The Changing Mat
The Dream : A beautiful, soft, fabric changing mat decorated in neutral colours with the delightful image of Winnie the Pooh in one corner. Mother and baby giggle and gurgle in a Talcum Powder haze, as seen in Johnson's & Johnson's promotional tools, taking their time over the delights of changing. Soft beautiful skin, fun and frivolity on a comfy, soft, fabric - almost bed like - surface.
The Reality : The fabric cover will be removed after one week of having your baby as you realise that he has an overriding urge to pee and poop all over it as soon as you remove his nappy. What is left is a plain, rather depressing looking plastic white mat. The fabric cover will be soaked time and time again and you will go through the cycle of washing, drying and replacing - only for it to be pooped on once more with increasing vigour. You will leave it off for a few weeks and no pee or poop will touch your wipe clean mat. You will put on the fabric covering again, refreshed with hope, seconds later your two month old will pee all over it.
Changing time generally goes hand in hand with screeching time as you battle with your squirming baby in one hand and wipes / cream in the other - in a Russian Roulette type of time slot between taking the nappy off and getting a new one on before you are covered in excrement.
The Nursing Chair
The Dream : A soothing, rocking, relaxing, comforting chair with footstool to aid in your mother and baby feeding/ nurturing/ bonding time. The soft, neutral suede welcomes you both to a calming, relaxing, natural time when you can pop your pampered feet up, lie back and enjoy nourishing your baby.
The Reality : You will feed your baby perched on the side of your bed or lying down in your bed too exhausted to sit up. Your nursing chair will be used to store baby clothes in transit between washing and hanging up, it will be draped in baby sheets and muslin cloths. You will only sit in it to watch telly late at night when you can't lie in your bed due to your baby having fallen asleep in said bed - and you being too terrified to get in beside him in case he wakes up. The footstool will be used to eat things off - as a mini table. It will hold your dinner each evening and rather than being covered in milk stains, it will be covered in pasta sauce and biscuit crumbs.
The Baby Monitor
The Dream : You will finally have some freedom as you can leave your lovely sleeping baby in his moses basket upstairs and go and sit downstairs and relax! Freedom! What a wondrous invention. Maybe I can even make a cup of tea!
The Reality : You leave your baby with the monitor turned on. You spend your time frantically tidying the house. You constantly bash the button on the front of the walky talky type device convinced that it doesn't work anymore. You turn the volume up to maximum to try and hear him breathing but you can't so you worry. You go back in to the room in a panic three times to check he is ok and that the device is working. You forget to turn it off when you walk into the room sending a ridiculously loud screech along the air ways. Your baby nearly wakes up. You try again. You clamp the device against your ear trying to hear his heartbeat. You are terrified you will hear something spooky over the line, like a grown up whisper - isn't this how horror films start? Your baby lets out a little squeak - your ear drum perforates. You rush back upstairs to check he is ok.
You had been gone 3 minutes.
The Beautiful, Fashionable Two Piece Garments
The Dream : My baby will look like a mini Beckham in his gorgeous khaki trousers and cool t-shirt! He will look so trendy in his dungarees. He will be the coolest baby around in these leggings!
The Reality : If the outfit doesn't pop open at the bottom and can't be whipped off and on in two seconds flat - fecking forget it!