Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Here are a few of my favourite things

One of the great things about being a new parent is all the really incredibly disgusting things that you suddenly get to try out first hand.  No, really, I distinctly remember whilst I was growing up yearning for the day when I would get to wipe the snot off my baby’s face with my bare hands because she needed to look good and there was nothing else available.  If there is one thing that new parents learn it’s that there are no lengths they will not go to for their child.  Anyway, here is my, totally non-exhaustive (believe me, there are some things that are just too horrendous to use electrons on), list of things that I never imagined I would do, guess where the snot thing comes.

1) Eating second-hand food.
This is not actually such a big deal for me.  In fact I probably bring it on myself.  I have a big appetite and really can’t bear to see food go to waste, thus I have been known to chow down on my daughter’s food, even if some of it has seen more of the inside of her mouth than is good for anyone.  One rule though:  if I don’t know what it was, I’m not putting it anywhere near my mouth, other than that I’m good to go.

2) Cleaning her high chair.
Another food related one, but this one is so much worse.  My wife and I are fairly careful when it comes to feeding the child, I’ve never liked patterned wall paper.  She is 18 months old now and we have been letting her feed herself, under very close supervision mind you, for a while.  And yet, despite the supervision, the constant surveillance of her eating with at least one of us, sometimes both, ready to swoop and rescue the food dripping off her spoon, despite all this as soon as we pick her up after the meal we discover this swamp of food that she has been sitting in while she was eating, which is required to be cleaned before she can sit down again.  This is a process that means first picking up the chair and slamming it against the bin until the top layer is cleared, then going in, sometimes up to the elbow, and wiping the rest off.  It’s amazing the things that you thought you’d lost that are revealed.  Car keys, toys, mobiles, the occasional 24 piece dinner set once presented to you by the Margrave of Bavaria, all of which need to go through a 24 hour decontamination process before being fit for polite society again.

3) Sun Cream
We’ve already covered sun cream here so I won’t go over that again, but only to say that I have seen more sun cream in the last 3 months than I have in the previous 29 years, probably since I was a baby.

3) The aforementioned snot incident
Being caught out without a tissue whilst your child has a streaming nose is of course a rookie error which I hold my hands up to and would like to promise that it will never happen again, but what are you supposed to do when you are about to welcome some friends into your home and you turn to find that your child’s face has basically been turned into a round globe of the sticky stuff coming from her nose?  Clearly the only possible course of action at that point is to open the door, apologise for the state of your child and quickly find a tissue, or a hankie, or a piece of peeling off wallpaper to clean your child with. That is what I should have done, however I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly, I was probably wondering what we would tell the Margrave of Bavaria when we couldn’t use the dinner service he had given us when he came.  Anyway, I wasn’t thinking clearly and my hand just reflexively went to her face and wiped it clean.  This action then had to be covered up at all costs, so I spent most of the next 5 minutes with one hand behind my back, as though I was about to get down on one knee and present our visitors with a bouquet of flowers accompanied by my protestations of undying love.  Eventually I managed to excuse myself, clean my hand and normal life was resumed, but for a moment there it was touch and go as to whether I would have a lot of explaining to do to my wife.

4) The nappies
This obviously goes without saying, and really probably should remain unspoken, but I couldn’t have a list like this without just mentioning them, especially since we use reusable nappies, which requires a bit more involvement than with disposables which can just be thrown away..  What I have found most amazing is that dirty nappies are a lot like snowflakes, cold, white and beautiful.  No, not really, but, just like snowflakes ,they are all different, and there is always a moment of great anticipation as you wonder what it is going to be like.  Whatever it is like however, it is invariably horrific.  There is nothing, however, which can compare to the transcendent awfulness of having to clean nappy contents up off the floor or the walls after a particularly traumatic nappy changing session.  Those of you who have ever had a child, or even looked after one will probably have experienced this, those of you who haven’t should really devote at least an hour every day to being grateful that this has not yet fallen into the ambit of your experience.

There are of course many many wonderful things about our daughter, and many incredible moments that I have shared with her, moments of joy and laughter and play.  But there is always, at the back of your mind the cold, dark thought that just round the corner there is gong to be another disaster, another meal, another nappy and you are going to be plunged back into disgusted parent mode.  Remember those moments then, the good ones, you’re going to need their memory when the next nappy comes along.


  1. ha ha - love it - especially the nappies. we used washable ones too. It only gets better too - when you move from the straightforward disgusting to the downright embarrassing - "Mummy why is that lady so fat?" "But she IS FAT Mummy." is a recent one. frankly i'd take disgusting any day

    1. Yes, happily she's too young for that. I plan to get a gag made for when she is old enough for that sort of thing!

  2. We used square nappies - shows the ages of our children!

  3. Yes, a gag would be a good idea, I was in the shop the other day and dear daughter number two pointed at the man stood next to us and said very loudly, that man's got VERY long trousers, (they were pulled up to his armpits) my reply, yes, he's a very tall gentleman (slouching down to make him seem taller)...think we got away with it!

    As for disgusting things...the fun just never stops...a friend always tells of the time when she found her daughter with spider legs sticking out of her mouth. Being terrified of spiders, she felt it best just to leave her to it...

    1. It's quite disgusting when our cats eat spiders - but the children...........!