Baby Anon is a recently arrived baby. She writes about her thoughts on the new world into which she has arrived, and her views on Mother and Father’s pitiful attempts at parenting….
I first had an inkling that something was different when I realised I wasn’t the centre of attention.
Every morning, since my arrival, Mother and Father have cooed and clucked over me, regarding me with unstinting adoration. Just a flicker of an eyelash is enough to send them into a frenzy of excitement: ‘Did you see that? She just winked.’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous, she’s far too young to be able to do that. Isn’t she?’ ‘It’s true. Look, she’s done it again acheter du viagra en allemagne. And again. Ah, what a joker.’ Actually, there was nothing funny about my visual tic, In truth I had a bit of fluff in my eye but, rather than attempting to remove said fluff, my idiot parents spent the next twenty minutes exaggeratedly winking back at me. It was only when my eye began to water and I yelled at them loudly did they realise there was something amiss (and people wonder why I miss Baby Land from where I camea.)
Publicly, I complain about my parents’ relentless attention but secretly I must confess that I do blossom in the glow of their admiration. And so I was not best pleased to see that on this particular morning, the focus appeared to have shifted to Mother.
‘Happy birthday, love.’
From my crib I saw Father lean over and give Mother a kiss. This in itself was surprising. Mother and Father never seem to be that affectionate, rather, they seem to bicker and complain, generally about the most trivial things. Yesterday they had argued off and on all day about the room temperature, and every time Mother turned the heating up, Father retaliated by turned it down. ‘It’s too cold for her,’ snapped Mother, gesturing to me. ‘She’s too bloody warm,’ retorted Father, grumpily. ‘Hey!’ I shouted. ‘Don’t drag me into your petty marital tiffs.’ I had bigger things to worry about, such as if I was going to be able to get my hand into the right position to scratch the annoying itch in my ear.
‘Ah look, she’s awake,’ said Father, looking at me, and before I had a chance to stretch, I was hauled across onto my parents’ bed.
‘She says happy birthday,’ said Father, speaking, I realised for me.
‘No, I didn’t,’ I replied, appalled. I don’t approve of liars.
I took a good look at Mother and wondered what age she was celebrating today. I find it difficult to judge grown-ups’ ages; to a youngster like me they all look ancient. I knew it impolite to ask so I just guestimated somewhere between 21 and 45 – very, very old, in other words.
‘Here, this is your present from the baby,’ said Father. I watched open-mouthed as he handed over a shabbily wrapped present. ‘She chose it herself,’ he added. I was aghast. I didn’t know what had happened but he had turned into a pathological liar overnight. I had absolutely no recollection of choosing any gift for Mother – how could I? 1. I didn’t know her birthday was imminent. 2. What little money I had was kept in a piggy-bank with no discernible opening. To access my funds I would have had to develop safe-breaking skills and 3. My movements were currently extremely limited and anything more strenuous than lying down was beyond me. I was not physically capable of going outside, walking into a shop and picking out a present.
And 4. Even if all these other things were not barriers standing in my way, I would never have chosen the ugly object which Mother was now handling reverently. It was vile. A huge, mug, upon which was written, in garish print ‘World’s Greatest Mummy.’ A bold claim, and I suspected that there might be several million other mothers not happy at Mother adopting this title for her own. Yet, I might have thought it vulgar but Mother didn’t share my view. ‘I love it and I love you,’ she declared, falling upon me with kisses. There is no accounting for taste, and to be honest, given her questionable fashion sense, I have often though her to have none. Turns out I was right.
But, if the gift was bad, then the card I allegedly ‘chose’ was even worse. It bore a picture of me within a giant heart. I was extremely displeased with the image; it was not flattering at all. I had one eye closed, my cheeks were puffed out and my mouth was strained. I looked as if I had tummy trouble (as I recall, I think I had).
I looked ridiculous. Mother, on the other hand, was delighted. ‘Oh look at her,’ she hooted. ‘She looks like she’s about to fart,’ she snorted, unladylike. Father echoed her laughter. I shot them a look of disdain. ‘Look!’ exclaimed Father, gleefully. ‘She’s pulling the same expression.’
Eventually, Mother recovered herself enough to open the card and when she did I was horrified. Someone, Father, I presume, had impersonated me and scrawled a message inside the card. I say scrawled because from the wild squiggles, I can only presume Father held the pen between his toes and wrote the message blindfolded. I was absolutely furious. It is one thing to steal a person’s identity, quite another thing to make out that person to be a complete and utter moron.
Mother burst into tears. Disappointed, I presumed, at the standard of writing which had marred her birthday card. Not so. ‘Oh my darling,’ she cried, pulling me in for a cuddle. ‘This is the best birthday ever. Having you. It’s everything to me. I love you.’ She should have stopped there but sadly ploughed on, recounting every birthday she had had up until this point, the many disappointing presents she had received, the many party games lost. She had just finished regaling us with a humiliating story of unrequited affection played out on her eighteenth birthday when I espied the glass beside the bed. It was half full of a fizzing, sparkling liquid. No doubt Mother had decided to start her celebrations early. It would at least, explain the verbal diarrhoea emanating from her mouth. ‘….and all those other birthdays pale into insignificance compared to today,’ she finally concluded. To be honest, by this point, I had long since forgotten what she had been talking about.
It was much later when I saw her again, after a restorative sleep for me and a sobering nap for her. I was pleased to see that she had managed to pull herself together and was dressed, her hair brushed and her face made up. Good. Birthday or no birthday, there is no need to turn into a slovenly mess. She looked rather pretty. I didn’t tell her this, I didn’t want her to get a big head.
Having said that, I too looked rather pleasant. I had been dressed in a frilly dress which, whilst not as comfortable as my beloved baby gro, was very flattering, something I noticed as we passed the mirror in the hallway.
In the lounge, we were met by a crowd of people. I was a little perturbed. I had been looking forward to some alone time in my Moses basket, chatting to my good friend and teddy bear RoRo. Instead, music was playing, glasses of fizzing drink were being passed around (none in my direction I noticed) and people were giving gift after gift to Mother.
I could hardly believe my eyes as wrapping paper flew everywhere and Mother oohed and aahhed over the many presents which she had been given. It suddenly struck me – birthdays are actually rather excellent. Not only do you get to be the centre of attention (which, shamefully, I love) but everyone has to give you all the things you like. I saw Mother gushing over a scarf. Personally I thought it made her look as if she had no neck, but she seemed happy. Hmmm. I tried to calculate how long til my own first birthday but I got lost after counting a month and became engrossed in my foot instead.
‘Happy birthday to you,’ chorused the crowd of people. I noticed Grandad was singing loudest of all, his voice made my ears ring. I was then shocked to see a cake, covered in flames. A massive health and safety risk, but amazingly, nobody seemed concerned at all. ‘Fire! Fire!’ I screamed, in alarm but they took no notice. ‘Ah,’ said Grandma. ‘She’s joining in the singing too,’ she misinterpreted. Sometimes I wonder if grown-ups will ever understand me.
Fortunately, Mother blew the flames out, and I sighed with relief. ‘What did you wish for?’ asked Father, to which Mother replied, looking at me: ‘Why do I need to wish when I’ve got everything I could ever need?’
I turned away so she couldn’t see my eyes dampening.