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.

I boast all I like about Kitty - but only to myself

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
Esther Walker has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 13 March 2012

When things are going well with your child – especially if you only have one – it is difficult not to feel a huge upsurge of smugness. They are sleeping like tops, eating like horses and smiling all day long. “What a pleasant child!” people shriek.

Yes, yes, you say to yourself, it’s all paid off. I AM the world’s greatest mother, I AM the best at trouble-shooting and problem-solving. I am firm yet fair, my routine is structured yet flexible. My child is a dreamboat and it’s all down to me, me, me!!! Your favourite thing is people asking you questions about your child. “I am just very strict,” you say, beatifically, beaming at your progeny. “We have a brilliant routine. S/he seems to respond really well to it.”

And then, 48 hours later, your world caves in as your kind-hearted baby turns into a demented, raging toddler. You lurch from one ineffective parenting technique to another. You wonder what Jo Frost would do in your situation. You question every single thing you’ve done up until now. You conclude, sitting on your stairs and weeping into your knees, (covered in fish pie and crayon), that this is all because you didn’t breast-feed for long enough.

Then, just as quickly, your child turns back into the babbling sweetie you know and love.

“What,” you say, clinging to the walls and panting, “was that?”

That is known as hubris giving you a smack upside the head – trying to tell you not to get to comfy because just as you do, your child will decide to stop eating, or sleeping, or smiling for a month.

Once you’ve experienced this hubris-smack once or twice, it’s easy to wrangle yourself into a state of near-constant vigilance. The crushing feeling of idiocy when your baby does a personality u-turn, when only moments before you were mentally buying yourself champagne for being such an all round genius parent, eventually puts you off feeling pleased with yourself at all. “Yes,” you say darkly when people coo at your child in public, “she’s being nice NOW.”

But it’s a shame not to be able to enjoy the good times and even more of a shame not to occasionally indulge your feeling that it’s all down to you – because let’s face it, there are few enough rewards for parenting as it is. So I’ve resolved to keep bathing in the reflected glory of Kitty’s sunny moments; I just need to remember to keep the boasting firmly inside my own head.

0 votes
  • Print

Recent posts

Blow the detox

Why does everyone go on about how much they hate January? I love January. It's my favourite month. There are so few expectations of joy and happiness ...


Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Cook, Housekeeper wanted
Good cooking skills required to cater for light meals for the Principal and a small staff, as well as occasional lunch/dinner parties. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE
Lady-directory-button-NEW

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter