This is going to be a very rushed, poorly spelt, possibly borderline insane post. But I’m grabbing a short period of quiet so here goes…
In the few weeks since F was born (madness – less than a month ago she was still doing time inside…) we’ve struggled with a few things. Sleep, obviously, the sheer tininess and preciousness of this little creature, clearly, but also with another thing I hadn’t anticipated… kindness.
Loads of the visitors we’ve had have brought something wee for Johnny. I don’t want to be the scrooge who says no. They’re only tiny things – a cake, a magazine, a sticker book… – so it would seem churlish and ungrateful to ban them because of our project. I really appreciate the fact that family and friends want him to feel included. I love their generosity. And (in the spirit of total honesty) I’ve actually been grateful for the very short bursts of piece and distraction each new small thing has brought. BUT. But, but but… Without sounding too overly dramatic: I think it might be turning my sweet little boy into A MONSTER.
EVERY time someone turns up at the door now, J’s response is: “WHERE IS MY PRESENT?” It’s not a good look, especially when he says it IN FRONT of the visitor. I try to explain that presents are for rare special occasions, that the really nice thing is to see our friends, that they are better than presents. Besides, doesn’t he remember the fun he had a fortnight ago with the piece of wood he turned into an aeroplane? But so far, no dice.
The worst thing is, his birthday will follow hot on the heels of this, then Christmas. So there’s now a chance that this year’s work will be undone. That by January, and the end of our no-shopping challenge, instead of developing any kind of resilience to the cult of ‘stuff’ he have turned into a fully fledged consumer colossus. What to do?!