She’s moved on to banana, sweet potato, peach, butternut squash and pear to name but a few of the ways in which her diet is already far superior to mine. She’s sent our weekly shopping bill through the roof, helping put Mr Tesco’s kids through college whilst ensuring that mine will have to slave away for him in order to do the same. She even ate papaya the other day. Papaya! She’s six months old, I’m thirty five and I’ve never knowingly eaten papaya.
I try to avoid Jeremy Vine. It’s nothing personal but for the good of my blood pressure it’s best to listen to no more than one of his radio shows every three months or so. Such is the ferocious hysteria of his callers that there is seemingly no topic that doesn’t stir up a tidal wave of righteous indignation.
We have a new (11 years old) car with a stereo that picks up only Radio 2 (perhaps a covert plan to increase their listening figures – maybe Ken Bruce sneaks into people’s garages at night with his spanner set) and this is how I happened to be listening to an interview with a former soldier who became a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was a touching conversation, surprisingly deftly handled by the usually brash Vine and it was difficult not to feel enormous sympathy for the squaddie’s plight.
Difficult unless you’re the type of person who listens to Jeremy Vine, of course. This man had bared his soul to millions and yet the responses from the audience seemed to largely be from elderly veterans who, and I am paraphrasing slightly here, essentially told him to pull himself together, have a cup of tea and not be such a big girl about things.
Yet you get the feeling that attitudes in this country are shifting and that is consequently making these aforementioned certain sections of the populous uncomfortable. Yes, Britain now largely (i.e. the rest of us that don’t listen to Jeremy Vine on a daily basis) is now okay with talking about feelings and stuff and, to those who subscribe to the ‘stiff upper lip’ philosophy, this is an alien concept
I’ve long been criticised by Jill for not crying on our wedding day (I was having loads of fun, why would I want to cry…is a response that just receives a withering stare in reply). When it came to the birth of Elsa there was an enormous amount of pressure to blub but I’m glad to say I passed with flying colours (not just because my hand was being crushed at the time).
With that the floodgates opened and I now descend into a quivering wreck at the drop of a hat. Not literally, of course. The latest example came when I saw my little girl eating solid food for the first time. Obviously we’re not talking steak and chips but a bit of baby rice and breast milk mushed together, although more Cordon Bleurgh than Cordon Bleu, was a life-changing moment for all of us.
She holds the spoon and, once in every ten attempts, manages to get the right end in her mouth. And she laughs and giggles through it all, she loves it; she attacks each morsel with a ferocity reminiscent of her Dad.
This is it, this is a new chapter of her life; a major shift in the way her world and our lives work and a great opportunity for the dog to gulp down the inevitable scraps that fall from the high chair.
Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not all songs of joy and tears of laughter; with the glory of her gummy, apple-smeared smile comes the inevitable consequences.
The poo. Good grief, the poo.
Just…there are no words. The first full nappy after starting solids was an eye-watering experience I will never, ever forget and, if you mention it to parents who have been through similar, you will instantly recognise the ghostly horror that creeps across their face.
We can all share that particular pain although I’m certain that some blustering, contrary Jeremy Vine listener might try and convince me that he actually enjoyed it.
I really need to get that car stereo fixed.