We Need To Talk About the Conditions of My Imprisonment


To The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (Secretary of State for Justice,)
I am 3 years into an 18 year sentence. I have been told 18 years is an approximation, and that it could be a lot longer than this, double, or even triple, depending on the state of the country when 18 years is up. I have been told that if there is no money/jobs/the housing market continues to skyrocket, these are the most likely variables to make my sentence longer. I must say, that living with this uncertainty is the first thing I am writing to complain about, but will deal with that later. I really need to talk about the conditions of my imprisonment.

It was agreed that as a low risk offender (my crime was to have unrealistic romanticisms about what it is like to be a Stay At Home Mum, I was also found in possession of Generic Baby Sleep Maunuals-a crime against humanity,) I would be able to complete my sentence under house arrest, with occasional day release for good behaviour. I was told I would be guarded night and day by 2 guards (they generally don’t bother with night time though, they tend to get drunk on milk and pass out, they only usually wake to make ridiculous demands, usually before passing out again.) It is the behaviour of these 2 guards that I find intolerable, and a total breach of my human rights. Let me take you through a typical day…

The guards wake at a ridiculously early time, and often physically torture me into waking up. They will pull my hair, scratch my face, rub snot and other bodily fluids all over me. Then they will laugh at themselves. I find this an abrupt way to be woken, surely they could be informed that a simple call would do to wake me? They then proceed to torture me for the rest of the day, by going back to bed at various times themselves, and refusing that I be able to sleep. They put me to work straight away to their many tasks that they scream at me to complete. This kind of sleep deprivation is the first of many tortures they inflict upon me.

They generally ask me to make at least three lots of breakfast for them, and never eat any of them, all whilst watching frightening and hypnotic things on the television, which I’m sure do nothing for their mental stability or development in their role as guards. They then spend a couple of hours trying to break into the snack cupboard (it’s locked and they can’t work out how to unlock it,) and fighting each other. If I try to intervene, I will usually be physically assaulted again. I don’t want them to know I have the key to the snack cupboard, as I feel smug knowing I have it, and that gives me a sense of power in a world where I’m powerless.

They usually take me out for my day release mid morning. We usually go to church halls, and other meeting places, to meet other prisoners in similar circumstances, all with their guards too. My guards don’t tend to let me talk much to the other prisoners, I can only presume this is to inhibit any fun I may get from the outing, and to prevent any discussion of plotting a bid for freedom. They also usually let me treat myself to a piece of cake, but just as I go to put it in my mouth, they will scream and say how dare I think I can eat cake in front of them, and they will want it all for themselves. It is uneccessary to dangle a treat like that in front of a person, then continually deny them the pleasure. But, Mr Gove, they don’t just stop there, should they find me in any possession of any food, they will scream and scream until I give it to them. The same can be said for drinks. At the end of some days, I have barely eaten, or taken any fluids, and this is in total breach of the terms of my imprisonment.

When we return from day release, having spoken very little to the other prisoners, and feeling stressed and starving, the guards start getting drunk on milk again, and spend the next two hours taking it in turns to nap, and sleep it off. I’m usually exhausted by then, from the early wakeup, and lack of food, but whichever one happens to be up at the time, will demand I entertain them, usually in the most energetic way possible. And is it really necessary that they accompany me every time I go to the toilet? There is no window in the toilet, I can’t possibly escape, but there they are, every time I need a private moment of any sort, usually acting inappropriately (trying to flood the sink/unwrapping and trying to eat tampons etc) because they know I can’t get up to try and stop them. It’s a disgrace.

For the rest of the afternoon, they appoint me Chief Entertainment Officer for them, which I have to say, I didn’t know was outlined under the terms of my imprisonment agreement. I’m running out of ideas, but I fear for my safety if I do not keep coming up with new and innovative entertainment-as if I wasn’t exhausted enough.

We have the same routine at dinner time, where they demand various foods, and often spit them at me, drop them on the floor and demand I retrieve them… You must know the drill by now. They then spend the next couple of hours going absolutely batshit crazy! It’s like they become possessed by the devil. I am worried for their mental health. I dread this time of day, some of the other prisoners refer to it as the ‘witching hour.’

