Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Secret Diary of a Demented Mother Aged 36.5

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jenny Lesley

Fergus was six months old this week. I had hoped he would greet this landmark by treating his mother to a full night's sleep. Instead he celebrated by mastering the caterpillar forward shuffle.

Still, this is a great improvement from the `move backwards and get stuck under the sofa' manoeuvre which has been driving us all mad. I'm sure that when Emma or even Kieran started doing all these things we thought it was charming but it is hard with number four to resist the temptation to think "Oh damn, he's moving. We're going to need stair gates by Christmas!"

I can remember being completely exasperated with my mother for not being able to tell me at what time of day I was born or what my first word was. Being one of four myself I wanted to be individual, special and not just part of the herd. Yet if I hadn't written down Carys and Kieran's firsts I wouldn't have remembered them. It all blurs and fades so quickly.

Emma's every movement, and even long periods of total immobility, are all lovingly captured on video. Raymond had bought himself a camera just before she was born. At that time I used to work every Saturday morning and I would come home and be really peeved that he had "wasted" all his time videoing Emma, doing nothing more interesting than gazing at her hand. I would look at a flat full of mess and be really irritated that he hadn't done the washing up.

Yet now I really appreciate that record of her growing up and I feel terribly guilty that Fergus won't have that.

So yesterday I took lots of photos, trawled through all my e-mails and created his own online baby diary. He won't appreciate it for years yet but the other three love hauling out the photo albums and giggling at pictures of themselves with no nappy on.

Even though sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart in baby photos, they have each had their own distinctive character. …

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