A friend of mine was concerned about an aspect of his little girl's behaviour, so he asked his health visitor: "Should I be worried?" To which she replied: "Do you think you should be worried?"
Hopefully, the latest NHS pilot scheme in Fife will be a bit more forthcoming with solutions to parenting problems. The Community Mums service provides trained, experienced, volunteer mums to visit shell-shocked new mothers, chat to them and give them whatever friendly advice they need on issues from breastfeeding to healthy eating and general parenting problems.
Schemes such as this are particularly valuable to people like me, who had a baby without a traditional support network or, indeed, any previous experience of the creatures. It's important to have access to someone who's been there, done that and got the stains on their T-shirt. I've always been very open to advice because I've felt I don't know much, but after nearly two and a half years of hands-on kid-wrangling, I'm wondering whether I could be a volunteer expert mother.
Well, I had no problems breastfeeding, so I could talk about that (tickle its nose with your nipple -the baby, I mean -and its mouth will open wide so you can pop the breast in and away you go). Sleep whenever you can, even if you haven't vacuumed the house since the second trimester. If you mix baby rice into yoghurt, it makes mousse. Oh, and when the going gets really tough, this mantra helps: "Less than two decades to go ... less than two decades to go."