Luckily, after the witching hour or two is over, they are totally and utterly knackered, and seem rendered incapable of inflicting anymore physical or emotional torture upon me. They usually demand that I clean them, then they get drunk on their milk, and generally leave me alone for a couple of hours. I must say Mr Gove, that this is the only time I get to eat or drink, and do any of the recreational activities that I hear are provided to most people in the actual prisons, for hours and hours daily. I also keep our surroundings clean and presentable, and basically do every household chore whilst in this captivity. I do the work of approximately 100 employees. I’ve heard that in the large prisons, the prisoners get paid for the work they do around the prison. In three years, I’ve received nothing. What do you have to say to that?

I have a roommate, but he stumbles out of the door shortly after the Torture-To-Wake routine every morning, mumbling about tiredness and overwork. I can only assume he goes out to some kind of work outside. When he gets back at the end of the day (he always misses the witching hour, and the cleaning and putting to bed of the guards,) he still just mutters incoherently about his day, then usually falls asleep shortly afterwards. Sometimes he is my only form of adult company, but is usually snoring by the time the guards give us any time to speak to each other. I wish my roommate weren’t so tired all the time, but that is the toll his work, and the strict regime of the guards, is having upon him.

To conclude, Mr Gove, I was wondering if a transfer to one of the actual prisons would be possible? As I’m not sure I can sustain this level of mental and physical torture, starvation, and lack of privacy? I’m starting to fear for my own mental health, as it appears I have Stockholm Syndrome, and I love and identify with the needs of my guards, despite what they inflict on me. Is this normal? I feel moving to another facility, even if just for a holiday, would be appropriate on this occasion, and with regards the massive breaches of human rights outlined here.

Yours sincerely,


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Run Jump Scrap!
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback
my petit canard


Our whole lives we have been subjected to Superheroes, these fantastical characters, who transport us to another world with their superhuman abilities. We want to be them. We want those powers, to make our lives better. We want to marry them (I would NOT say no to Wolverine, at any time. I’d leave my husband for him, without question.) But, it’s a little known secret, that when you become a mum, you absorb all the superpowers, of all the superheroes in the world, ever!! Thus totally kicking the ass of the likes of Wonder Woman, Storm, Superman, and Daredevil, the Super Mum has more superpowers than you all put together. Let’s explore the evidence…

Professor X (X-Men) possesses incredible powers of telepathy. But so does the Super Mum, because let’s face it, unless you have extremely honed telepathic abilities as a mother, you’re screwed. A Super Mum can pre-empt any toddler tantrum, she knows when it’s coming, because she just does. The same as she can predict if you are about to spill your drink/food all over yourself. She knows if you are lying, are having a hard time, or really were the one who pinched your brother before pushing him so that he fell off the sofa-she knows he didn’t bump himself on that toy, then just randomly fall, like you said. Super Mum knows everything.

Daredevil thought he was a badass because he could beat the shit out of people, and hold down a full time job as a lawyer, all while being blind. But he hasn’t met Super Mum. As well as being psychic, she can also get up in the middle of the night when you are crying, go downstairs (she knows what you want because she is psychic) and get whatever it is you are asking for. She will then find you, give you what you need, soothe you, and make sure you fall back to a peaceful slumber, all in the pitch black, without switching a single light on. Thus avoiding waking the other members of the household, and preventing world war three. She will weave her way around the house like a stealth ninja, and make no noise while on her mission. Is that all you’ve got, Daredevil?

Cypher (X-Men) had the gift of omni-lingual translation. Well, he has nothing on the Super Mum. She laughs in his face with her ability to speak Newborn, Baby, Toddler, Tween, Teen, Husband, Disgruntled-Childless-Friend-Who-Doesn’t-Understand, to name but a few languages. She is fluent in them with no prior training, and translates them with ease.

The Hulk thought he had it all, with his superhuman strength, stamina, and endurance. He knows nothing. The Super Mum’s strength knows no bounds. She can carry her double buggy up a flight of steps, with or without the children in it. She can haul it into the roof box of the car with one hand. She can wrestle and grapple with small people all, day, every day, and still go to the gym in the evening. She has the stamina to endure monotonous toddler groups, play dates, trips to the park, and endless children’s birthday parties, all whilst sober. That’s f**king stamina hulk, you pussy. She can endure hours of screaming and endless negotiations, and days that will feel like they will never end. That’s endurance.

