Tuesday, 15 December 2009

More Car Horror

Given how busy life is in the run up to Christmas, I am going to cheat with this post and use something I just found in my diary from not long after Gertie was born. Two and a half years ago I don't even think I knew what a 'blog' was, but clearly I would have been 'at it', had I been aware. It also seems quite appropriate given that I have been blogging about my poor knowledge and skills in relation to cars recently...

"All new first-time mums are anxious to get everything right. But no matter how hard I try, I seem somehow to always get it completely wrong. I fear that I may be in the running for this year’s worst mum in the world award.

For the last year or so I have been driving round in a little two-seater convertible. What do you mean I wasn’t ready to have a baby? Admittedly it wasn’t the most suitable vehicle for my final months of pregnancy, and I probably more closely resembled a shuffling hippopotamus than a chic glamour-puss as I got in and out towards the end – but with the actual arrival of my little one it became totally impractical and had to go. One last trip, I thought, as I strapped the car-seat and my newborn into the front. I heard a strange clicking noise as I busied myself with seatbelts and straps, but thought nothing of it. Until I shut the door on Gertie and realised that the clicking noise was the automatic locking system and my bag and keys and phone and baby were securely stuck, inside the car. And no, I hadn’t put the roof down yet, so there was no way to get in.

I had to leave the car to attack someone with a phone, to then scream in tears at my husband who, in turn, drove home from work with the spare set of keys to resolve the crisis. But as I waited for him, I was also expecting social services to appear at any moment. Gertie fell asleep and was oblivious to the whole sequence of ‘abuse’ and whilst the whole debacle was a complete accident, that knowledge did little to help my self-loathing bad-mother vibe. Needless to say, I never took that ‘last trip’ in my car, and was happy to see it go.

When I meet up with the other mums, Gertie is the one with the worst cradle-cap – that somehow must be my fault. She is also the only one who is able to poo through her nappy and all over whatever cute outfit I have dressed her in. Nowhere seems to do mustard yellow baby clothes, as this would be the only way we could make it through the day without looking totally incompetent. The discussion about routines happens, well routinely. Unfortunately the closest we come to the ‘r’ word in our house is in knowing that at some point we will go to bed, and at some point(s) we will get up.

We do do lots of nice things together. We went to a little music class earlier this week. One of the other mums refused a coffee at the start, because she was breastfeeding. So am I. Gosh. She wouldn’t like to hear about my current level of wine consumption then.

But I love my baby dearly, impossibly, indescribably. The problem is that I am used to being successful at work and, in my past-life, being good at things generally. And I am blatantly not good at this mum-thing. Yet. Good job I am going to have many years ahead to perfect it

Well. Good job I've got it all sorted out two and a half years later, isn't it? Not like I've ever phoned my husband in tears and had to get him to come out from work...


  1. At least Gertie was asleep! It is so easily done though.
    The rest of your post sounds scarily familiar... pooing through a nice outfit, and the wine consumption!

  2. What a great idea to publish something you wrote when new to motherhood. I agree it was lucky G wasn't wailing when stuck in the car! Well done on feeling more sorted these days, I'm four years into motherhood and still feeling like I've never got it quite mastered!

  3. @ Make do Mum - Thank you, glad it's not just me with the wine.
    @ Emily O - Any references to feeling sorted are most definitely accidental or ironic!