I’m a parenting newbie. A novice. An intern, if you will. But in the 5 short months I’ve been getting to grips with this whole one-small-human-whose-very-survival-depends-on-me thing, I’ve learnt 10 universal truths.
1. There is no such thing as good timing.
Baby feeds at 12? Then you plan to be ready to leave to meet your friend for lunch at 12:30, right? Simple.
No. Not simple. If you arrange to go out at 12:30 then baby will feed at 12:33. And if you decide to wait even longer and decide to go out at 1, then baby will be hungry at 1:06pm. Expecting a shopping delivery at 2pm? Then at 1:59pm baby will be so inconsolably hungry that the delivery driver will actually believe you are starving the baby and will give you an odd luck as he bungs a load of boxes through your door, gets you to scribble something that would never pass for a signature on his electronic thingie with the one hand you are able to temporarily free up and makes a dart for it.
I feed on demand, so this is common for me.
But so what? Little fella is gaining weight steadily. He can feed when he is hungry 🙂
2. The human body copes extraordinarily well with 3.5 hours of sleep
Baby goes to bed at 7. He wakes at 11. I feed him before I go to bed then. Typically, he will then wake up once more before getting up at 6:30.
And that’s a good night.
If I have a night like that, it’s high fives all around and I’m bouncing around the place the next morning like one of those women from some sanitary product ad who appears to be disconcertingly ecstatic about the fact she can still go shopping while on her period in the year 2015.
A year ago, I was Cruella de Vil if I didn’t get 8 hours. Just ask my long suffering husband…
3. There are some poos that nappies just were not made to cope with
It’s not the nappy. And it isn’t you.
It’s the poo.
Short of someone inventing full body nappy suits, those poos that end up at the base of their neck and right down to their knees are unstoppable. Accept them. Nay, embrace them. You have no choice.
4. Speaking of poo….
You will talk about poo a lot more than you ever did.
All the time in fact. You will text your husband daily poo updates while he is at work. And your husband will be genuinely interested. In fact, if you haven’t text him by lunch time he will probably text you asking about poo.
And this is ok.
5. Boys will pee on you. Daily.
“It’s because of the change in temperature,” several people have told me. “If you take his nappy off more slowly or change him in a warmer room it will be fine.”
I could change him in a sauna and he would still wee on me.
Rather than sweat this stuff, I choose instead to store these memories for discussion when be brings his first girlfriend home – by which point he will be
18 21 25 30, by the way.
6. Your face is a toy.
Oliver started grabbing at about 14 weeks. And since he discovered that his hands could do this remarkable thing (and, of course, that he could use this skill to drag everything in his reach to his mouth) he has grabbed everything. His favourite thing to grab is my face. Nose. Top lip.
It’s all there. It’s all a big toy. And he’s not gentle.
But his fascination with my face is so ridiculously cute that I really love it.
7. You don’t have to change every time you get puked on.
For the first couple of days I had our son home, I took to changing my top every single time he was sick on it (or peed on it).
Normal, you would think. After all, who sits around in a pee and puke sodden top?!
Me. I do. I do that. That is what I am now.
Changing every time baby gets some form of fluid on you will mean you spend your whole day changing and you have quite enough laundry as it is, thanks.
I am one of those people who just shrugs it off and thinks, “Well… I’m not going anywhere today.”
8. Pub? No thanks…
I’m in the incredibly fortunate position of having a lot of childcare options. My Mum (after spending the best part of the last 5 years nagging me for Grandchildren) loves looking after our little man and she lives very locally. So I don’t have practical concerns about going out on weekends.
“Coming to the pub?” someone might ask.
“No, not this weekend.”
“Ah, babysitter shortage?”
No. Never a babysitter shortage. I just don’t feel the desire to leave the little man. We’ve had a couple of nights away for various events (surprise 30ths, anniversary etc) since Oliver was born. And while I appreciate the importance of time together not being parents, I always look forward to getting back to his little face.
I like to get out for a drink and a chill out every few weeks. But I wouldn’t enjoy leaving him every weekend… not in the slightest.
9. The world is brilliant.
As adults, we don’t really appreciate the little things, do we? But his face when he sees something for the first time is just amazing.
We take him to the park and he’s just utterly amazed by trees. Trees. Never mind the ducks… it’s the trees. He looks around at our local park like it’s a huge unexplored world. And to him, of course, it is. But each time he sees something for the first time again, it makes me look at it in a different way. How incredible is it to get to see someone experiencing all this stuff for the first time?
10. The things that used to matter don’t really matter anymore
Bad hair day? Spots? iPhone playing up? Can’t decide where to go on holiday?
The things that used to bother me don’t matter anymore. If he’s happy and healthy, I’ve very little by way of any other things that bother me.