As weaning my first baby approached I could feel my more middle class, even hippyish tendencies coming to the fore. It was as if every time I looked in the mirror I looked and behaved slightly more like my own mother, who would balk at the thought of being described as a hippy, ‘I am an anarchist!’ She would pronounce, but anarchy has not yet hit me, the love of organic vegetables it seems has. So the queen can rest easy for now.
Each passing day of motherhood was taking me down a predetermined yuppie avenue of alternative medicine and good nutrition. I don’t mind telling you that steaming, blending and freezing the little cubes of nutritious joy filled me with excitement – I was obsessed. I even had notions of doing it professionally, delivering these frozen squares of heaven to women who were (understandably) not quite as turned on by a stack steamer as I was, seemed like a genius plan. Until of course I realized the presence of our permanently aroused dog, pet tortoise and general slovenliness in the kitchen may have contravened a health and safety guideline or two.
My partner would come home to a hive of activity and excitedly ask what was cooking. Proudly pointing to the various steaming pans I would announce,
‘Over here we have fresh from the vine organic butternut squash, spinach – organic, obviously, which was left to wilt and steam in the sun of the Persian ruins to increase its iron content. Organic carrots which were grown by some nudists in Cornwall who believe in talking to the soil as the vegetables grow, isn’t that nice! Oh yes and don’t touch the ice cream in the freezer- I made it using my own colostrum!’
When he casually asked what we would be having I would turn to him as if he were the most demanding creature I had ever encountered and reply,
There was a direct correlation. The more broccoli that was spooned into (or smeared onto) our little boy the more takeaways we seemed to order. He was turning into a tiny superhero getting stronger by the day as we looked more and more like we were on a shocking channel 5 expose about unhealthy eating. The daytime was no better, the tea and cake that was being consumed in bulk with the other mums as we chatted about weaning, sleep, and feces was a thing to behold. It was like a cake eating competition. The local bakery’s annual turnover must have doubled that year.
Now, three years on, my baked goods and takeaway intake has reduced significantly and I have to say that looking at my little boy I am not entirely convinced all of my weaning efforts were entirely successful. Considering I now count strawberry ice cream as one of his five a day and regularly catch him eating sugar directly from the bowl. I am just thankful he still has all of his own teeth.
With baby number two on the way who knows which parts of my own mother will start emerging and peering back at me from the mirror this time.
Helen performs a comedy show for mums:
‘Gas and Hot Air’ a daytime show about pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. Performed in comedy clubs and small theatres, written during breastfeeding, sleepless nights and copious amounts of weight watchers cake. Babies under one are welcomed with open arms as long as they can’t move much and don’t mind a bit of fruity language.