As some of you may know, we recently became parents. On purpose. At the time we were heralded as having done a wonderful job; We had managed to bring a car seat with us to the hospital, and were consequently allowed to take Morty home. So far, so good. We were then largely left to our own devices, under the assumption that a single night in a hospital is plenty of time to learn everything there is to know about keeping a tiny, fragile, complex and utterly baffling creature alive.

Pushing a pushchair through the bluebells

The represents the complex path of parenthood. Or something. I dunno, I’m knackered.

I admit that I went into parenthood without really knowing what to expect. I had obviously read all the books, and I had friends and family who had done the same thing, and everyone does it all the time. Here are a few assumptions I made before having a baby:

  • I would probably need about two months to figure stuff out and get back working in the Jabberwocky.
  • Babies sleep all the time. You can get lots done while they sleep.
  • Breastfeeding is easy and natural and lovely.
  • All babies are basically the same thing.
  • It cannot possibly be that hard.

These are, of course, all silly things. Babies are far, far harder than your wildest dreams of that hard. Babies take up All The Time. This includes such precious moments as loo breaks, sleeping, car journeys and filling up the bird feeder. Those activities, which previously could all have been conducted in comfortable silence, are now full of singing, chattering and baby. Babies, it turns out, are a lot of work. Which obviously we all knew – I could have told you that a year ago. But the sheer volume of work required to not consider yourself a Bad Parent is staggering.

No one will judge me if I leave him in his bouncer for a few minutes while I attend to various bomb-sites throughout the house. Except me. For is it not written, in some parenting book or other, that talking to your baby makes them smarter, happier and reduces their chances of becoming a smack-head? Then why am I not talking to the baby, thus preventing the otherwise inevitable downward spiral into drug abuse? You see what were dealing with here. Parenthood is a battle to satisfy the cobbled together version of child-rearing that the two of you have collectively settled upon as being The One Least Likely To End In A Crack Den.

jabberwocky offspring

National Trust properties have a profusion of hats. They’re probably very stimulating and educational.

Our version seems to involve singing a lot of nursery rhymes,Yellow Submarine and occasional guest renditions of I don’t want to miss a thing by Aerosmith. That’s the one on the soundtrack to Armageddon, in case you were curious. Who knew that would be the song that stuck in my head complete with all the words to be presented, entirely out of tune, to my infant son at 2am. Perhaps it gets easier. I have a feeling the difficulty setting stays the same, you just move onto the next level.

I confess, this post is not about street food. I miss it, but it isn’t gone forever, and there are other things that are more important, in the grand scheme of things. This post is about the little dude temporarily asleep upstairs, and how much, despite everything, I love him more than toasties.