Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Like all good middle class parents, we eschew television for tinies, knowing it isn't helpful for her development. Much better for Lady P to have a fun singsong or look at a book or a toy with us. (Or, failing that, look at the toy on her own while I sit nearby playing on my phone).

Predictably, we're as fussy about food too. Almost everything she eats is lovingly handmade, from scratch, using low sodium, organic, ingredients. Except the Dairylea, but that's really just a treat for special (yikes, we're out of carrot soup) days. Oh, and the Aptamil. But let's not get into that again.

So far so wholesome. I even make her banana pancakes at the weekends. It's idyllic, honestly.

But now we are moving, and our stuff has been shipped today. So we are camping, with limited kitchen kit, until we leave on Monday. TLOML and I will work our way round our favourite Saltburn takeouts, a sort of victory lap for our final week. But Lady P is not so easily fed. I could scramble her an egg, and provide her toast and porridge and fruit. But the days of elaborate stews, soups and bakes are over. For now.

So I've stocked up on Ella's Kitchen: the acceptable face of convenience foods for babies. I hope she likes it. Actually, part of me hopes her first words are 'no, I prefer mummy's cooking'. But then again, she'd get awfully hungry this week. So yes, I hope she likes it.

As for the TV rule... well, ten hours in the air is a lot of time to kill with singing and books and toys. The TSA rules won't allow enough space for the amount of toys it would take to keep her amused for ten hours. And yes, she might sleep. But on our last transatlantic trip she napped for a total of an hour, during 20 hours of travel. Ouch.

So I've downloaded a series of In the Night Garden for her to watch. And we've ordered some ridiculous baby headphones in case she wants to hear the sound - so she can really appreciate the full narrative arc. I suspect she won't have much of an attention span for the iPad but I also know we'll be grateful for every 3 minutes of waking time that is not spent wriggling, grumbling or bothering other passengers.

How fitting that as we leave wholesome Yorkshire for a new life in LA our baby gets to watch her first TV and to eat her first convenience foods. Welcome to America, Lady P.

And if these strategies succeed, and she enjoys eating food from a packet and watching a screen instead of interacting with us, the next question will be - how do we wean her off the telly and the convenience foods and get her back on 'Dear Zoo' and my home cooked shepherd's pie?

1 comment:

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