Archive for the ‘parenthood’ Category

Here’s a little baby, one-two-three, On his way to bed, what does he see? Peepo! He sees the landing mirror with its rainbow rim And a mother with a baby Just like him He sees the bedroom door The cot made ready His father kissing him goodnight His ball and his teddy. – “Peepo”, Janet […]



4 months: breastfeed Rosa to sleep. Try and put her down; she starts crying and ramps up and up. Pick her up and hold her. Lie down and try and sleep while she sleeps. Rock and jiggle her, try and put her down; she starts crying and ramps up and up. Pick her up, feed […]

This line is from Jennifer Senior’s book All Joy and No Fun: the Paradox of Parenting, which is brilliant and one of those books you think will be about one thing but also turns out to be about what it is to be human. My favourite kind of book. I have thought about sacrifice as I’ve progressed […]

Our baby likes to take all the cards out of our wallets and sort through them, bowing her head, totally absorbed in the task. Things start to get lost: the Oyster card is gone, the credit card is gone. We look under sofas but they are are nowhere to be seen, in the mysterious way […]

I hold this letter in my hand A plea, a petition, a kind of prayer I hope it does as I have planned Losing her is more than I can bear I kiss the cold, white envelope I press my lips against her name Two hundred words. We live in hope The sky hangs heavy […]

My love for her seemed doomed, hopelessly unrequited. There should be songs for this, but if there were I didn’t know them. – Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation The best way to deal with separation anxiety is to give your baby reassurance – over and over again – that your absence doesn’t mean that you […]

I once tried to write a short story about people who slept in a polyphasic (segmented) pattern. It wasn’t a very good story, but the effects of sleeping like this continue to fascinate me. Apparently time stretches, so 24 hours feel like 40. People who learn to sleep in small chunks say they feel like Superman, like […]

My daughter was born in our living room at 1.20am on 20 June last year, and I had been awake for 3 nights by that point (aside from drifting in and out of sleep, jerked awake by my uterus contracting every 5-10 minutes each previous night). So I was very tired but I wouldn’t let […]

Last weekend I went for a massage, leaving the baby with her dad and a bottle of expressed milk. It wasn’t hard to leave but it was strangely hard to be there, both glad to be alone and not, knowing this window of freedom was just that. Previously I had wondered what women meant when […]

The remote part


I look at the baby looking at things. She reaches out to touch them. She laughs for the first time. The problem is the baby is so damn sweet. It has quickly become clear that she has come to colonise my heart and she is never, ever giving it back. Everything I had built up is undone. […]