Thursday, 19 November 2009

Modern Parents by Kate

Anyone remember the Modern Parents cartoon strip in Viz? Unwilling children who only wanted to be left in peace in front of their TVs and Playstations being dragged to all sorts of dreary eco-friendly right-on hippy activities by earnestly enthusiastic middle-class mums and dads? That's the kind of parent I aim to be. Theo's with me on that one, too. He even goes one step further, refusing to countenance any sort of TV in the house, but I'm not quite that far down the road.

So, intending to start as I mean to go on, I have been researching the availability of washable nappies and baby-carrying slings in Spain. The results of my research was a string of internet complaints about the impossibility of finding such things here and a solitary web-site which imports a few of these products, set up by two ex-pat English mums, who had come across the same problem. Not very encouraging.

I was seriously considering opening a shop in Madrid myself to fill the gap and paying the postage & packaging to get a stock of re-usable nappies, when we spotted a flyer on the wall of our midwife's office. It said Dos Manitas (Two Little Hands) and listed panales lavables among its products. That sounded promising. Then we looked more closely and realised the address was a street we walked along every time we went to or from the Metro station at Pueblo Nuevo. We must have passed it fifty times and never once sussed out what it was. Probably because it's opposite a confectioner's shop with mouthwatering window displays that invariably and understandably distract my attention whenever we're in that area.

Anyway, we went inside to discover the shop stocks seven or eight different makes of washable nappy and a bewildering array of slings in all shapes, sizes and colours. They even had fold-away carrycots made from recycled cardboard and half a dozen second-hand cradles and car-seats. Just the job! Unless I can find big savings on the web, I think I'm going to become a regular customer.

I have so far resisted the temptation of buying anything for the baby, largely for superstitious reasons (Christmas is my preferred date to start laying in supplies) but my expanding belly means I need to acquire a few things for myself. Luckily, the current fashion is for loose-fitting tops, gathered under the bust and designed to flow over the belly, which is perfect for pregnancy and saves me paying the inflated prices for anything officially labeled as Maternity Wear.

The other thing that was becoming urgently required was a maternity bra. I can barely cover my nipples with most of my bras now and the slightly larger underwired ones are just plain uncomfortable. So I went to a lingerie shop and tried on an unassuming white polycotton number, silently bidding farewell to sexiness and hello to stern practicality. But maternity bras cunningly turn into peep-hole numbers, thanks to their built-in suitability for easy nursing and there's an undeniably erotic aspect to that, which Theo was quick to appreciate. Time will tell if my breasts' conversion into udders will change all that. Dairy products aren't usually classed as aphrodisiacs, in my experience.

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