Wonder Woman becomes Wonderless Woman, compared to the Super Mum. There she is, swinging her Pocahontas hair, her Victoria’s Secret boobs, and her Dita Von Teese waist. She thinks she’s amazing with her supersonic hearing, vision, and speed. She thinks being able to communicate with animal makes her the bomb. Well, Wonder Woman, the Super Mum can don her best bra, lifting her saggy boobs from sweeping the floor, and pick out her best spanx, and give you a right run for your money. She communicates with babies, toddlers, children, that makes communicating with animals a walk in the park. She can regenerate her child’s broken skin with one kiss. She can hear her child crying in a room full of screaming children, high on sugar. And she can fly to her child’s aid with the speed of a cheetah. She puts you to shame, Wonder Woman.

During a single visit to soft play, the Super Mum would outwit the powers of several combined X-Men superheroes. She has the power of Darwin to adapt to any soft play situation/disaster. She has the climbing ability of Lizard Man, climbing and lifting her children up endless ladders, to come down rubbish slides. She can create multiples of herself better than Multiple man, so that her children needn’t ever be alone at any time, even when they are at opposite sides of the soft play. She displays the hypnotic mind control of Silver Fox, in order to get her children to leave willingly, and emits beams of force from her beady eyes, telling her children they are in trouble, with one look, better than anything Cyclops can muster. And on the way home, she shows better weather manipulation than anything Storm could do, by convincing her children it’s raining when it isn’t, just so they don’t have to stop at the park…

This one’s dedicated to all the Super Mum’s out there! Well done for kicking ass!!

Thanks for reading!

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Best of Worst
A Bit Of Everything
Twinkly Tuesday
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows


80’s Children’s TV Shows Versus Todays
As a child of the 80’s, I can clarify that there was some amazing stuff on TV for us to watch. Now that my two are developing an interest in TV (well, namely a cbeebies addiction strongly rivalling their one to dummies,) it is interesting to compare the TV shows around now, to the ones from an age where kids TV was nothing less than amazeballs. It is with relief that I can tell you that it is much easier to curb their TV addiction, than the godforsaken dummies (can you tell I’ve made zero progress with dummy rehab?) I’m going to pitch similar shows from the 80’s and today, against each other, and give my (mainly biased to the 80’s, I will admit,) opinion on the emerging champion!

Denver The Last Dinosaur V Dinopaws

Ah Denver. The Green, guitar wielding, shades sporting, skate boarding dinosaur of this 80’s show that will probably be best remembered for its theme tune… And very little else. It’s one of those shows that you are likely to hear the theme tune and whoop/yell, have flash backs to your immense childhood, and how watching this show defined it, then watch it as an adult and feel more disappointed than posting your hilarious Facebook status update, leaving it for an hour, and coming back to find nobody has liked it. Denver (a corythosaurus apparently,) hatches from an egg which has amazingly survived the extinction of all other dinosaurs, with the inexplicable ability to speak fluent English. The bunch of children who find him, imaginatively name him Denver after a passing bus. This show, with no real concept, and rampant Bill and Ted style surfer dude clichés (Mario and Shades being the worst of the stereotypical douche bags,) is definitely not worth Netflixing to see if your littlies want to relive your childhood with you.

Dinopaws has a similarly catchy theme tune, just as likely to stick in your head until Twirlywoos comes on, and replaces it. This show is slightly Friends-like. They have certainly managed to capture the essence of Friends show titles! Friends always had ‘The One Where Big Ugly Naked Guy Dies/Where Joey Speaks French, and Dinopaws endearingly emulates this with titles like ‘The Things That Went Somewhere’ and ‘The Thing That Wasn’t There.’ Plus Gwen could easily be Phoebe, Bob could be Ross, and Tony an amazing Joey. As with Denver, the dinosaurs aren’t historically accurate. Gwen is more bird than dinosaur, Bob is big and blue, and I didn’t realise Tony was supposed to be a baby T-Rex (I just thought he was crazy.) The other Dinopaws clearly aren’t worried about Tony growing to full size and eating them. I’m not sure what this show will do for my children’s grasp of English language (‘you are the bestimost, wondermost, thinky thing….’) to quote some of Gwen’s take on English that definitely won’t be found in the dictionary. But I will admit to this show being a favourite of mine, with the catchphrases ‘oh! I know I know I know’ and ‘NYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE’ often thrown around in our house!

