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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How to lose friends and annoy people

Well, I think we can safely say that Ben is not happy.

Not happy at all.

It’s understandable really.  How many of us, when faced with the insurmountable problem of being just a teeny-tiny bit hungry, haven’t thrown the kind of tantrum that is normally restricted to high-earning divas who didn’t get the red ones extracted from the bowl of jelly-babies they demanded for their dressing-rooms?

I mean restaurants are full of red-faced diners, throwing themselves kicking and screaming onto the ground because their garlic bread took 3 seconds longer than they were prepared to wait, or beating the waiter about the head because he didn’t bring their wine within half a minute of them asking for it.  Aren't they?

And I don’t know how anyone in busy city offices gets anything done, what with all the bankers and lawyers lying in the middle of the plush carpet, eyes screwed up, mouths wide open, emitting high-pitched shrieks of utter fury because they fancy a nap.

Oh, hang on a second…..

Babies are fundamentally badly-designed.  So are small children for that matter.  How do they ever grow into functioning members of society?  They are so utterly irrational.

Ben had a perfectly good morning.  Everything was going his way and he was all smiles about it.  The smile slipped a little bit at baby group around lunchtime, when an older child took his toy giraffe away.  There was definite lip wobble.  The giraffe was duly returned, but it just wasn’t quite the same anymore.  The balance of his perfect little life had been disrupted.  He couldn’t quite put his pudgy little finger on it, but things just weren’t quite right.  However, like the little soldier he certainly isn’t is, he decided to put a brave face on it. 

And then things took a down turn.  The giraffe-stealing child returned. 

And poked him.

This was, quite obviously, the worst thing that had ever happened to anyone in the world ever.  He had never been so insulted in all his four months.  But he’s a trouper, is Ben, and he eventually deigned to be fed and bounced and played with and recovered a little of his good humour.

Until she came back again.  And nearly stepped on him.  Well, enough was quite obviously enough.  There are some things that a baby just can’t be expected to put up with. 

So I removed the hysterically angry baby from the café and took him home.  Tired out by his terrible ordeal, he promptly fell asleep in the car and was successfully transferred into the house.  Unfortunately, his future bedroom was being carpeted and the fitter, with supreme disregard for Ben’s quite clearly set-out wishes, used a hammer.

Ben woke up.

He was really, really unhappy about this and stated his discontent in no uncertain terms.  He wished, he informed me, to go back to sleep.  I agreed that this was a good idea.  Now, I may be a little out of touch with what the young people are doing these days, but I am pretty sure that the old, tried-and-tested methods for getting oneself to sleep are still in use.  I am ninety-nine percent sure that screaming as loud as you possibly can is not going to work.  I am equally sure that sleep is likely to be a long time coming if you pump both your arms up and down like a demented aerobics instructor, and perform complex kung-fu moves with your legs.  And throwing yourself from side to side is almost certainly out.

I tried to explain this. 

He smacked me round the face and told me, loudly and clearly, that I was a useless good-for-nothing cowbag whose opinion counted for precisely nothing.  And by the way, could I please get out of his way.  Couldn’t I see that he was thrashing?

I did the only thing that I could do in the circumstances.

I sat down and ate a microwaveable chocolate pudding and watched a bit of Jeremy Kyle as relief from the screaming.

This was quite clearly unacceptable behaviour, as Ben informed me from face-down across my lap, driving the message home by blowing snot all over my legs, before pointedly falling asleep in a position designed to ensure that I wouldn’t have use of my lower body for the next hour or so.

Babies are rubbish.  And don't even get me started on toddlers.....

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