My brain is half fanciful and half shrewd. Well, those ratios might jumble around a bit…essentially I want pretty things for not much dollar. 

Unfortunately, there’s a third rogue devil on my shoulder – I’m a bloody easy sales target. Fanciful me gets swept along by the dream that’s being pitched, and then shrewd me has to ride in on a white horse and work out how I can afford it (read: justify it to my husband).

When Mouse was born, I admittedly did fall arse over tit into the massive hole that is First Time Mum Market. If a cleverly staged group of mums were telling me I needed a product in my life, then obvs I did because obvs they knew better than me, what with already being mums. It’s a blessing I never made it to the Baby Show or I’d have needed to rent out a National Express coach just to get my loot home.

I took to getting things delivered to work and then drip-sneaking them into the house under a cloak of darkness, sliding them into the already teetering pile of baby merch in our (then) spare room, like Jenga in a thousand shades of white, yellow and mint green. I became mildly obsessional over Lamaze toys for a while, to the extent where we could have started our own fucking zoo and I expected everything soft and plush to have rattling or squeaking innards. Your mind strayed there for a second, didn’t it? You filthy scoundrel.

I didn’t realise back then that while some products can aid a stage of development, in the grand scheme of things their overall usage rate is minimal. Special tummy time cushions, for example – used for a time window of perhaps a month, then cast adrift only to be adopted by a the cat as a bed (my actual cat has been stolen by nextdoor-but-two, must write about that for catharsis).

So anyway, when Moo was growing away in my tum, I wagged a curtailing finger at fanciful me and called shrewd me up for duty. “Ok so we basically need nothing, right? We have everything we need to get started. We’ve learned from our wasted purchases. We have a stack of shite in the loft. We need NOTHING.”

Alright, we needed a car seat. Safety first and all that, I believe in New Child, New Seat, but you can do the research and make up your own minds. Apart from this though, NOTHING.

I’m a twat though. Here are a few areas where fanciful tussled with shrewd and then sales pitch rocked up to the party with a bag of popcorn and an order book.

Sleeps

When Mouse was six months old, the time was nigh to shift her the fuck out of our room and into her lovely cot that we got with our John Lewis wedding vouchers, selfless dons of parenting that we are. Only… the cot looked ever so big, and she was ever so little. So I invested in a sort of half way house of the slumber world – a crib. It was basically a mini-cot and it was gorgeous. She stayed in that for a good few months more before I released her, crying with the emotion of it all (me not her), into the big girl cot. So, this time around, I renounced all ideas of a moses basket because we had that beautiful crib in the loft, and all the bedding. Just needed a new mattress for £15 off Amazon. Done. Only….the crib looked ever so big, and she was ever so little.

Me: “Maybe we’ll just get a cheapy moses basket, to get us through the newborn weeks, you know?”

Him: “You mean, you’ve found one on Amazon that you like?”

Me: “Yes. It’s white wicker with white waffle linen and a white rocking stand. We’ll just sell it on eBay afterwards or see if we know a preggo who wants it.”

Him: “Like we did two years ago with that other lovely moses basket, you mean?”

Me: “Yup.”

TWAT.

Wears

Mouse and Moo are girls. They were both born in spring, kinda. They were both 5lb-ers. Moo, therefore, had a full newborn wardrobe ripe for the taking. Some stuff was even BNWT – we have three drawers of long-sleeved vests, FFS. And yet…have you been down Mothercare lately? My god, new clothes are stunning. They’re also expensive, so I navigate instead to Asda, Sainsbury’s and Primark giving precisely zero fucks about designer labels.

Me: “Ok now don’t be cross, but I found the most gorgeous padded gilet for Moo today, with 25% off.”

Him: “Does it have animals on it?”

Me: “Yeah, dogs I think. Well, puppies.”

Him: “Lovely. You know we have that padded gilet up in the loft, that Mouse never wore, with a fake fur lined hood, and a cat pattern? Well, kittens.”

Me: “I’ll take it back.”

TWAT.

Plays

As previously ref’d, I do enjoy a Lamaze toy. You know the fucking irritating thing about them though? They grow their product range. They add things. They add things that I might want. They add a mummy and baby koala set. They KNOW that me and him went to Australia and anything Straya makes me all wistful and doe-eyed.

Oh, you know what I’ve resolutely NOT succumbed to though? The Jumperoo. My mum sourced one for us when Mouse was a baby because I HAD TO HAVE ONE, and it was great. If you have a living room larger that 4m square, and your baby likes to jump. Which we don’t, and which she didn’t. It was “up” for a few weeks before we all got utterly fucked off with not being able to see the telly over it, stubbing our toes on it, and Mouse hating it. Off it went, sold to the next unsuspecting muppet, never to grace my abode again. However…

Him: “What the hell is that enormous inflatable ring doing in the playroom*?”

Me: “Mmm, well, it’s a sensory thing, it’s got bits on. She can sit in it and not move, and do tummy time and stuff.”

Him: “You realise as soon as she can launch herself, so in about a month, she’ll be catapulting over the side? Because there’s no harnessing structure, she’s just roaming about in the middle as she pleases?”

Me: “I got it off eBay, it was only a fiver. Ok, £8.75. Free postage though!”

TWAT.

*Not half as posh as it sounds. We sacrificed our spare room so that the box room could become a playroom and the girls could share the big room. We can receive no overnight house guests, therefore. Win.

Commutes

We had a pram that rhymes with “whinny” with Mouse and I absolutely fucking hated it. Firstly, the tyres punctured relentlessly. Secondly, once Mouse had the shits and covered the entire seat pad with sewage, and I could never quite get the smell out. It never collapsed properly either, oh and hilariously it didn’t fit through our front door. So, because it didn’t fit through the door and didn’t collapse, you can imagine how amusing it was every time I needed to leave or enter the house.

So, we sold that bastard “as seen” (smelt) to a nice couple (gah, conscience) and ploughed the profit straight onto a second-hand-new beast that was a complete bargain, but is unfortunately also a fucking annoying pram. The suspension is non-existent, and the plastic wheels I was so keen on actually shake, rattle and roll over the smoothest of terrains.

Me: “You know how we run?”

Him: “Er, yes…”

Me: “We need to get a running buggy. You know, like we see at ParkRun. So we can run with Moo. And Mouse, actually.”

Him: “Ok, well send me a link or something and maybe we can think about it after the car tax is due next month.”

Me: “Well, I’ve got us one already.”

Him: “Oh, have you? What, you’ve brought one?”

Me: “Not exactly. I found one on Gumtree but it’s a REALLY GOOD PRICE. You need to collect it from Bournemouth tomorrow please. If you just pay for it, I’ll give you half when I get paid next month.”

Him: “Right. And Moo can go in it now, can she?”

Me: “She’s a bit small…we’ll need a newborn insert. I’ll look on eBay.”

TWAT. (Seriously though, that running buggy is the tits. It’s like pushing air, I bloody love it.)

 

I’m not the only one, am I? I can’t be the only target market twat?

– SJW November 2016

Mouse Moo Me Too