Winner: Most definitely Dinopaws!!!

Button Moon V In The Night Garden

I think you will struggle to find a child of the 80’s who didn’t watch Button Moon. In a world where everyone is made of kitchen utensils (??) the hero, Mr Spoon, appears very anxious to leave his planet, wife, and child behind, to mission off to the moon in a homemade rocket. He possibly suspects infidelity from his wife, or has paranoid delusions, because once he reaches his moon, made out of, erm, a button, all he wants to do is spy on people back on his planet. The budget for this show must’ve been less than that of Teacup Travels (more about that later.) In fact, scrap that, there was clearly no budget, it must’ve been made by unpaid work experience kids, it was so bad. But so bad it had a cult following. This is probably because the theme tune hypnotised children into watching the show in its entirety, which in turn sent out subliminal messages for them to keep on watching the rest of the god awfulness at the same time, every day, for ever. Luckily for parents of the day, the shows induced hypnotic state would cause children to sit absent mindedly playing with kitchen paraphernalia with a glazed expression, singing ‘we’re off to Button Moooooooooon…….’ for hours afterwards. This must’ve been handy considering the lack of cbeebies entertainment to occupy children once it had finished.

In The Night Garden… Where the hell do you start? I find the bulk of this show truly terrifying, and when it comes on, I have to work hard to stop being a little bit sick in my mouth. The creators of this show were clearly taking more acid than the Beatles when they were writing Revolver. So they clearly had a good time making it. Maybe they were trying to emulate the trippy kids TV of the 70’s and 80’s, who knows. What we are left with is Derek Jacobi narrating the mind blowing goings on in some strange creatures dream, as he floats off to sleep. His ultimate fantasy is clearly the Marilyn Munroe wannabe, Upsy Daisy, who seems to want to spend the bulk of her screen time with her skirt blowing up, or falling flat on her back, with her skirt up. There’s a whole host of other characters with stupid names like The Ninky Nonk, The Haahoos, and The Tittifers (again, ????) who seem unfazed by things in their world constantly changing size, and constantly turning down picnic invitations. It’s all kinds of messed up. But at least there’s the OCD Makka Pakka, bringing obsession and hoarding problems to the mainstream, and introducing children to these genuine mental health problems early.

Winner: Lordy, it’s got to be a draw I think… They’re both too terrible.

T-Bag V Teacup Travels

I haven’t met that many children from the 80’s who’ve seen T-Bag. I’m hoping some of you will know this show. I’ve included it because it was my absolute favourite childhood programme of all time, I can’t tell you how much I loved it! It was awesomeness personified. The main protagonist, Tallulah Bag, (later replaced by her sister, Tabatha Bag,) gains magical powers by drinking, ahem, herbal tea… (anyone else noticing a disturbing running theme here??!) She is incapable of brewing the tea herself, so has a long suffering child slave minion called T-Shirt doing it for her. The entire, addictive premise of the show, was T-Bag trying to further her powers by time travelling to pick up historical artefacts, which are the only things which can fuel them. Episode titles were also hilarious, including gems such as ‘T-Bag and the revenge of the tea set’. It’s ingeniously like Indiana Jones meets Dr Who for kids. Our heroine, the afro red haired Debbie, was my ultimate childhood idol. I wanted the iconic phrase ‘let’s see what Deborah’s up to,’ to be said about me. There are hundreds of fan forums on the internet for this show, and I will admit to looking through them, salivating with excitement, like the adult company deprived, nostalgia geek nerd that I am.

Teacup Travels… Well… I’m embarrassed to say that my children like this show. The majority of the budget evidently went on filming at the beautiful house where Aunt Lizzie lives. The rest is just a crappy array of terrible CGI sets, which look like they were thrown together by a reception class designing the nativity backdrop for the school play. Basically, one of the children arrives at Aunt Lizzie’s house, choose a teacup from her vast collection (she’s clearly in hoarding cahoots with Makka Pakka, either that or they’re both raging cleptomaniacs) and she tells the story behind the cup. Thus begins a laborious journey, in the child’s imagination, where the graphics are so bad, It’s amazing even children can believe in it. The only word to sum this rubbish up, is pants.

