Down & Out In A London Kitchen

Esther Walker started a food blog called Recipe Rifle in 2009 when desperate and unemployed. In 2010 she married restaurant critic Giles Coren and far, far too quickly had a baby daughter, called Kitty.

A bit of a "phase"

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
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on Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A friend of mine, who has a beautiful but classically unruly toddler, is due to have another baby in June. “I can’t believe I’m doing it again,” she said. “It’s all worth it, though isn’t it, right? RIGHT?”

Just now, after two months of illness-free, frustration-free bliss, Kitty is having a bit of a “phase”, as people politely call it. She will be 1 year old in February and I can already see her gearing up for toddler tantrums; she shrieks and arches her back when I try to dress her and clenches her little fists, purple with rage, as she tries to communicate to me through the medium of anger, what it is that she wants.

It is only going to get worse. And what would it be like with another one?

So I must keep reminding myself of two things. The first is that when children are not going through a phase they are absolutely and completely delightful. (Parents don’t admit this because it sounds like nauseating boasting.) The second is that there are some things that are actually very much improved by having a child around. Such as

1) Christmas

2) Easter

3) Hallowe’en

4) In fact, any major festival

5) Zoos and swings

6) The spring/summer

7) Old age? (I hope)

I try to avoid, at this point, making another mental list, of all the things children make much worse (1. Sunday mornings 2. Actually, mornings in general 3. Hangovers 4. Reading newspapers 5. Reading books 6. Trying to get absolutely anything done).

Is it all worth it? Come back to me when Kitty’s not in a phase.

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