An Exploration into the Child Rearing Tribes of Nappy Valley.
Location: Borough of Wandsworth, South West London.
Reason: One of the most densely populated areas of the country with a particularly high birth rate. There is no better place to explore the cultural interactions of the child rearing tribes that inhabit this urban jungle.
Methodology: For the last 8 months I have acquired a child and ingratiated myself wholeheartedly into the comings and goings of the area that dubs itself ‘Nappy Valley’ in a bid to observe the inhabitants behavior in their natural habitat.
1. The Alpha Mother
The Alpha is currently on maternity leave from her highly pressurised career in Finance/Law/Medicine. The Alpha approaches child rearing with the same force she applies to her stellar career. Little Fenella’s schedule is as diversified as her mother’s fund portfolio. Mandarin classes, baby ballet and grade 5 piano lessons all before Monday’s lunchtime nap. After 6 months the nanny is installed in the basement annex of the Wandsworth Common Northside town house. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Fenella most of all.
2. The Reluctant Nappy Valley-er
RNV-ers migrated to Nappy Valley in their early 20s in search of greater prosperity. They always harbored a desire to return to their native turf of Wolverhampton/Bridlington/Swindon etc but somewhere along the way met a mate and set up home in Nappy Valley. Often heard lamenting that they would like a garden and that their 2 bedroom flat is slightly cramped with all the children in tow. Yet trips backs to the homeland to visit the tribal elders deflate the RNV-ers as they realize it’s just a bit sh*t. Eventually they’ll settle in a semi in Surbiton.
3.The Male of the Species
The male of the species is usually observed interacting with his young on weekends. They are usually spotted aggressively pushing their offspring on swings. Watering holes also seem to hold a particular fascination for the male Nappy Valley-er. Watering Holes of the swimming pool and the public house variety, frequently the latter is retreated to after an encounter in the former.
There is an emerging number of lone adult males who can be seen patrolling the area during the week. This sub tribe is dubbed the Stay at Home Dad. Whilst still in the minority it is encouraging to see. The Stay at Home Dad’s can often be seem congregating at Baby Cinema showings and swimming lessons (seriously, what is it with the water?!)
4. The Pro
A long suffering individual with numerous offspring. Often seen looking tired, harassed and with various food stuffs smeared across their jeans. The Pro is the lifeblood of Nappy Valley. They are most likely to be spotted on PTA’s, organising street parties and soft play dates. They are a font of knowledge for playgroup opening times, wet weather activities and with a handbag full of plasters/wetwipes/calpol/spare clothes/muslins/snacks/kitchen sink. The Pro is often seen buying wine in large quantities.
5. The Houdini
A phenomena rather than a tribe. Houdini’s frequent NCT and baby groups throughout the borough. They peddle their tales of episiotomies, marital discourse and other manner of intimate conversations to lure in their prey. Then they disappear and never be seen again. Is this due to a transient and high population density or something more sinister? Or do I just attract oversharing wierdos who then just ditch me?!…Am I the weird one?
6. The infamous Yummy Mummy
The most commonly lauded tribes abundant in Nappy Valley, the Yummy Mummy has achieved great fame. The yummy mummy can be identified by her swishy glossy hair, breton top and impossibly well behaved brood. This species are most likely to congregate in Waitrose and outside the gates of any impossibly expensive private school at 4pm. They patrol the borough in their customary Range Rover. The yummy mummy inspires much jealousy amongst the other tribes but rarely comes to any real harm. Probably because she’s just too darn nice. Bitchy McBitchface can’t even hate her…and I try.