Winner: Need I even say it?! T-Bag of course!

I had one more in mind, but realise I’ve rambled on more than I should! I was going to pitch Mister Maker against Hartbeat. Clearly Hartbeat would’ve been the winner, mainly because Mister Maker loses credibility by having those dancing, two stepping shapes. What I really want to do is knock the first one over, and see them all fall like dominoes, just for my own entertainment!

So, 80’s TV rocked! Other favourites I would’ve loved to talk about, include Thundercats (awesome,) Gummi Bears, Count Duckula, and other classics…. I’m off to weep for better childhood TV shows for my children….

Thanks for reading!

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Find me on twitter: @ThisMumsLife

Who The Hell Is Raisins?


Date: Sometime mid pregnancy (first time around)

Dear Diary, I’ve made a friend! Another pregnant person, due at the same time as me! This is exciting, maybe I won’t be postnatal and alone after all. She seemed just on the right side of crazy, but her heart was well and truly in the right place. (She said she had no time for people who drank caffeine, used stretch mark cream, ate chocolate, or gained weight during pregnancy.) She said all of those things would definitely harm your baby, and anybody who did those things were basically sick and didn’t deserve to be parents. I threw my stretch mark cream straight in the bin (but I’m going to ask the midwife about the other things, I’m hoping that she won’t arrange for my baby to be taken away from me though, immediately after delivery, if she knows I’ve eaten chocolate??) All this is overwhelming Diary. I’ll leave it there for today.
Signed: Excited soon-to-be first time mum!

Date: Sometime near the end of pregnancy (first time around)

Dear Diary, my new friend told me that she had been reading all this research, and apparently, you should never let a raisin near a child once it is old enough to eat them. Apparently, they will cause immediate tooth rot. She said that people who feed their children raisins, fall into the same category for her, as those eat chocolate and use stretch mark cream. I told my super cool friend R, (another fab friend from antenatal class! I’m winning at this making friends shizzle!) about the raisins story, to get her opinion. She said she has no time for this bullshit, and only now only refers to this girl as Raisins. I have to say Diary, the name has stuck. I’ve only got a week to go now Diary, until maternity leave! Then that will leave me a week and a half till D-Day. But Raisins said I should work until my due date. She said you’re lazy if you don’t, because there’s no reason not to. But I’ve been struggling since 7 months, I sometimes work 14 hour days, with no break, and no chance to sit down. I told her I thought I might die if I stayed until my due date, but she looked disappointed in me.
Signed: Waddling heffalump, getting extremely fed up.

Date: A few weeks after the bomb has dropped…

Dear Diary, I have my baby! And he is beautiful, and I’ve never known love like it. But also, I’m scared. I’m crying all the time, and I live in fear someone will snatch him from the pushchair when I’m out with him. I’m frightened all the time. Raisins pitied me because I had an epidural (I didn’t pity me, I only pity that I didn’t ask for it sooner than hour 24 of the back-to-back, no progression, agonising nightmare that was getting the baby out. That thing was worth its weight in gold.) But Raisins said pain relief is for the weak, and that I must feel like I totally let myself down. My body has let me down miserably though, Diary. My milk didn’t come in, and I’m bottle feeding the baby. Raisins wondered if I felt awful for the poison I was subjecting my baby to. She said she’d rather buy breast milk from the internet than use formula. I feel uncomfortable getting my bottles out around her. She also wants me to join her in a schedule to get fit. She said she went back to the gym before her tears had healed, and while the entire worlds periods were still pouring from her body, because she said there is nothing more shameful than being fat for longer than a week post birth. I must admit diary, I’m starting to think Raisins is a bit of a dick.
Signed: A very anxious, postnatal wreck, who could do with support, not judgement.

