After The Fall

Recently, I found myself in the company of two five year olds exhibiting advanced  symptoms of  ‘ants pants-ness’ in a public space. Oh, the horror.

My friend M – the mother of one of the five year olds – looked at me and gave me The Nod. Any parent with a child over three knows what that means. Within seconds, we had both done the quick-draw with our iPhones – and within a few more seconds ‘Angry Birds’ and ‘Fruit Ninjas’ were working their iPacifier magic.

M then apologised to her friend –  a new mother with a small baby, who was having a coffee with us –  for our ‘crap parenting’.

“Please don’t judge us too harshly,” she said.

“Oh, no, don’t worry,” said M’s friend and then told told us a story about how she’d recently inherited one of those baby walkers that resembled something Davros, Commander-in-Chief of the Daleks, might sit in. “I swore I’d never use anything like that with my baby and now she practically lives in it.”

“That’s just the beginning,” I remarked. “Next, you’ll be putting the baby in the baby walker in front of ABC Kids on the TV and maybe – just maybe – adding the old ‘rusk on a string’ concept into the mix.”

(For the record, “rusk on a string” is an innovation that sees the rusk, usually tossed to the ground with great disdain by the baby ne’er to be eaten again, is actually saved from entering the 3 second – slash – 3 minute – slash- 30 day rule politics by a string. Think of it as a kind of biscuit bungee jumping. )

“Then, all you need to do,” I continued, “Is to put a straw in the gin bottle nestled into the Baby Bjorn strapped to your chest and you’re free to do the dishes or hang up the washing or answer the door to the Department of Human Services…”

M”s friend looked mildly concerned but her fractious baby soon had her bustling to get home for ‘nap time’.

“Don’t worry,” said M, as her friend prepared for a hasty exit. “We’re not judging you for being a slave to The Routine.”

“Oh, no, not at all,” I joined in. “It’s not like we’re saying ‘Oooh, look at me! I’m [M’s friend] and I have to place my half-swaddled baby in her cot in a darkened room NO LATER THAN FIFTEEN MINUTES PAST THE HOUR’ or anything.”

M’s friend glanced warily at us both, uncertain of whether we were joking or not, but then her baby started to cry and she was out of there.

As we watched her leave, M remarked how she’d wished she’d known her friend was going to leave so soon because then she’d have waited another five minutes before she’d pulled out her iPhone and her friend would have been none the wiser about M’s dubious parenting techniques.

“In any case,” M went on to say.”We probably shouldn’t have made jokes about The Routine or bottles of gin. It’s unfair to fuck with new mothers’ minds like that when they’re living so close to the edge as it is.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” I replied. “It’s been so long since I jumped off that edge that it’s hard to remember what it was like before The Fall.”

And then we continued to chat pleasantly with each other as only two mothers whose children are engaged in Zombie Smash warfare can.

God bless the iPhone.

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16 responses to “After The Fall

  1. I’m almost tempted to go again just to try the rusk bungy and gin in the Baby Bjorn …

  2. Love!

  3. Oh, how I’ve missed you! Best giggle I’ve had in days… I wish someone had told me about the rusk on a string, or the gin bottle in the baby bjorn. I stupidly carried a very heavy baby in it….!

    Anyway, isn’t that iThings were invented for? To shut children up?

    Love your work xxx

  4. Rusk on a string……why why WHY did I not think of that………???
    Genius, I’ll pass it forward instead!

  5. Amen! Great to have you back

  6. I have a 3 year old who’s better than me at angry birds. And a 6mth old who’s best friend is probably Jimmy Giggle. But now with the added powers of rusk-on-a-sting & gin-in-a-bjorn I’ll be unstoppable! Just so long as I don’t accidently do gin-on-a-string & rusk-in-bjorn…. (sleep deprivation is a bitch)…

  7. This just proves you are never too old to learn things. Three kids in and I had never, until this post, heard of a rusk on a string.

  8. She’s BAAAAAACK ! Nice one ,NDM. Good to see you waving the quill about again….. 😉

  9. I never did the rusk on a string thing. I didn’t need to. My babies were too drunk on Phenergan to need food.

  10. Rusk. On a String.

    Like, Snakes …. on a Plane.

    Only GENIUSER! x

  11. Occasionally I am so lax second-time around that I shock myself just a little. But then I remember I have wine and thinking too hard just makes the day stretch out.

  12. My 5 year old has had superior iPhone app skills to me since she was, oh, say, three? True story.

  13. Just this morning, after a horrid 2hrs at the dance studio waiting for photo’s to be taken, there were only two costumes so not sure why so long, but it did have me thinking I need an iPad – in fact three, to avoid the “my turn”, “he’s taking too long”, “give it back to me” arguments. I think this post has justified my business case and at the same time reminded me why I’m not having another baby. Thank you.

  14. I am so happy to have found you again! LOVE your work!!!!!!
    Tired Mummy’s words to the wise…
    *3yr olds can turn off ‘flying’ mode.
    *Syncing work email to iphone seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time. Until it decides, without consultation, to also sync work contacts.
    *Thank Lord for the wonders of iPhone, blocked numbers and Christmas just around the corner (Santa threats still hold traction in our house).
    Goodnight xxx

    ps the white on black kinda hurts my eyes?

  15. YIPEEEEE you’re back! And this post was as funny as ever! I have also read the ‘arse indent’ post and it gave me a great old giggle too. Love the Rusk on a String – I’m filing that one away!! As always, appreciate your wit and wordsmithing skills…keep it comin’. Love your Header, the black’s a bit squinty though. xoxo

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