Mummy has been reading a book kindly bought for her on the arrival of the small one called French Children Don’t Throw Food. It was generously gifted to Mummy by her French cousins, who presumably assumed Mummy’s inadequate English upbringing would result in her rearing a food-hurling Neanderthal, and that Mummy would need much help and guidance to prevent total disaster (they were right.)
It is written by a lovely American lady called Pamela, who has dedicated years of her life to discovering exactly why French Children Don’t Throw Food, and subsequently imparting this wisdom to the masses by means of a book.
Firstly, Pam informs Mummy, one should not acquiesce to The Baby’s every demand in the hope of averting a tantrum, but should teach delayed gratification by means of Le Pause. In short, The Baby should wait for things. This seems a remarkably simple and entirely sensible requirement, which Mummy decides to implement immediately in order to stop The Baby from throwing food. There are plenty of opportunities to implement Le Pause, because The Baby always wants something, reasons Mummy. It does not take long for an opportunity to present itself.
The Baby wants Mummy to pick her up, but Mummy wants to put on a bra first. Ah-ha! thinks Mummy. I will use Le Pause! *
The first attempt goes well…
…but Mummy does not lose heart. (In fact, Mummy has been using Le Pause on a frequent and daily basis since The Baby was born, because she is not a super human and sometimes babies just have to bloody well wait for things. Until now, however, Mummy has called it bloody well waiting and defined its purpose as because it won’t kill you to wait two seconds. It seems entirely more classy and educated to call it Le Pause and define its purpose as to teach the important skill of delayed gratification. Mummy has Pam to thank for that.)
At the local baby group, Mummy is talking to a fellow-mum who happens to be French, and happens to mention Le Pause. “Ah, oui!” exclaims French Maman. “This they must learn! But for the little ones it is not always easy!” She goes on to describe how her two year old clamoured for a piece of her birthday cake at every opportunity… so much so it was put on a high shelf until she forgot about it and it could be proffered without demands. So long was Le Pause in this instance that, when the time came, the cake had gone stale and had to be thrown out.
Mummy is simultaneously impressed and horrified. The commitment to Le Pause is no doubt commendable. But she threw it out? All of it?!
“It could not be eaten,” explains French Maman. Mummy is completely confused. Maybe something has been lost in translation?
Mummy is now working on a book sequel entitled English Mothers Don’t Waste Cake.
*DISCLAIMER: Pamela suggests using Le Pause to closely observe your baby for a moment, to become more in tune with their needs and thus able to better manage their requirements and avoid unwanted behaviours. Not to put on a bra. But Mummy finds it hard to be observant and think intellectual thoughts without a bra on.