30 Things I Couldn’t Even Have Imagined Doing Until I Had a Baby
Earlier this week I was changing Max’s nappy when it suddenly occurred to me that this ordinary, everyday act was actually quite remarkable, really, in the sense that it was something I absolutely could not have imagined myself doing just a few years ago.
Seriously, though: I always used to wonder how on earth parents coped with all of the bodily fluids that are thrown at them – literally, in some cases. Like vomit, for instance. I remember when our nephew was young, he once projectile vomited across the room, and I actually ran screaming for the door, knowing for certain that if I caught so much as a whiff of it, I’d start throwing up too, and it would end up like the blueberry pie scene in Stand By Me – and if you don’t know what I’m talking about here, I would urge you NOT to Google that while eating. Or, you know, at all.
It was the same with Rubin, our dog. As a puppy, he occasionally liked to eat his own poop. Then vomit. Then eat the vomit. Then… I’ve just realised I should probably have put some kind of trigger warning on this post, shouldn’t I? Sorry. I’ll start again…
So, Rubin would sometimes throw up, is what I’m saying. And, every time he did – every single time, without fail – I’d run out of the room, gagging. One time, Rubin threw up in the office when I was home alone with him, and, rather than just dealing with it, like a grown-up, I quietly closed the office door on the terrible scene and went downstairs to wait for Terry to come home and deal with it for me. Like an asshole.
I wouldn’t say I have emetophobia, exactly, but, like most people, I’m not a fan of vomit, and, if you’d asked me before Max was born, I’d have told you there was precisely NO CHANCE of me being able to deal with it, no matter how much I loved my child.
Then, one day last month, Max threw up, Terry casually held out his hand and caught it (Yeah, REALLY should have added that trigger warning, tbh…), and I wiped both Terry’s hand, Max’s face, and everything else in the room, without so much as a second thought. Then calmly went back to eating my lunch.
HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED, PEOPLE.
Anyway: with that long – and really quite gross – preamble out of the way, here are some other, totally random things that I couldn’t have imagined myself doing, just a few short years ago…
01. Picking someone else’s nose.
02. Cleaning up an explosive poop without gagging.
03. VOMIT. (See above.)
04. Going on holiday without first of all cleaning the house from top to bottom.
05. Going to bed without unloading the dishwasher. (To be fair, this still makes me itchy, but sometimes there’s no choice…)
06. Going more than 24 hours without washing my hair.
07. Going to bed before midnight.
08. Going to bed before 10pm.
09. Wearing sneakers for anything other than exercise.
10. Thinking 10am on a Sunday is a reasonable time to meet up with people, because they all have kids too, so everyone’s been up for hours by then, right?
12. Spending more money on someone else’s clothes than on my own.
13. Letting someone empty my jewellery box onto the bed, and then rifle through it, because, hey, it’s keeping him occupied, and I’m just too tired to argue right now…
14. Thinking that four hours’ sleep is a pretty good innings, tbh. (Only in the newborn days, I hasten to add: 4 hours would kill me now…)
15. Considering 8:30am a ‘late start’.
16. Eating porridge and liking it (Random, I know, but I always thought I hated the stuff until we started making it for Max’s breakfast…).
17. Having conversations about poop, and finding them quite fascinating, really.
18. Looking at a particular area of the country and thinking, “But what are the schools like, though?”
19. Putting a nappy on a soft toy in order to persuade a toddler to allow me to change his nappy.
20. Pretending to be Elsa from Frozen for 20 solid minutes.
21. Giving my hands the name ‘Tickles’ and pretending they can talk, in order to entertain a small person who thinks this is hilarious.
22. Accepting that I will now have to fully commit to the ‘Tickles’ persona for the rest of the day/week/month/just shoot me now, please.
23. Reading a bedtime story in the voice of Rufus Carruthers, the teddy bear, because he’s apparently way better at it than me?
24. Seriously considering just going to bed fully clothed to save time in the morning.
25. Packing for a trip the same day we leave.
26. Watching an animated movie all the way through, and enjoying it.
27. Taking anything less than an hour to get ready in the morning.
28. Persuading a toddler to eat his breakfast by pretending that big bad wolves are coming to steal it, and he’d better eat it before they do. (Max is not remotely interested in the whole, ‘Here comes the choo-choo’ thing, and isn’t scared of the wolves, btw. He just takes any suggestion that his food might be stolen very, very seriously…)
29. Being thrilled to discover a brand new branch of Lidl has opened nearby, because that’ll be almost like a day out, won’t it?
30. Realising I could probably continue writing this list for quite some time, but deciding to stop now, because it’s way past my 10pm bedtime, and Tickles is going to want to be feeling his best tomorrow. (Yes, Tickles is male. I don’t know how I know, I just do…)