xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Contraband

Thursday, December 22, 2005


In none of the baby books I have read (and as a neurotic first time mother I have of course read many, in an effort, it would seem, to make myself feel even more inadequate than is already natural for a beginner) has the importance of contraband been stated.

Babies like what they are not meant to have. Put a brightly coloured rattle in front of one, and and a corkscrew, and they will go for the corkscrew. They know bright colours are meant for babies, and dull colours are not.

We have harnessed the power of contraband. Isla has a basket of contraband. The basket itself is contraband - it is wicker, it is shedding threads and probably has sharp bits on it. There are ribbons tied to the basket which Isla chews and sucks and carefully picks up with a thumb and forefinger. In the basket are such illicit treasure as the wooden bit of a corkscrew (I am not that bad a mother - I took out the actual screw), food jar lids, a wooden spoon, a jar of vitamins (extreme contraband), some measuring spoons, an old nurofen packet, an old infacol bottle, an old shampoo bottle, a load of other old things and a load of plastic spoons.

In the five minutes before feeding time, all items are explored with gusto and thrown on the floor, leaving just the right amount of time to defrost one of the many delicious homecooked meals I have lovingly pureed, get her beaker ready, find a bib and if I'm lucky, make myself a cup of tea.

The tea is a luxury. In fact, it's beginning to feel like contraband.

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