It cannot be said that the possession of a fully functioning pair of bathroom scales is an unmitigated blessing. On the contrary, there are times when the item in question is more of a bane than a boon. You step on and they heap reproaches on you for the gluttonous indulgence of some holiday season. Or you refuse to step on and they mutely upbraid you for your arrant cowardice. 'Madam,' you hear them say 'you may avoid us for a season but be sure that the moment of truth will come and you will have gained nothing (except more pounds) from your procrastination.'
However ambivalent my attitude towards this voice of truth masquerading as a domestic article, the discovery I made earlier today that the Infant Phenomenon has completely wrecked our bathroom scales (a rather smart digital pair, courtesy of Mr John Lewis) by means of jumping on it with greater vigour than decorum, simply for the fun of the thing, has slightly saddened me.
Notwithstanding the many reproaches they have cast on me, I remember that I have gone through the frankly comical weight gain of two 'interesting conditions' with them and two periods of hard-fought weight loss, in which every fraction of a kilo gone has been a cause for celebration, and when I have almost heard the usually reproachful voice saying 'Well done'.
I feel that I have lost a stern, but on the whole benevolent, mentor. Having said which, perhaps I shall replace them with a less smart and consequently less expensive pair, which it will be harder for either the Infant Phenomenon or the Inexhaustible Baby to demolish. Not that I would put it beyond either of them...