Because let’s clear about this folks: I'm the one setting the agenda at home. Then comes Mommy. Then Daddy as a slow-on-the-uptake-second runner up. Then the dog.
Daddy will be forgiven however to think that he's first in the pecking order as women, I have come to learn, are the unrivalled masters of manipulation. It all starts when we're still in our nappies with what I have chosen to call the “Trick but no treat” phenomenon. Basically, it comes down to this: The worse the experience awaiting me, the bigger Mommy’s smile and the softer her voice is preceding said event. "Come here baby and have some delicious lukewarm beef and broccoli mash", she says with a seductive voice whilst trying to hypnotise me by staring deep, deep into my eyes and holding a shiny toy in the non-feeding hand. And whilst girls seem to learn from their mothers (in the preparation of themselves one day becoming Mommies), we boys appear to stay on the well-trodden path of female manipulation – as evidenced by Daddy.
As for me however, I'm no longer innocently looking up to Mommy as the “all-knowing Goddess of all things good” but I'm instead growing increasingly aware of the potential dangers lurking behind every meal, nappy change and milk bottle. For, no longer do meals consist only of sweet carrot, corn and pea deliciousness, but increasingly often Mommy is trying to sneak in some over-cooked greyish lamb stew with a side of “green goo du jour”. Or, if she’s feeling particularly adventurous, why not a bizarre concoction of mango-pork-curry balls with pureed haricot-verts on the side...? I swear to you, this is no joke.
But if Mommy thinks that she’s ahead of me with her trickery at the dining table, then she’s got another thing coming at the changing table as nappy changes these days are more akin to a sweaty WWE Raw wrestling fight on late night TV than the cosy and cuddly experience as depicted by Pampers & Co. Watching us, you’ll see “Mommy the Hysterical Changer” with her iron fist grip on one end and “Baby the Brown Nappy Avenger” with his surprising wrigglyness on the other; both hell-bent on being crowned “Master of the Nappy Table” and taking no prisoners in getting there. The thing is, I’m now eight months old and thus think it’s time for me to start making my own decisions. So, if Mommy wants to change my nappies, she’s going to have to do it with me on my belly and within arm’s length of every bottle of cream, oil and powder in sight. Now I’m not saying that I definitely WILL smash them all on the floor, but at least I’d like to know that I COULD.
As for my milk bottles, I've also decided that I no longer will take my last bottle of the day at 8.pm, but instead at any time between 11.00pm and 3.00am - whichever pleases me more. That is, IF I decide to take one at all.
So what does all this decision making on my part mean for the family? Well, no surprises there, but Mommy is kind of struggling with the reshuffled pecking order. And although she's secretly hoping that I'm just going through another one of my "phases", she's at this very moment drawing up plans as to how she can lure Daddy into thinking that him becoming "Daddy the Nappy Handler" was actually his idea to start with...