|Inflatable instant argument device......|
Railing against Health Visitors, as I did again just the other day, always proves to be quite a cathartic experience.
So much so that, spleen vented, I began to consider some other pet peeves, things I encounter as a full-time stay-at-home parent that, more often than not, arouse annoyance.
It soon became clear that there is too much to log using brain power alone.
So I made a list . . . .
Quite a long one.
Right at the top, I jotted down Health Visitors.
But I made sure I left sufficient room for the following:
Flashing shoes. The B&G both possess a pair, but neither requires another excuse to stamp their feet.
Hand-dryers in public toilets. Has anyone ever dried a two-year-old's hands using such a contraption? I haven't. More often than not, Daddy's trousers are required to stand in as towel substitute. Damp legs, not nice.
I have no time for Small Potatoes (the television programme, not the tuber), Mr Bloom (he gives me the creeps) and the fact that Channel 5's clock and that on our digital television recorder don't correspond, meaning that all our Peppa Pig episodes (and there are a lot) finish 30 seconds before their intended end.
I don't like fishing in rock pools (there's never anything in them), the door at The B&G's nursery (three sessions running, the handle came off in my hand when I pulled it closed; now, it has gone the other way, and I can't shut it) or Annabel Karmel.
I can't stand Dad-ism (please, men looking after children isn't that unusual). Note to anyone in marketing, to brand a product as Mum's Favourite, Mum's Choice or some other variant is to ensure that I'll not purchase it. I'll make an exception for Mothercare, but that's all.
It's clear that I'm not alone on this one: In the United States, Huggies have just been forced to pull an expensive advertising campaign that used the line 'To prove that Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything, we put them to the toughest test imaginable - Dads'.
Countless complaints, embarrassing U-turn, shame-faced apologies all round.
You know, men can - and do - change nappies and much more. It's not like asking a chimpanzee to look after a child. Get used to it.
I don't like balloons (guaranteed arguments), bubble mix (guaranteed arguments and spillage) or party bags (small plastic carriers, crammed with cheap 'toys' that are of no use to anyone. In the last 12 months I have thrown countless cardboard jigsaws and assorted plastic ephemera straight into the bin; even The B&G - not the greatest judges - understand that such things cannot be used for serious playing).
Inappropriate children's names are a guaranteed goat-getter (please, parents, if it has an apostrophe, the chances are it's unsuitable).
So too anyone thinking that a trip to soft play is nothing more than a chance to:
a) spend some serious time on Facebook.
b) drink cappuccino.
c) abdicate all parental responsibilities.
d) all of the above.
I don't like boastful parents, the fact that our local supermarket is so officious about dispensing infant medication (seriously, no-one has ever used Calpol to attempt suicide and it'd take rather more than the two bottles I'm unable to purchase at one time) and Radar Keys (The B&G need the loo, there's one in our immediate environment but I'm unable to access it as it requires some mystical opening device that no-one I have ever met has ever clapped eyes on).
I also don't have much time for Health Visitors.
But then, I think I might have mentioned that . . . .