Wednesday 25 February 1998
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.
Life & Style blogs
Twitter’s American Airlines ‘terror threat’ 14-year-old girl arrested by police in Rotterdam
Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
Heartbleed: 50m Android phones may be affected, report shows
World’s first cannabis vending machine unveiled in Colorado
Smoking cannabis could change the part of the brain dealing with motivation, according to one new study
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Ukip and Nigel Farage on the up over Maria Miller furore and 'Sexminster' culture
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 What's in the safe? Man live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
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