It’s hard to believe I have been a mum now for just over half of a year. I could write a book about all the things I’ve learned about myself, parenting and poo, but I’ll save you (and me) the time and gory deets and just provide the abridged version.
So here are some of the latest things I have learned from the fruits of my groin in the past sunshine-soaked six months…
Time really does go fast. Savour and cherish every moment. Evvvveryone tells you at the beginning to enjoy the baby stage because ‘they grow up so fast.’ And it’s true; one minute they are a tiny, floppy newborn with the physical coordination of a slinky and before you know it they are a strong, wriggling six month old, where trying to change a nappy is nothing short of wrestling an alligator. (An alligator covered in poo).
Life is an emotional roller-coaster, lemmie tell you. Ways to amuse my child #101: hitting myself over the head with a measuring cup. One minute they’re laughing harder than Elmo on nitrous oxide, the next, you’re as amusing as a frontal lobotomy.
Laugh, scream, poo, scream, scream, laugh… Can’t. Keep. Up.
That said, a smile or a laugh can change your mood in an instant. Everyone can relate I’m sure, some days just are harder than others. There have been days where I just feel completely wiped out and perhaps borderline stabby. But, as soon as Amélie gives me a big gummy grin, I melt and realise instantly what’s important (and it’s not the washing that’s been in the machine so long that it’s now on it’s third fourth cycle).
It’s the simple things. You can buy them all the toys in the world, but, let’s be honest, nothing compares to a flip-flop. Apparently a plethora of toys does not equal compliant and happy babies; I can sit Amélie down in the ‘baby-ed off’ area of our living room (which happens to look like somewhere Toys R Us threw up after a particularly heavy night), turn my back for 1 second and she’ll be gnawing on a shoe/electrical plug/iPhone, because come’on guys, that’s where the real fun is at.
Caffeine is an absolutely essential part of parenthood. Basically on a par with oxygen.
Your child’s wardrobe will be 300 times better than yours, and that’s that. Oh and the sassier the outfit the more likely an anal/oral eruption from baby Rubiano.
Babies want to scalp you. There’s no other way of putting it, they love/hate hair. Amélie’s absolute favourite pastime is clawing clumps of my hair with her clammy paws and chewing it. And short of shaving my head, there’s really not a lot I can do about it.
Speaking of claws, let’s talk about those fingernails. They. Grow. So. Fast. People often miss out the small detail that parenthood also comes with a side order of physical assault. They scratch, they bite, they kick, they headbutt, they pinch.
Pregnant? Well, prepare yourself for war, my friend, because by having a baby, you’re going into battle.
You become a fast and efficient, one-handed magician at doing pretty much everything. But you will also be late everywhere you go, every time.
Babies = mess ninjas. Baby led weaning is 5% watching your child explore and enjoy new foods and textures and 95% cleaning up after them. I’m certain someone told Amélie on the sly that solid foods are actually digested via the ears and nose.
T.G.I. Naptime. All hail the sacred naptime. I consider it the only part of the day when I can actually get anything done, except when it does eventually come around, I often find myself lost and wandering around the house absent-mindedly forgetting what I have to do.
Sometimes I wonder if parenthood is just a constant battle of wanting your baby to nap and then missing them and wanting to wake them up as soon as they do fall asleep.
Babies are fluff magnets. Amélie often looks like the Stig (and we’re not talking the Top Gear kind). Fluff gets stuck to her snot’tashe, there’s crusty dried milk behind her ears, and long hair weaved around her fingers (btw a baby’s neck folds is a legit place to check for lost property).
As she shuffles around our apartment like a piece of Velcro fishing for dirt, I have to remind myself that it’s a positive thing that she explores with such readiness and vigour.
It’s pointless ever trying to empty the nappy bin. I can’t remember what the bottom looks like, that’s if it has one.
They should make a range of baby poo-coloured clothes. For minimal stain visibility. As well as carpets, and sofas, and duvet covers…
It gets better everyday. Well maybe not every day. Some days it’s more of a cha-cha-cha; with two steps forward comes one step back, but when you eventually get to grips with the dance that is parenthood, you realise it’s a truly beautiful one.
I still find it difficult to believe 6 months have gone by already. It’s been the hardest but most incredible 6 months of my life, full of happiness, love and wonder (plus the odd turdal wave which we try not to mention too often). I’m now finding myself at a point of real conflict, where I want her to stay our teeny, tiny baby yet still get to watch her discover and learn as she blossoms into the lovely little girl she is becoming.
Your whole world seems to shift once you’ve got a small human to look after, but watching your baby grow is the most amazing thing. I’m forever grateful for our beautiful little cub; spending time with her and sharing all her first life experiences makes me so happy and proud. I love her more than words can even begin to write, from her cry-hole all the way down to the poo-pouch.
That’s enough soppiness for tonight. Now where’s that cold cup of tea…