Today my daughter is six months old. Practically a toddler. Terrifying. Most depressing day of parenthood so far. How the hell did this happen…
Over the last half a year I’ve laughed, cried, wept, cried more (crying right now…) and used the phrase ‘nipple confusion’ far more than I ever thought possible.
Such delicate, personal experiences can clearly only be portrayed via a series of edited bullet points… (Don’t worry I’ve left all the boring, obvious stuff out.) So here’s what I’ve learnt:
I can hold in a wee for two days without even noticing. Eating is no longer a basic human right, it is a luxury. Mother & Baby parking spaces, lifts and under-eye concealer are now a basic human right.You will spend the first three months hoping that when their first hair falls out what’s left isn’t ginger. You’d only be kidding yourself if you said ending up with a ‘Ginge’ wouldn’t make you love them a little bit less. When you’re bored, nothing cheers you up quite like balancing objects on your baby’s face and/or head. The Baby TV channel will SAVE YOUR SOUL. You think you won’t do it, but you will. It’s inevitable. Deal with it. You will start lying to everyone. Even yourself. Frequently. Saying ridiculous things like ‘I’m fine, hardly feel the tiredness at all…’ or ‘Even when I’m angry and exhausted I just look at her little face smiling back at me and it’s fine…’ Nothing’s fine. You’re not fine. It’s just too late to turn back now so denial is the only option. In addition to point 7 – you will become quite irrationally irritated by people without children who say they are tired. It even annoys you that you sometimes thought you were tired before you had a baby. At least now you know better. But they don’t. THEY HAVE NO IDEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. (It’s ok though – when they do have children you will remember to laugh in their faces)Toys have one function – baby distraction. You will discard everything cute, white and fluffy you bought before the baby arrived and turn desperately to the baby-friendly assault course that used to be your living room and allows you an hour at a time’s piece and quiet.Evenings are now all about fantasy house shopping on Rightmove. Sometimes you will remember that you thought your current house/flat was big enough for a baby… Oh how foolish you were. Any spare time outside of this is used for crying. It takes at least two months not to grin like an idiot whilst pushing the buggy and wonder if everyone is looking at you thinking ‘well, clearly she’s never done that before.’ You then spend the following three months feeling weird if you’re not pushing a buggy, like you might fall forwards or something…Forget handbags – Thing. Of. The. Past. You will never carry anything unnecessary ever again. Any night out has to be truly epic to justify the sheer hell that is being hungover with a baby. Never felt guiltier than breastfeeding whilst still being able to taste Tequila…Referring to yourself as a ‘mummy’ and your other half as a ‘Daddy’ just feels wrong. Even more bizarre is calling your parents Granny and Grandad. As does comprehending the idea that your baby isn’t just a ‘baby’ and is actually a little person. NO, NO, NO, NO. Just block it out. Perhaps it will sink in on their 1st birthday…There’s not much a gin induced coma can’t get you through.