WHEN I win the Lotto I won’t buy jewels or cars, clothes or handbags, gadgets or holidays. There’ll be no shopping sprees, no fancy restaurants, no new furniture.
Instead I will employ someone to wash, sterilise and make up my baby’s bottles for me so that I never, ever have to do that POXY job ever again. I’ll pay well and all I’ll ask is that any time I open my fridge there’ll be a beautifully clean, perfectly made up bottle sitting there, ready for me to heat.
That’s all I want. Do you hear me, God? That’s all I want out of life. To be free from the tyranny of bottle making.
And it IS a tyranny, make no mistake about it. The bottles have to be taken apart and washed in scalding soapy water. [Warm water is no good, it doesn’t remove the FUCKING Gaviscon caked into the bottles. Any mothers out there with a refluxy baby will know what I’m on about]. Then rinsed and put back together, then sterilised. Then you have to boil a kettle and leave it to cool for 30 minutes. Then, just as you’re about to lose the will to live, you have to measure out precisely the amount of water you need and add in perfectly level scoops of formula to match that amount. And you have to do this EVERY day. There is no escape. There is no ‘fuck it, it’s Saturday, it can wait til tomorrow.’ Every day. EVERY day.
Imagine the worst hangover you’ve ever had (that’s what sleep deprivation is like) and add in a fractious/curious/bored/hungry/tired baby. Now imagine a line of bottles, filled with water waiting for you to count in scoops of formula, despite your hangover. And despite the child in your ear. Was that scoop number five or number six? Are you sure? Are you REALLY sure? (While we’re on the subject: is that poo on the baby’s head, or chocolate? Are you sure? Are you REALLY sure?)
Once the bottles are made they have to be cooled before being put in the fridge. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve put bottles into a sink of water to cool only to return HOURS later to find them still there, meaning I’ve had to start the whole soul crushing process all over again. It’s torture. Torture.
Parents often reminisce about what their lives were like before they had children, remembering, misty eyed, nights on the tiles, spontaneous weekends away, holidays, uninterrupted meals and sleep. Me, I remember a time BB – before bottles. Where my life wasn’t ruled by Tommee Tippee. Where I could throw caution to the winds and not do the washing up if I didn’t feel like it.
Someone to do the bottles. That all I want. Are you listening, God? Are you?