I previously blogged about the unexpected benefits of having a baby. This post is sort of the antithesis of this. It’s about some of the things you come to hate or dread as a result of having a child.
1) Ask not from whom the bell tolls
Call me narcissistic, but I’m fairly sure I’m secretly the star of my own version of the Truman Show. Somewhere, a group of producers are sitting in a room watching everything I do and setting me challenges. I imagine them sitting round during my daily ‘get baby to nap’ task, shouting stuff like ‘can we ramp up the volume on the baby?’ and ‘we need to increase the nap-resistance level’. Then, when the baby is finally sleeping, they send in their big gun; the post lady. No matter what time I elicit a nap from my child
, the post lady immediately turns up and starts shoving stuff I don’t want anyway through the door. Naturally, the dog assumes this is how she is going to die and begins hysterically barking. Thus, I have come to hate the post lady. See also: window cleaners (judging by noise levels, it appears ours washes the windows with rocks and a banshee), Jehovas Witnesses (there’s actually never a good time for them to call), charity collectors (who have apparently realised it’s harder to avoid them on your doorstep than in the street), and just about anyone else who knocks on doors uninvited.
2) Packet in
When you change your baby (something which happens on average 7,000 times per day and definitely every time you want to leave the house) you usually end up using baby wipes. I’d never realised changing a baby was particularly hard until I tried to hold down a squirming infant, take off a dirty nappy, replace it with a clean one, tie up a nappy bag, remove anything within reach (like the used nappy) lest the baby shove it greedily into its mouth, shoo the dog away and minimise the amount of poo transferred to soft furnishings, all within about a seven second window of time. Often to a soundtrack of indignant screaming. What would make all this fractionally easier would be if packets of wipes would dispense just one of their moist little rectangles. But no. Apparently the people who make the wipes feel a suitable number to release at once is approximately 64. Sixty-four being the total number of wipes within most packages. They emerge as one giant clump, leaving you furiously trying to shake one free, while shouting things like ‘you little moisty bastards’ and not realising that your child has now got poo on its feet and is kicking everything within reach, including the rug, the dog and your shins.
3) The Doors
Doors always seemed pretty innocuous before I had a baby and a buggy. Now, any time I go to places like shops, leisure centres, or any other type of public building with protection from the elements, I have to choose between me or the baby getting lightly smacked by a tonne of wood and glass, because without the use of witchcraft, it is not possible to hold one of those things open while also manoeuvring through it a car-sized travel system, nappy bag filled to cover any eventuality including space travel, collection of Bags for Life and the toy the baby chooses this moment to fling enthusiastically to the ground. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for anyone who holds a door for a stranger. And automatic doors.
4) Onesie Direction
I don’t know who decided the best item of clothing for a tiny little person who needs changing 164,000 times a day was an all in one suit covered in miniature sized press-studs. But that person can eat a jar of fucks. I’m sure anyone who has sat in bed at 3am on the verge of tears because they just realised they’re trying to button their wailing baby’s legs into the arm holes will agree.
5) Dog eat dog
I actually love my dog. I do. But a dog and a baby aren’t always a fantastic combination if you enjoy things like ‘staying sane’ and ‘not having animal homicide on your criminal record’.
This is how I’m fairly sure my dog’s thought process goes:
We are out for a walk with the pram…
OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THOSE WHEELS! THEY LOOK SO MUCH FUN, ALL SPINNY AND SHIT. I’M JUST GONNA PUT MY FACE CLOSE TO THEM. AND MY PAWS.
I am changing the baby…
OH MY GOD, EVERYTHING INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS SMELLS SO GOOD. I NEED TO BE AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE. WILL MY HEAD FIT ON THE CHANGING MAT? CAN I LICK THE BABY?
The baby has fallen asleep…
FUCK! THE BABY IS ASLEEP! THIS IS AWESOME! LET’S CELEBRATE WITH A CACOPHONY OF BARKING!
I am breastfeeding the baby…
THIS LOOKS SO. MUCH. FUN. CAN I GET ON YOUR LAP TOO? CAN I HAVE MILK? OHMYGOD, THE BABY JUST THREW UP ON THE CARPET! MINE! I WANT IT!
The baby’s toys are out on her playmat on the floor…
HEY! HEY! LOOK HOW MANY TOYS I CAN LIE ON AT ONCE! THIS IS AWESOME, RIGHT? LOOK, I CAN ROLL ON THIS RUG THING TOO! WHY AREN’T YOU LOOKING?
6) And the rest
This has got rather long, so I shall summarise by saying there are a number of other things I have grown to hate, including but not limited to: kerbs; the Calpol syringe, which was apparently designed as some kind of Krypton factor washing up test; clothing which does not stretch/unbutton for feeding; people who take parent-and-child spaces yet do not have a child; regular-sized parking spaces; the clunking noise the car seat makes when it unclips, making it impossible to transfer a sleeping child from car to house; the lullaby the Jumperoo plays; the lullaby the cot mobile plays; the lullaby the bouncy seat plays; writing blog posts that ramble on when I should probably be doing something more productive.