11pm and Piglet is lying in his co-sleeper, shouting. God knows what the neighbours must think. Frankly I'm amazed I haven't had a note through the door telling me to keep the noise down, and while we're at it, social services have been called. In fact, everybody in my building must see a good deal more of my parenting skills than they would like, given that my living room has no curtains and overlooks a whole bunch of other flats. Today, for example, the neighbours were treated to the sight of what must have looked like me abusing my breasts with a plastic bottle with a big suction pad attached.
Yes, I tried to express milk in the futile hope that at some point I will be able to leave Piglet with a relative for an hour or so to go out and enjoy some wild times. Maybe a glass of wine, maybe a day at work, maybe even-gasp!-a date. OK not the last one. I have officially retired from the dating scene.
Anyway, this was not a wildly successful enterprise, as the photograph below revealing the results of this experiment shows.
Just to reiterate, in case the photo didn't make things entirely clear, this bottle is EMPTY. I think most of the few droplets that can be seen are the remnants of a spin in the dishwasher that the breast pump had before I started using it. So I now have both a manual breast pump and a steam steriliser that are both completely useless. This was what I ended up with after a walk around the baby section of Boots with my mother while she pointed out the baffling array of items that are required for any sort of bottle feeding: bottles in a variety of shapes and sizes, teats which let the milk out at varying speeds, breast pumps, sterilisers. I'm still not sure what the latter even do. Mine is sitting in its box in my living room; a room which, I might add, I until recently described as "minimalist" and which now contains the following: bouncy chair, weaning chair (a small chair for Piglet which looks like a high chair, but on the ground. Essentially, it's a low chair), feeding pillow, car seat, toy arch, baby gym, play mat, selection of cuddly toys and now a breast pump and steriliser. And yet I found myself looking at this very room this evening-a room whose strict colour scheme and lack of plastic tat I had previously prided myself upon-and thinking to myself, "now, what this room really needs is a jumperoo."
No, what I really need is a bigger house. And some curtains. Definitely need those. Poor Piglet had to have his bath this evening in full view of most of Wembley. I'm surprised his naked bottom didn't accidentally end up being beamed to the nation on X Factor. In fact, what I really need is one of those houses on Escape to the Country, with a large kitchen diner, exposed beams, wood burner and range. I've already chosen which Aga I want. The blue one. And I'll have at least an acre of land with a few outbuildings, hot tub, sauna and holiday let. Or failing that, I'll just live somewhere that isn't Wembley, and will no longer be followed down the high street by a mentalist waving a can of deodorant in my face and explaining how he bought it, but he no longer wants it and wants to exchange it. I think he must have mistaken me for this.
We do look pretty similar.
Anyway, thankfully Piglet has now gone to sleep. It only took about two hours of feeding. Thank goodness I wasn't relying on that expressed milk.