There is a billion dollar industry based entirely on parents trying to soothe and entertain babies. Our amazon account alone has generated about $500 million of it. And one of the things I’m learning from my NCT friends is that there is no price too steep for something that buys parents a few hours (total, not in one go – imagine the money that could be made from something that held the attention of a baby for a few hours. God, I almost orgasmed just thinking about it) of peace and quiet or hands free time. Although I’ve spent about half of our savings on plastic contraptions that look like baby torture devices and are all themed ‘crazy murderous animals on LSD’, some of the cheapest purchases I’ve made have been the best and haven’t required us to consider cooking meth in the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine. Yet. (Someone please remind me of this at Christmas when I start buying presents for a thirteen month old..!)
I took our disco ball to an NCT mummies meet up today and I felt like I should asked for commission from the sales I made on behalf of the company. Thanks to this little device all the mamas were able to free their hands of babies in order to replace them with wine glasses. It’s my go-to when I need Whoopsy to chill out as it seems to put him into a trance and I can often leave him in the cot for ten minutes just staring up at the lights (and NOT, as I learnt last week, unattended on the changing mat because that little monster can’t roll, but God can he shuffle – oops).
£10 on eBay
Originally bought to help my labour progress (I still haven’t quite understood how – does it bounce the baby out?!), the gym ball didn’t get a look in once the contractions began and ended up on a refuse pile along with the aromatherapy diffuser and the hypnobirthing CD. Given the size of it, I deflated it on my return from the hospital (I’m not going to lie; It was really theruputic squeezing and punching the hell out of something shaped like a gigantic testicle having just given birth) and put it to one side until my neighbour suggested a second use. When my arms started tiring from bouncing a squealing newborn, she suggested sitting on the gym ball and bouncing using my legs to give my arms a break. Thanks to her I have a sleeping baby and untoned flabby batwings.
£11 on Amazon
Everyone told us how fortunate we were to be having Whoopsy just before Christmas for reasons such as having family around and not feeling any pressure to leave the house in the cold. Actually the primary reason we were fortunate was because all the festive fairy lights were up. Nothing entertains a small baby more than thousands of slowly flashing lights. On a number of occasions, in those first few weeks when T and I lived in constant fear of the baby crying, we would hear a little whimper and one of us would shout ‘QUICK, THE FAIRY LIGHTS’ whilst the other dove for the wall plug, collapsing to the floor in breathless relief when all Whoopsy’s thoughts of hunger, dirty nappies or torturing his sleep deprived parents were replaced by the pretty shiny flashy things.
£8 on Amazon
Trying to change the nappy of a baby who is turning blue with howling is a pretty gruesome experience. Not only do you think your child may suffocate itself, but the phrase ‘shit hitting the fan’ brings to mind beautifully the outcome of shit hitting four thrashing limbs. Whoopsy’s main objection was that we, stupid parents that we are, were taking his warm clothes off in deep winter for no reason other than to fondle his private parts. I really sympathised with him given that I hadn’t removed my gigantic furry dressing gown once since we all arrived home, and especially not for my private parts to be fondled. I typed into Amazon ‘help, cold suicidal baby’ and the top listing was a heat mat used for arthritic pensioners. Now Whoopsy wiggles away happily, rubbing his little baby butt against the warm changing mat, and our white walls and carpet remain so.
£25 on Amazon
I spent a lot of money on buying tasteful baby toys before Whoopsy arrived. I didn’t look at the reviews of products as much as I looked at whether they would compliment my interior decor. Not only that, but I upcycled a hideous blue baby gym covered in cartoon dogs by sanding it down, repainting it in a metallic bronze paint and hanging gold dipped white feathers from it with white ribbon. Can I just take a moment to say: HA HA HA HA HA. What an absolute joke. Do you know how long babies are entertained by gold dipped white feathers?! 0.4 second approximately. And so here I am. Owner of all the colourful plastic tat that I can get my dirty earth-killing hands on. And do you know what? It’s worth every single metre of sea level increase. Buy the tat. The cheapest, nastiest, most hideous tat. Buy all of it. It will save you.