday (in my defence pre baby) – non breathable, cold wash and too tiny for a pram blanket – nice work! The many tiny handmade cardigans and beautiful clothes with numerous buttons given to us that it feels rude to Freecycle, the tiny shoes that never stay on, the bottles of baby lotion that health visitors say you must never use and the ugliest of the stuffed toys (who knew they still made cabbage patch style cornishmen!)
On a more positive note the baby bjorn bouncy chair, baby gym, breathable airflow cot bumpers, Lamaze firefly and city mini pram have all been amazing – but then what do I know next time round I might be begging for a nappy stacker.

Pram rage

Walking to the shops, or round a park, is really rather a battle these days. My pram (buggy) is relatively compact. I deliberately use the car seat attachment to push my daughter around for this very reason, so it annoys me when the general public fail to make way or sneer as I go past them on the street sometimes. Now to be fair I am making the assumption that they don’t want to move of course. It might be that they are sneering at me, or worse still my choice of pram design. But either way I’ve found the lack of tolerance for prams to be quite astounding. I exclude, from this rant, the sweet old ladies and broody women who gaze into the pram to offer their compliments on how beautiful my baby is, and the gentlemen who open doors for us and help us down steps. I’m talking about everyone else- the people who are so desperately busy going to the pound shop and need to walk in a zig zag up the road, for example, the city boys on a train who are too immaculately dressed to even consider moving aside on a train, and the winos who have been waiting in their bus queue for far too long to stop smoking their fags and move from the spot on the pavement that they have worked so desperately hard for. Or- and this is my personal favourite- the bus driver who parks just far enough from the kerb to stop you getting the pram out safely or who goes around a roundabout as if he is in charge of a fairground attraction. Just be kind instead of being a moron. I generalise of course, but you know who you are. It will make my day a bit easier and give you an enormous, albeit temporary, sense of well being.

It doesn’t end there though. Continue reading