I STILL feel a bit resentful about the peanut butter thing, to be honest.
When I was newly pregnant, I craved the stuff but was sternly warned against eating it for nine months lest it give my baby a deadly nut allergy. Within the year, the health visitor was merrily recommending peanut butter on toast as a weaning food. 'Oh, that's all changed now,' she said airily, when I looked confused.
The thing about parental guilt is that if you only wait long enough, half the cast iron official advice you have been worried sick about disobeying turns out to be wrong anyway. Last week it was the turn of weaning, when a team of paediatricians said the commandment to wait six months before giving anything but breast milk might be wrong, leaving yet more anxious new mothers confused.
Trust your instincts, everyone says, which is all very well but meaningless: I don't have any deep, primal instincts about peanut butter. The truth is that a lot of parenthood is just about winging it, doing roughly what your parents did (if you feel that turned out all right) and crossing your fingers - and remembering that if it doesn't work, you usually have time to change tack.
So here, for what it's worth, are the three best pieces of parenting advice I was ever given, all of which have withstood if not the test of time, at least four years.
1.'The key is to get used to never exactly finishing anything.'
Sentences, say. Cups of tea before they get cold. Work, before having to leave the office on time. The house you have only half done up. If you like leaving things neat and tidy with no loose ends, it's important to realise that life isn't really like that any more.
2. In response to me asking what would be the most useful thing to do in the last few weeks between stopping work and having the baby: 'Absolutely bloody nothing. Maybe watch a boxset.'
Or put more traditionally, in the first few weeks of having a baby, never stand up when you could conceivably sit; never sit when you could conceivably lie down; and never just lie down when you could conceivably be asleep. Less is more. This quite possibly works for parenting teenagers as well, I imagine.
3. On looking after a tiny baby: 'Start the day with just one thing in mind that you'd like to have achieved by the end, to make yourself feel in control.' Me (hopefully): "What, like go to an art gallery?' Her (pitying expression): 'No, like get dressed.'
What was the best baby advice you ever got?