My lovely friends and family are popping out sprogs left, right and centre at the moment!
What surprises me the most when they ask for advice (aside from the fact that they’re actually asking ME; they clearly don’t read my blog) is how shockingly little of the detail I remember! The products we used, the routines we had in place, the tips we tried; it’s all a bit of a blur now…
What I DO remember, however, are the following glaring omissions from those ‘What To Expect Once Your Hoo-ha’s Been Hijacked‘ type books:
1. I spent far too much time worrying about my boobs and totally neglected to consider the postpartum consequences of squeezing a cannonball-shaped baby down my birth canal; ice packs, rubber rings, Tea Tree Oil… be prepared ladies!
2. Wooden toys are beautiful, durable and classic, but they hurt like hell. Childbirth is bloody painful, but being repeatedly smacked in the face with a maraca is no picnic either…
3. From now on, whenever you’re in the shower, you’ll be convinced that you can hear your baby screaming, even when they’re not. Unless ‘Psycho’ happens to be your go-to chill-out movie, this really sucks, as it’s often the only chance for a bit of peace and quiet that you’ll get all day!
4. Babies spend 90% of their time finding new and interesting ways to give you a heart attack. That periodic breathing crap they pull, their ability to turn bright purple on a whim… Miss O’s new trick is to suddenly stop everything she’s doing, stare into an empty corner of the living room and start waving in a horrifying ‘I see dead people!‘ fashion. It’s totally fine though, I didn’t fancy sleeping tonight anyway.
5. It’s entirely possible to be absolutely maxed out, yet incredibly bored at the same time. There was a period of time (let’s call it the 6 – 12 week shitstorm) when the only way I could get Miss O to stop crying was to walk her around the bathroom for HOURS on end with the tap running – here’s an interesting fact; there are exactly 322 tiles on my bathroom walls! Consider your world rocked.
6. Lullabies are COMPLETELY unfit for purpose. They’re all about 10 seconds long, max. Show me a mother who can get a colicky child to sleep by the last bar of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and I’ll show you a bloomin’ liar. In the end, I had to resort to a chilled-out version of that perennial favourite, the 12 Days of Christmas – she was usually out for the count before the lords started a’leaping, thankfully!
7. Sometimes, you just have to think creatively around seemingly impossible problems. Like the time Miss O was in hospital and we had to collect a wee sample from her before we could go home (FML). After an unsuccessful hour spent chasing a half-naked toddler around a ward with a paper bowl, she climbed aboard for a cuddle, pissed all over me, and hopped off. What’s a girl to do? Strip off and wring said wee-soaked clothing out over the bowl of course – job done!
8. It’s a great idea to batch cook and freeze lots of meals in advance. It’s also worth asking yourself if you’d be happy to eat them A – with one hand, B – freezing cold, and C – in under 45 seconds (the answer of course is D – all of the above)
9. It’s amazing when they start crawling, then walking, and how quickly this progresses to full-on sprinting. Every time Miss O runs screaming towards me, my heart is filled with love, but also, a very real fear that this might be the head-on collision that ends me.
10. And finally, when it comes to nappy clean-up operations, cotton wool balls are utter sh*te. Unless you’ve always longed for a child with the face of an angel and the arse of a sheep, in which case, they’re flippin’ fantastic.
I might write in and see if I can get some of these into the next edition of that book … any that you’d add?