Monday, 3 May 2010

Not so much clunk click  as crickety, shove, arghh, grr, clurkety, euch...

Every baby boy needs to develop their  motor skills so no wonder John Lewis is giving daddies- to -be lessons in all the on board stroller extras and other gadgets that they need to flaunt their new - manhood.

This  is no doubt good marketing. I can imagine all those mummies keen to get their old men excited by their new daddy status booking up for this rather than an NCT course as then mum gets to learn how to breathe through the pain in peace and also gets their Daddy-to - be to be more  to be a bit more generous. 

I just wish that John Lewis also encouraged mums to get involved as I can't imagine that I'm the only new mum who has been brought to tears by my failure to operate a simple gadget - and I'm not talking about the baby. 

For me the week that I met my daughter and learnt how to look after her from her foster mother was one of the most  challenging of  my life. At the end of the week there was to be a conference to decide if I was up to to the job of looking after her.  By day three I still hadn't managed to put her to sleep. This clearly didn't bode well for me. I was fluster fingered with the bottles of milk. I was addle- brained with the vitamin drops. I couldn't stop her crying when the foster mother left the room. I felt tearful myself.  But all these issues were nothing to the angst of being seen to fail so publically at basic things like strapping her in the car seat and the buggy.  Putting the buggy down was like fighting with a giant meccano animal - but not nearly as much fun as that sounds. I still wonder how a design as good as McClaren can be so tricky. Clicking the straps on the car seat was as complicated as doing a rubic cube without any colours. Getting her into the car seat to drive away with her will stick my mind forever. I finally had to stand back and allow the foster mother to click everything together  us both ( and maybe the baby too) wondering how I was ever going to master these most basic necessary things. 

My first solo trip taking her out in the buggy also sticks in my mind- me trying to force my way through some shop doors so hard they almost shattered and a mummy with a baby also about one looking at me in complete confusion and asking why on earth i wasn't doing it backwards. Doing it backwards? The idea had never occurred to me.  There I was out at large in the world with a third hand buggy and a second hand baby looking for all the world like a seasoned mummy when really I was a total mummy virgin who hadn't even done it straight on, let alone backwards. 

All these things are easy after a time- just like tying shoelaces and mastering buttons. But just think - you've had the baby, you're nunny is hurting like a demon from shitting a melon ball and not only have you got to walk to the car holding new baby with all the confidence needed to persuade new daddy that this is going to be the fun next adventure in your marriage, you've also got to perform advanced a 3D rubic cube test to get out of the car park.  Take it from me - forget learning to breath through the pain of contractions, advanced seat belt operations are much more important to the new mum.  And lets face it, even if the daddy has done the John Lewis course the chances are he'll have got carried away with the inbuilt buggy sat nav and won't have a clue how to do basic  the clunk click.  Forget Jim'll fix it. Forget Bob the builder will fix it. It's mummies that have to learn to shout: can we fix it? Yes we can!

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