I have left the brochures behind the S bend. If Jasper knew that i had found them, he would probably be quite alarmed, filled with horror at the thought that their discovery could trigger a financial splurge. He will soon be adding The Autumn Collection to his stash. He'll need to find a bigger hiding place. The current one is running out of space.
One of the fun things about having a baby girl (or boy) is choosing her outfits. When i was pregnant i passed many a happy hour in The White Company gazing dreamily at all the beautiful clothes. Surprisingly, I only bought a couple of things, deciding that he/she could wear white baby-gro's for the first 12 months. It was, after all, highly practical, enabling me to wash everything on a 60, liberally sprayed with Vanish to maintain a pristine whiteness. I bought her a little dress "for best" and was proud of myself for being so frugal.
Consequently, i was slightly dismayed by the relentless stream of babywear brochures that landed on my doormat to test my resolve. I stoically ignored them at first, binning them without so much as glancing at the front cover. One day i made the fatal mistake of opening the Baby Boden brochure before chucking it out, exposing myself to the irresistible charms of outrageously cute clothes, modelled by equally cute babies. I caught a fleeting glimpse of a pastel pink romper suit with an applique of Mother Goose and a navy chunky knit woolly jumper featuring a cartoon fox. I threw it in the bin and carried on loading the dishwasher...5 minutes later, i was rummaging in the bin to retrieve it and scraping the congealing morsels of fried eggs and cornflakes off the front cover. These companies are clever. They realise that if they tempt you for long enough, your resistance will eventually crumble. Slowly and insidiously , they work their magic, tempting you with the siren call of white broderie anglaise smock dresses, cashmere mix rompers, corduroy trousers with pink turn-ups, angora hats and matching mittens. It's a no-win situation. Eventually, i succumbed.
When Lily was 4 months old, i wearily admitted defeat and locked myself in the bathroom with Baby Boden Winter 09, the telephone and my debit card. 10 minutes later i emerged, £200 worse off. I sneaked down the stairs, opened the woodburner and shoved the brochure into the flames.