I have been cooking my child.
Steaming her like a little Asian dumpling.
(Except she doesn’t look remotely Asian, as the people who gave her birth are both pasty white, freckly anglo Saxons with big noses (me) and lots of hair, (Gregory) neither of which you see on Asians).
It all started a couple of weeks ago. She came out in a rash, right when she began solids, and I thought, bloody hell. I’ve got the one kid in the world who’s allergic to that stupid rice cereal.
So off I went to the chemist who informed me that rashes are one of three things: viral, allergies or heat. She very quickly ruled out the first two once I told her how many bedclothes Miss Q has been wearing to bed each night.
In my defence Miss Q can’t talk very well yet (she is saying mama and dada, but with absolutely no connection to what those words mean) so because she didn’t say ‘excuse me mama, but I’m hotter than a homo in a sausage factory,’ I was following the advice I’d been given and putting her in one more layer than what I require.
Which might be fine for normal people, but on a hot summer’s day, I can be standing in the shade and needing a sweater, so it seems that using me as the thermal yardstick is not a particularly accurate measure.
It’s not the first time I’ve gotten things wrong, (I know, I know, it seems hard to believe) it happened again today when I was convinced Miss Q wanted to take a nap – the incessant whinging and rubbing of the eyes gave it away I thought – but in fact she did not want to take a nap and told me so by screaming her lungs off for twenty-five minutes, despite the fact that her eyes were involuntarily closing and she was forcing them open with a will power I’m sure I’ll come to admire when she’s an adult taking on a huge multi-national to better the plight of the common man, and not her poor, lowly mother. The second I relented and picked her up the tears ceased and the smiles came.
And I went straight to my phone and textied my husband about how appallingly his child was behaving and that I hoped he was having a lovely childfree day.
So then Miss Q had red eyes to add to her red rash and I was beginning to doubt her chances of winning that children’s beauty pageant everyone’s been talking about.
And then Miss Q sang her little nonsensical songs to me and grabbed my face and pulled me close so she could nibble on my nose (which in all honesty, could do with some trimming) and the horror of before was all but forgot.
And that, my friends, is parenting. You get it wrong, they make you pay for it and you both end up making amends.
Long live the tale of Little Miss Q.