Raising life

At last, as our child plays, I take a moment to read the paper and catch up with what's going on beyond Teletubbyland. Film reviews. Oh dear. Skip those pages for a while yet. I lost the plot in 1996 about half way through Independence Day when the mass bombing of aliens became too terrifying for our baby protesting from the womb about the noise. How about the theatre page then? Mmm. Similar problem. Curtain rises just around bath time.

Never mind, there's always the TV page. Page? Actually a few lines would suffice - a couple first thing in the morning, outlining Children's BBC between waking and finishing shaving. Then a few more covering that brief evening period between silence descending on the home and Trevor McDonald packing me off to bed. I don't need to bother with all that interesting stuff after 11pm, like Film 98. So I'm stuck with a bland diet of soaps, docusoaps and documentaries. Must get a video recorder.

Crash. The impenetrable gaze of Saddam Hussein staring out of the paper is crumpled by grinning child bearing plastic brick. She's just realised that my attention has turned elsewhere. Sorreee! So we sprawl on the carpet, me pretending to be a co-brickie, while furtively spreading the paper across the floor. But she's not falling for that one. A large photo of Janet Street-Porter is quickly obscured by a nappied bottom. "Look, teeth," I say patiently to child as I lift her off and point at the picture. And she smiles, finger feeling for the few teeth she herself has acquired.

Of course, I've been breaking the cardinal rule of baby-caring. You can't drift off and do something on your own. They must come everywhere with you. Yes, even there.

I realise my mistake. We should be reading the paper together. We're in luck. Never mind the front page splash announcing that World War III might be averted, page two has a photograph of two babies at a massage class. We're both hooked. But it's a long haul before anything else proves interesting. Then, at last, we reach the ball pages. A shriek greets a little red ball, swept by Mark Ramprakash past a wicket keeper. There's a tiny white one in a shot of Greg Rusedski, but there is a really large one underneath Jeremy Guscott's arm. It's wonderful. Total excitement at pages and pages of balls.

But the dailies don't rate against the weekend papers in which animals cover the travel pages. And we pore over the horse pages with wild delight. Amid today's fierce newspaper war to attract young readers, I've discovered the winning formula. We're switching to the Racing Post.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

    £30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada