As soon as I'd posted the picture I regretted it. Of course I didn't regret the picture of my darling gorgeous beautiful daughter but the supposedly funny comment beneath it: "My poor child, covered in dirt. Call social services." Naturally I didn't mean I was a bad parent.
Far from it, in fact I wanted everyone to look at the picture, admire my daughter and then admire how earthy and outdoorsy
we all were. I regretted it because it was a perfect example of the humble-brag.
Social networking site Twitter has been awash with examples of celebs and wannabe-celebs' humble brags, one of the best and most perfectly concise being, "I just stepped on gum. Who spits gum on a red carpet?"
Parenting humble-brags might take the following form: I (parent) am so bad because insert not bad/really quite enviable thing here. Sit back and wait for reassurance/praise and/or both.
Sometimes a humble-brag will be an innocuous enough comment but contain some killer information such as, "Tripped over on my way home from collecting Jemima from her GRADE SEVEN cello exam. What an idiot."
But nobody does it better than parents. "OMG," Facebooked
one friend of mine recently, "Jay fell off the bottom stair this morning. He is so advanced, I sometimes forget he's only ten months old and still a baby."
Well we didn't, love, you keep reminding us every five minutes that he's 'only' 10 months.
"Silly Jay trying to use a knife and fork when he's only been feeding himself for a few months..."
A good friend of mine, Barry, is a master of the humble-brag. His son, Peter, is three years old and Barry is 'worried' about his development. He's worried because Barry appears to be streets ahead of his peers and might be having a hard time at nursery. No he's not. YOU'RE having a hard time at nursery because the staff don't recognise little Petey's genius.
"I do SO worry that he will end up being bored," sighs dad, when instead we'd all just rather he ran around the playground shouting "My kid's cleverer than your kid. Ner ner ner ner ner,"
which, to be honest, is what he really would rather be doing.
Another friend's little darling has been doing some modelling work. "OMG totally forgot to take Scarlett's shoot makeup off this morning," she will opine, "poor little thing."
Oh yes, what shoot was that? Because you hadn't mentioned that your daughter was a model. Well not for the last three hours anyway.
The humble-brag is entirely different to the genuine and refreshing brag.
"OMG my child is simply just fricking brilliant" or the genuinely humble (as favoured by my friend Hannah, who adorably has NO idea how this parental bragging thing works), "Whoops. I think my child might actually ACTUALLY be dim."
The humble-brag is sly, it's disingenuous and it's almost impossible not to do if you're both British (ergo reserved) parent (ergo proud and smug as pants).
Now, excuse me while I go and get the baby's dinner. She is SO boring, ALL she wants to eat is broccoli all the time. She'll turn into one if she's not careful...
Fess up, do you do humble bragging? What are the most annoying ones (obviously coming from other people, never you)?
It's so fascinating to see your little one learn about the world, not to mention her own body. If you're lucky, you might even witness the expression on her face when she realises her hands are attached…and she can use them to bat stuff with! (I witnessed the very moment my daughter realised her feet were attached, when she bit down hard on a big toe.)</p>
- Family ties
There will be a particular moment, perhaps not even straight away, and perhaps when you are doing the most mundane of things, when you’ll look at your partner and your baby, and it will hit you for the very first time that you are "a family".</p>
- Making scents
You might have heard people talking about the intoxicating scent of a baby's head before and wondered what on earth they were going on about. But take a big whiff of your own little nipper, and you’ll be away with the fairies! No, you haven't just gone gooey – some experts think babies' heads give off pheromones that send oxytocin coursing through your veins (dads, too). Breathe it in, it doesn't last forever!</p>
- Touching moments
Feeding your baby is always a great time for bonding, but it's the little unexpected things they do - such as clutching at your hand, pawing your breast (or, as mine did, pinging your bra strap) that make it memorable.</p>
- Getting the giggles
Some babies do it early, others make their parents wait and work bloody hard for it… but the first time your baby really laughs from their belly, your heart will sing! Who'd have thought daddy could ever be THAT funny? Seriously.</p>
- Here's lookin' at you!
Most babies arrive a bit puffy and spend the first few days with their faces screwed up, trying to make sense of the shapes they’re suddenly seeing. But when those dark eyes actually find yours, you’ll be blown away by the feeling that this brand new little person knows you to your very soul.</p>
- Mini me!
Many parents find it easier to see their newborn as an image of their partner - but the first time you recognise a part of yourself in your baby (perhaps a wonky yawn or the way they lift their eyebrows) is a strange, yet lovely, sensation.</p>
- Snooze fests
There is nothing more peaceful than reclining with a sleeping baby on your chest: soft little breaths, squidgy cheeks, a perfect pause in time… Zzzz.</p>
- Simple things
You wouldn't be normal unless you sometimes missed the old days, when you could drop everything and head out for a night on the town. But the realisation that you really would rather be snuggling at home with your baby than out strutting your stuff makes you feel as warm as the cup of cocoa you're clutching.</p>
- The 'awwww!' factor
From hiccupping (seriously adorable) to learning to kiss you back, there will by myriad moments of supreme cuteness. But possibly the biggest "Awww!" will come when you use the bubbles in your baby’s bath to make him look like a gnome (and he beams at you because he has no idea what he looks like).</p>
- Adulation and adoration
Who needs to be a superstar, eh? With your baby comes the stupendous feeling of being the funniest, loveliest, most important person in any room. And, of course, you are.</p>