There are a lot of new babies floating around me at the moment. I had Kitty when I was 30, which was a long way ahead of my peers. They were all still having fun while I was losing my mind at indoor play, changing vomity sheets, single-handed, in the dark.
But anyway, they’re not having fun now, ha ha ha! But like all demented old ladies, I’m wild about a new baby – as long as it’s not mine – and like to send a good gift. Not flowers! Anything but flowers.
I came across recently this absolutely brilliant website, called Pong Box, which sends cheese. Not just to new parents but at any old time – so for example if someone’s just moved house, at Christmas, or it’s their birthday and they just really love cheese. I sent my friend Sarah, who’s just had baby 2, a box and it turned up promptly with no fuss and she loves it.
While we’re on the subject of babies I was annoyed this morning to read the thing about how small children develop faster when their mothers are at work and they are in daycare.
A study found that having a stay at home mother held back talking, social skills and doing stuff like getting dressed.
I mean, the actual study isn’t what has annoyed me most – it’s the presumed reason why. People think that children of stay at homes are a weeny bit behind their daycare peers on certain things because those mums spend all day in cafes drinking lattes and on the internet and dumping their kids in front of the telly because they’re so bored and desperate.
And while a little bit of this does go on, the real reason why these kids might be a bit behind their peers is because when you’re with your baby all day, you become a bit like twins.
And twins, famously, have a lot of non-verbal communication. You and your baby have your routine, the things you do – you chat, obviously, but often you don’t. You’re like an old married couple. And first time mothers might not be brilliant at teaching their eldest children to put their clothes on because they’ve never had to do it before.
They don’t have the tricks that daycare might have and don’t need them because they’ve go the time to help their kids on with their leggings. I wonder if this study took into account all the children of stay at home mothers, or just the eldest?
And what about emotional stability? Security? Happiness? Without considering those, too, studies like this can be pretty poisonous. After all, pulling up your joggers, making yourself understood and sharing your crayons are things that can be learnt in three months at nursery.
Anyway, look, all I mean is that if you’re at home with your kids right now and saw this and it freaked you out, don’t let it. Carry on.