On Wednesday, D will be a year old. I have no idea how that happened so quickly, but there it is. As I have been a mum now for 51 and a half weeks, I thought I would share some ‘interesting’ nuggets of information that I’ve learnt through the School of Hard Knocks (Parenting Department). Feel free to leave any others in the comments.
1. The best bit of advice I was given, pre-baby, was from a colleague. “It’s OK to want to throw the baby out of the window. As long as you don’t throw the baby out of the window.” Oh, how I heard her voice telling me this many, many times during D’s colic stage.
2. I learnt that big babies are a godsend for the baby-inexperienced like Benn and me. I once told my health visitor that I felt that D would bounce if I dropped him.
3. Don’t post a status announcement on Facebook expressing surprise that you’ve got to six months without any major incident. The baby WILL fall off the bed that day. And then again two days later.
4. Oh, God, THE GUILT. About everything. Seriously, now I understand why Catholics encourage people to have children. It heaps MORE guilt on already guilty feeling people.
5. Children’s programming is actually a lot better than what I remember having as a kid. Except when they tamper with the 80s classics and make them CGI. No. (Also, avoid Milkshake on Channel 5. Way too much makeup and enthusiasm for 6am.)
6. Babies are essentially tiny drunks.
7. As soon as you get used to a lack of sleep/getting enough sleep (sort of), the baby will change its routine JUST TO SPITE YOU.
8. Babies are more effective at helping you make friends than vodka.
9. You never, ever get used to what are euphemistically termed ‘toxic nappies’ in the Pomfrett household. Never. You just invest in better air fresheners.
10. The relationship between cat and baby goes from fear, to love/hate, to a thing to behold.
11. It is not always necessary to take the entire contents of the baby’s room when popping to the corner shop.
12. I really felt sorry for Prince William when it was revealed that he’d changed Prince George’s first nappy. I remember what that looked like. *Shudder*.
13. People will express surprise if you manage to do anything that’s not involving the baby: reading a book, painting your nails, baking etc.
14. If you say you don’t want another baby, people will tell you you’ll change your mind. But they won’t say that to your (male) other half.
15. Reading aloud anything by Julia Donaldson will make you sound like a master storyteller.
16. Libraries with good children’s areas are a complete godsend. Even if you do have to crawl around with your son, apologising to everyone when he tries to eat their food.
17. Weaning is lots of fun and it is OK to occasionally chuckle at the faces your child makes as he tries broccoli for the seventh time.
18. Derek Jacobi is under no threat from my re-tellings of In the Night Garden stories.
19. Once the baby could crawl, pyjamas became a godsend.
20. You can never have enough of the following: vests, sleepsuits/pyjamas, Sock Ons, plastic spoons, books.
21. Although I have fully accepted that D sees Benn as the cool parent, I quite like the fact that I’m the one he wants when he’s poorly (even if it means being pinned to the sofa all day watching endless CBeebies programmes.)
22. As much as I would like it to be true, I highly doubt D is speaking Russian when he says ‘da’ repeatedly.
23. Babywearing is cool, but impossible when your child is determined to grow into the BFG.
24. It is very important to ask for help if you need it.
25. It really is easier to provide grandparents with an Amazon Wishlist for birthdays and Christmas.
26. Even if you’re not a mushy parent, you do feel immense pride whenever your baby does a ‘first’.
27. I am genuinely looking forward to when D is old enough to enjoy the things we do. I need another Doctor Who fan in this house.