Date: Sometime mid pregnancy (second time around)

Well Diary, I’m pregnant again! And baby number one is weaned! We still hang out with Raisins, but it’s getting more and more stressful to be around her. She will never meet anywhere that doesn’t do strictly organic food, so we are limited. She says that children only thrive on strictly organic, home made food. I have to remember to shove my Ellas Kitchen pouches into a plastic container, when I’m going to meet her, to pass them off as my own. But she tries to catch me out, by asking me for recipes, and complicated questions about ingredients I use. She is going to rumble me Diary! And my status as Shit Mother of the Year will be known by all.
Signed: I have loads of other friends, why am I taking this bollocks?

Date: Fairly recently…

So Diary, we went to meet Raisins, AND her husband. Mr W wasn’t keen, he said if Raisins’ husband was anything like her, the meeting would be a disaster. But I’m still hoping my initial impressions were right, and somewhere in there is a good person. But Raisins and her husband basically report you to the police if you give your children juice. My children will only drink juice. There was a heart stopping moment where Mr W forgot what I’d briefed him, and ordered the children a juice in the café we were in. I averted Raisins and her husband making a citizens arrest, by intercepting the waiter, and changing the order to water. Raisins’ husband berated Mr W for giving baby 2 a taste of his bacon. He said the salt would kill him. This went down as I suspected, like a lead frigging balloon. You do not berate Mr W unless you are an actual friend of his, and most importantly, unless you are joking. Then the shit really hit the fan when child one dropped us in it by mentioning the chocolate bribe we had used to get him in the car to meet them… Raisins made her stance clear on this, by laying into me for not doing any Halloween activities with the children (we painted and carved melons, I didn’t realise only crap parents tried to ask for pumpkins on actual Halloween.) She felt the children would need therapy for not having been given the appropriate amount of Halloween themed enrichment activities. I have to say Diary, I think I’m fucking done with Raisins.
Signed: Someone who can’t take this shit anymore!

Date: Right now!

Dear Diary, I have some questions about Raisins…
Do you think I loathe her because I actually envy her Supermum power, and want to be her?
Do you think Raisins is just really insecure, and uses others to quash her insecurities?
Do you think my postnatal mentalist self, made Raisins up?
Is Raisins a figment of my imagination?
Do you have a Raisins in your life?

Thanks for reading!


Run Jump Scrap!

Run Jump Scrap!

Generic Baby Sleep Manual: A Review


The following is a review of a Generic Baby Sleep Manual! Usually an excellent gift for first time parents, or bought by more experienced parents whilst under the influence of sleep deprivation, in the hope that their lives may be salvaged through application of the comedy suggestions outlined by the book, to their real lives, thus achieving the ultimate goal-a baby who sleeps through the night.

Author: D. Lusional

Genre: Fiction; Comedy and Fantasy

Synopsis: A work of fiction, propelling the sleep deprived parent through a fantasy journey of hope, and lights at the end of the tunnel, before moving them to a path of frustration (the book has been known to induce yelling, and feelings of utter desperation and uselessness from readers, who pray that some overlap can be made from the fictional narrative, to real life,) before making the abrupt turnaround into moments of comedy gold, with hilarious suggestions as to how the reader can apply rituals to their lives in order to overcome the frustration and yelling, and achieve the stuff of myth and legend: A baby who sleep all night.

I was delighted to be given this book to review, as I love to test my Supermum status by trying to fit reading into days filled with softplay visits, playdates, visits to the park, and other activities I love doing, and to provide glorious distraction from the cycle of making up to 8 different dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and having my patience tested by all of them being either a) thrown at me, b) spat at me, c) thrown on the floor, or d) all three, whilst the darlings simultaneously scream into my face at the brutality of not being allowed chocolate for all of these meals, before invariably asking for the first meal they discarded, which they expect me to salvage from the bin. Also, having graduated from the University of Realistic Parenting, with 100% in modules in Sleep Deprivation, and Wines which help you Best Cope With Shit Sleepers, it was felt I was fully equipped for the job!

It is clear that the Generic Baby Sleep Manual is a work of fiction (new parents may be less inclined to notice so quickly, and may believe it to be real,) when the opening paragraph promises to solve ALL baby sleep problems, with no exception! Not only that, but it promises that the latter end of the book will turn an outrageously badly behaved toddler into a mild mannered angel, in a matter of days! Of course, not only does every parent know this to be impossible, the ways it suggests the taming be done, is nothing short of witchcraft! Furthermore, the author lists their credentials in dealing with unruly toddlers, and I did feel that this section of the book could have made more sense if written by a zoo keeper, as we all know that looking after toddlers is tantamount to caring for a group of wild animals, and if the author really was aiming for authenticity in this section, her credentials are invalid, and a zoo keeper would’ve provided the realism required.

