Dried milk

On the trials and rewards of weaning children

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  • Published 20221101
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE RUIN OF the new mother is the raspberry.

I give Yasmin, her eight-month-old, the bursting prize of the red berry. I know what I am doing. Yasmin’s smooth, brand-name knit has never been stained, until today. I jerk the chain on my own passive-aggressive sabotage, but it’s the only way to defend my own decomposing home: a living room covered in smeared yoghurt, crumbs and spilled milk. Mothers are competitive. They compete over sleep, over breastfeeding, over bottle-feeding, over milestones, over sanitised cleanliness, over baby-led weaning and puréed liver as a first food. It is not a matter or skill or devotion; it is simply luck or privilege or choice of partner, but mothers compare and internalise nevertheless. Your love for your child is dependent on your ability to feedthem perfectly. Raspberries are the great equaliser.

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