Tuesday, 22 February 2011

No Business Like Baby Show Business

On Saturday I went to the Baby Show at ExCeL.

Ostensibly this was to browse the wide range of baby-related products on offer and check out the latest developments in the field of birthing technology.

Actually, it was of course to take some stupid photos I could make snide comments about on this blog.

I did also test drive some pushchairs. It seems to me that buying a pushchair is just as important and complicated as buying a car, only more expensive.

Do I need adjustable handles? How many wheels? What about a reversible seat? Why do all these catalogues bang on about pushchairs which go "off-road", as if I am planning to wheel my baby up mountains and across the African savannah, instead of along pavements and round Lewisham Iceland?

I just want a pushchair that won't do things to my child's fingers which mean I end up on television in tears, being handed a tissue by Lynn Faulds Wood.

Anyway, here are the photos and the snide comments.

This was the first thing I saw when I walked into the Baby Show. What I like is the way it specifies that the surgeons are "experienced". Because you don't want to use one of those services where the surgeons have only done two circumcisions before and one of them was on work experience.

My instinct here was to keep the baby as far away from me as possible. If mine comes out like this I'm pushing it back in.

I'm pretty sure there's a branch of this in Soho.

See above.

Definitely getting this pushchair if the baby turns out to be a girl. Or a gay man.

It was about this point when I started to think, "Do I really need any of this **** in my house?"

The feeling showed no signs of abating as I continued my stroll around the show floor.

I think it was this which finally pushed me over the edge. I made my excuses and left.

I doubt I'll be going to any more baby shows in the near future. Unless they're actual shows with babies doing musical numbers and acrobatic tricks and stuff.

Friday, 18 February 2011


I have long had a theory about small children. This came out of observing how they can be charmingly boisterous or irritatingly obnoxious, and are highly likely to exhibit inappropriate behaviour at any given moment.

I also noticed that looking after them involves making sure they don't fall over, distracting them when they attempt to start fights, and ensuring they don't choke on their own sick.

In other words: small children are just miniature drunk people.

So basically, the next few years of my life are going to be like being the sober one at a New Year's Eve party. As well as a human beer keg.

Thanks to Cat for pointing me in the direction of this video, which pretty much proves my point.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Buenos Notches

We went for the 20-week scan yesterday. It was a big relief. Everything is in the right place and the baby does not appear to have Pete's hair.

We didn't find out the gender. We want it to be a surprise, and besides the kind of clothes I am intending to buy suit both sexes.

After the scan we went round to my parents' house to show my Mum the photos. I also handed her our copy of the scan report, in case she had any better idea what "transcerebellar diameter 23.8" meant than I did.

Suddenly my Mum gasped.

"What?" I said.

"Nothing. No, it's nothing," she said.

"Is something wrong?"

"No, it's just... I think there's something on this report which tells you what sex the baby is, if you know what you're looking for."

I grabbed the report and asked Mum what she was on about. At first she refused to say, but eventually she pointed to some text at the bottom of the first page:

"R. Uterine artery: no notch"

"No notch!" said my Mum, excitedly. "That must be some kind of medical code!"

"Um..." I said.

"Girls have "notches", don't they?" said Mum. "Your baby has no notch! It's a boy!"

Pete, Mum and I stared at each other. As we started talking about the implications of having a notchless baby, I turned the page of the report.

"Er, Mum?" I said, pointing at page two:

"L. Uterine artery: notch"

I still have no idea what notch/no notch means, but I'm pretty confident there's a low risk of some kind of Wasp Factory scenario unfolding.

But even if it did, we wouldn't mind. The important thing is the baby's healthy. Besides, I've decided Scherzinger works for a girl OR a boy.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Hello Dolly

Oli writes: "Is it too early to buy gifts for your unborn child?"

The Princess Diana Porcelain Portrait Baby Doll. Yours for just $150 from The Franklin Mint.

"What a wonderful way to remember Diana! Based on pictures of the Princess, this hand-painted porcelain collector doll personifies her charm… Even as a baby! Dazzling sky-blue dress with matching ballet-style slippers. Miniature tiara and white “English Rose.” Extraordinary blue eyes and shy smile foreshadow the beautiful Princess admired by millions."

I haven't felt this emotional since we decided to sandwich the wedding cake together with Princess Diana hair jam.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What App Doc?

When I first found out I was pregnant, I did what any right-thinking person would do on being confronted with the prospect of a momentous life-changing experience: I looked to see if there was an app about it.

There are many, of course. There are fertility calendars and pregnancy trackers and kick counters and even "iPregnancy Tests" ("The MOST fun you can have pretending to see if you're pregnant! Complete with new 'Baby-Daddy Generator'!").

I downloaded what looked like one of the most popular apps, Baby Bump. I'm pretty sure it was developed in the USA, judging by the relentless cheerfulness and lack of advice about what to do if your local hospital is infested with mice.

I'm finding it quite hard to absorb the information on offer. This is mainly due to the fact the topic headlines make me want to tear off chunks of my own flesh. Here are some samples:

Abreasted Development

Paint Those Pretty Piggies Safely

To Shop, or Not to Shop?

Don't Hem and Haw About Haemorrhoids

I Smell Scrapbooking Party!

But perhaps the most odious bits of advice are those prefaced with "Just for Dad". Like this one:

"Get Your Shut-Eye"

"We always hear about how important it is for the expectant mother to get plenty of rest during pregnancy." Yes we do. There is a reason for this.

"But it's also important for the father-to-be to rest up as the big day approaches." After all, he is the one who will be physically enduring the long, exhausting and torturous process of giving birth for potentially days on end. Hang on wait.

Here are some more wise words:

"Make Room for Daddy"

"During pregnancy, it's usually the expectant mother who gets the bulk of the attention. But don't feel left out, your part in this new life is just as important." I don't think I need to say anything about this.

"Don't hesitate to proclaim to the important people in your life how proud you are. This should remind them that there's more to making a baby than just a mommy." Yes. Let's not forget YOUR contribution to creating new life - half an hour of thrusting is entirely equivalent to nine months of physical hardships and hormonal turmoil followed by 36 hours of agony.

"As for passersby, there's no sense in speaking up to someone you'll probably never see again, so let those moments be mommy's time to shine." That's right Dad, let your wife bang on as much as she likes to total strangers - but when it comes to friends and family, make sure you steal that limelight.

Then there's this:

"Dads Need Pampering, Too"

I'm not even going to dignify this one with a full quote, suffice to say it features the words "focus on yourself" and "massage".

Or how about this one?

"A Baby Shower... For Dad?"

As above. Key points: "golf", "sports bar", "cigars and gifts".

In the interests of fairness I should point out the majority of advice in the app is directed at "mommy". It fits into two categories, which can be summarised as "Things To Avoid" and "Things Which Are Allowed".

"Things To Avoid" include raw meat, cooked meat, cats, dogs, animals in general, eating too much, not eating enough, running, cleaning, painting, sleeping on your back, sleeping on your right, hot baths, beef, buffets, sugar, sunlight and anything made of plastic. Plus many more.

"Things Which Are Allowed" include meditating, using a seatbelt and "pregnancy dancing". And not much else.

So much for pregnancy apps. Might just stick with Bejeweled Blitz.