The first real belly laugh came just after the opening pages. There was talk of honing psychic like abilities in order to look at your baby and be able to read their mind! Just like that! Fantastical claims were made that a parent can train their mind like a Jedi, in order to know when their baby is telling them they are tired, hungry, generally pissed off, just about to take a massive dump etc, so that they can intervene and prevent a car crash scenario where the baby chomps on your failing boobs in anger, whilst attempting to punch you in the face, before crapping all up its back in protest at your less than adequate Jedi status. There were also some very fancy acronyms used here, in order to help you do this. To the Realistic Parent, these were pant wettingly funny!

Then we moved onto the good stuff, the comedy gold! The author provides a notion that babies can be trained to sleep at the click of a parents fingers, to times outlined by the author. The outrageously funny comedy notion suggests that every single baby in the universe can be trained like Pavlov’s Dog, to fit to this universal template! Here I simply loved the idea that you are starting to become suspicious that the author really has a God complex, and I started to throw around sub plots and conspiracy theories in my head. It was intense. What if, in this particular book, the author IS actually God? And she has the ability to stealthily hypnotise, and/or inject the universes babies with sedatives, from her place in another realm, in order to achieve her mission? It would certainly make a change from the current Gold Standard Template of getting babies to sleep, from the Royal Institute of Crap Parenting, which we all know is as follows:

Bath the child. In the chaos, half the water will end up on the floor, and half of it will be drank by the child, but the child will be clean.

On the way out of the bathroom, if able, the child must pull the light cord a minimum of three times. If they don’t a tantrum will ensue, thus ruining any calm you have achieved.

Once in the child’s in their bedroom, you must dry them quickly and efficiently, bonus sleep points are given from the child to the parent if they can dry them whilst the child is attempting to roll away/ask to hold every toy it owns/make record decibel breaking requests for milk/chocolate.

Once the child has been battled into its night clothes, it will turn down requested milk, and ask for stories. The same story must be read a minimum of 10 times.

When the child finally accepts being placed in its cot, you must lay next to the cot, and hold his or her hand through the cot bars until they fall asleep. This will invariably end in the parent falling asleep first, and the child will celebrate victory by throwing its dummy at the parents head, to remind them that it calls the sleep shots.

Repeat this final step as many times as necessary for the child to fall asleep.

Oh how The Generic Baby Sleep Manual provided an enchanting, whimsical break from this reality! I found the shifts between comedy and fantasy to be smooth and flowing, and one of the great novelty points of this book.
Next, the rest of the book was made up of hundreds of pages (and I mean HUNDREDS) of rituals, which it encourages parents to try, in order to get a non sleeping baby to sleep immediately. Some of the rituals were comic, and some slightly odd and almost Satanic, a real interesting use of contrasts. I do feel a ‘don’t try this at home’ disclaimer should’ve been included here. Here, any newbie parent could easily be fooled into trying these rituals, and spend many a frustrating hour trying to implement them, when they simply won’t work. They are to be enjoyed for comedy value only!

A real negative point I found with this book is that it tries to brainwash the more unwitting reader into thinking that dummy addiction is a rare occurrence, and that callous use of dummies should be encouraged. As the fiction of the book tries so hard to parallel with reality, I feel it is my place as founder and CEO of Parents of Dummy Addicts Unite, to remind all new and would be parents that ONE SUCK IS ALL IT TAKES. Proceed with dummy use with caution.

So, dear readers, there is my review! To summarise, this well written book will elicit a huge range of emotions from you. If you are massively sleep deprived, you could possibly become anxious and weepy when you reach the end of the story, and realise that sleeping through the night is not a realistic or attainable target. Wine will help, and my module in Wines which help with Shit Sleepers, suggests that a good, crisp Sauvignon Blanc will help with these emotions. But as comedy fantasies go, not bad! I give it a well deserved 4 stars!

Thanks for reading!


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