When I started this blog it was about recording that shift; that transition between what you thought motherhood would be like and what it actually is like. It was about detailing in minute honesty what kind of mother I thought I’d be and what kind of mother I actually am. Quite simply, since having a Small, I’m not so smug now…and here’s why.
1. I’ll never give my Small a dummy
I never judged women who gave their Smalls dummies, I just always thought that I would never give my baby a dummy. So, in short, I totally judged women who gave their Smalls dummies. What a bitch I was. Anyway, sidestepping the self-flagellation, it turned out that my Small made the decision about the dummy – she didn’t want one – but it didn’t stop me trying. When I noticed that she was a finger sucker I tried everything to get her to take a dummy instead. After all, I can take a dummy away from her eventually. Unfortunately, without the use of a bread knife, I can’t take her fingers away from her. I think she actually gagged a couple of times when I tried to force it into her.
My favourite advice from a wonderfully irreverent and honest momma-friend of mine regarding dummies should also be inserted here because it’s about as true as it gets.
“It came down to throwing the cunt out of the window or giving it a dummy and, on balance, I thought a dummy was less damaging.”
2. I’ll never let my Small watch TV
The Small can recognise the theme tune to Peppa Pig from thirty paces and she knows Iggle Piggle’s dance so well, I’m sure I can see her doing it in her sleep. I know there are momma’s adept in the art of magic who can cook dinner/do the laundry/wash the dishes without resorting to ten minutes of TV but I’m not one of them.
3. I’m going to dedicate myself to creating an enriching schedule for my Small
Do you remember those hours you spent while pregnant looking up swimming classes for embryos? Music classes for Smalls that had no idea where their own head was? Yoga for babies that are already more than flexible enough? Yep. How many of those are you still doing? I’m lucky if I manage to make it to the bathroom before I leak a bit of wee, never mind manage a full schedule for a toddler that’s blissfully happy with a bucket of water and some fairy liquid.
4. I’ll never lose my patience with my Small
Truth is, we’re all fishwives at heart. You will shout at your Small. You’ll do it in private at first – only in the comfort of your own home – and you’ll feel terrible about it and apologise to your Small who, by that time, will have totally forgotten and be consumed with a rubber stacking block which, by the way, is waaaaaaay more interesting than your sad little pity-party. You’ll quickly escalate to shouting at Smalls in supermarket carparks, doctor’s surgeries. You’ll perfect the art of ‘silent screaming’…you know? That thing you do through gritted teeth where you send all your anger to your eyes in the hope that even a Small will really get just how damn mad you because they won’t put that Jellycat toy down that some sadistic merchandising manager put just at their eye level? Yeah, you’ll do that a lot.
5. My Small will always have perfect manners
Currently, when it comes to ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ I have to decide between a full blown tantrum because she won’t say please, or just give her the damn organic animal biscuit. At home, this isn’t a problem…cue tantrum but out in public, I haven’t quite gotten the nerve to destroy everyone else’s day because I’m waiting on please from a child that has no idea of it’s meaning. All she knows is that it’s suddenly become the magic key that opens up a whole world of ‘yes’ to her. I have work to do here.
6. I’ll never let the Small affect my relationship
I can remember the last time we had sex, I just can’t remember the last time we weren’t exhausted and had to work ourselves up to it (a lot like going to the gym). Or the last time, we weren’t paranoid that the simple act of us having sex would wake the baby almost as if she knew we were having fun without her. I can just about remember the last date night we had but I know that we both couldn’t wait to get an early night and I think we were home by 9.30pm…our babysitter was clearly pissed off that this wasn’t a bigger money maker for her. While we are out and about all the time with friends and the Small…I can’t remember the last time we went somewhere, with a group of friends, where there wasn’t a Small to be seen.
It’s not that my relationship is worse now that we’ve had a Small, it’s just that it’s so very, very different. Yes, we’re closer because we created a whole life together and yes we have discovered a new found respect for each other as we’ve watched ourselves morph into pretty decent parents but for the love of God, can we not just have a weekend where we can remember what it felt like to be able to have loud sex, to do a poo by ourselves, to stay up late and know that we can lie in even later?
7. I’ll never be on my phone when my Small is around
Apart from the fact that I’m self-employed and have to keep an eye on email pretty much all day, I’m also a blog writer, an Instagram addict and I don’t wear a watch…which means I use my phone to tell the time too. Also, when your conversations with your Small don’t deviate much from, “Yes, what?” to “The wheel’s on the bus…” and you’re home alone, the phone is your only proof that life beyond motherhood exists. Plus, I speak to my mum at least three times a day and to my husband at least once a day (just so that I know I’m not the only living human left alive after the baby-apocalypse) and I can’t give that up. Yes, she may throw my phone on the floor but she perks up when I put Peppa Pig on it.
There’s more…so much more…but that’s for starters.