Obligatory whingeing Christmas Blogpost.

I might as well just be throwing slabs of lamb at her and shouting “Baaa”.

So I had to put the Christmas Decorations up at the weekend.  Actually, I didn’t  have to.  But I was bored, and it was slightly easier than repainting the bit of the dining room wall that is covered in buggy-wheel marks.

But we have a baby who is pulling herself up on everything so it wasn’t as simple as whacking a tree up, covering it in glass baubles and draping it in fairylights. Even I know that would be dangerous.  So here are my three top tips for making your Christmas decorations 100% baby-proof:

1) Secure the tree to the wall somehow using string and nails.

2) Prevent glass baubles from smashing by wrapping them all in sellotape.

3) Decide this still won’t do and just put the stuff back in the loft til next year.

But the thing that is really pissing me off about Christmas is the fear of giant presents.  We have a little house.  Our relatives keep laughing when I tell them not to buy anything for the baby, as if I might be joking.  As if I might actually want my living space filled with plastic crap she won’t give a fuck about.  “Come one, son, how about we just get her the little A La Carte Kitchen with Aga and real functioning Dishwasher, and maybe a trampoline and a wheelie bin full of lego, she’ll love it.”

Fuck off.  Its my house, I pay the mortgage.  I’m not opening a toy shop here.   I know Christmas is about giving, but the point of giving is  to see the delighted reaction of the receiver, not to watch them gaze momentarily at a monstrous plastic toy, showing no signs of emotion whatsoever, before gleefully chewing the shit out of the discarded wrapping paper.

Also I’m starting to get dubious about all these “early learning” toys for babies.  They can barely recognise their own name and cannot distinguish between food and power tools – why am I reading her books with fluffy textured bits in them? She feels (sucks) different textures everywhere all day anyway (bread sticks, drill bits…) – why does putting bits of flannel in a book alongside pictures of badly-cut-and-pasted baby animals suddenly make it educational?  Fair enough if you’re reading to a three year old who understands the concept of rabbits and fur, but to a baby?  I might as well just be throwing slabs of lamb at her and shouting “Baaa”.

It’s a massive con.

So, no toys, and minimal decorations. It’ll be 2013 and still no one has invented jet-pants.  The only upside to Christmas with a baby is that you get to do this:

Christmas Day should be fun…

“No, love, flowers aren’t edible”…

I’ve noticed recently we’ve started saying “no” to the baby. I think that means times might be changing pretty soon.

So far, her major life-achievement (apart from successfully exiting my wife) was the discovery that she can crawl, and this has been fairly trauma-free (bar the odd hilarious face-plant).

But the knowledge that she can travel seems to have kicked off a vicious circle – she now knows there are things it is worth travelling towards (mainly wires, houseplants and dirty shoes) – which means she is aware of the concept of wanting something.  And this is precipitating a cascade of new wants, which we have to say no to.

“No sweetie, the pooey nappy does not go in the mouth”

“No, love, flowers aren’t edible”

“No love, that bag of climbing chalk is not full of juice…”

I suppose this is the beginning of true learning.  Sometimes, I’m tempted to let her learn by her mistakes, but for the first time, I’m finding myself having to think about  my parenting style.  I think it might have to change.

Let me start by saying that my parenting style is perfectly (yes, i’m using that word) suited to small babies, but possibly entirely inappropriate for babies who can make choices, and also, crucially, understand language.  Basically thus far, I have treated her as an object of amusement (see gallery below).  I might get away with this a bit longer but it’s the fact that she might start understanding the rubbish that comes out of my mouth that I’m most fearful of now.  Cos that’s gonna start to happen soon.

I’m going to have to stop with the off the cuff nicknames – (Fatima Shitbread,  Spongebob Shitpants etc) the graphic foul mouthed concepts I have developed to entertain myself during nappy-changes (Kormagedden, the clunge-gunge-o-meter,) and the stream of consciousness gibberish descriptions of everything we see around us.

This leaves me with basically nothing to say to her.