There are certain things I was prepared for when I decided to have a child; sleepless nights, changing dirty nappies, playing repetitive games, even having no time to myself.
But some things have taken me by surprise.
I am often hit by sudden out of body experiences – for instance, as I walk down the supermarket aisle, talking aloud to myself, “Now, what do we need to buy? Ah, yes, bread!” Looking down on myself I think, “Who is that person? What is she doing? Is she actually insane?!”
My daughter will be one next week and I have been looking back at the past year and how I have changed.
I realised I have developed some new habits, which a year ago would have made me think I was mad, but that I have now come to accept as just part of my life.
::Making Up Songs About Household Chores
My baby is bored/tired/hungry and is making her feelings known. But I still have to wait for the pasta to boil/empty the bins/finish taking the washing off the line.
In a bid to buy myself those extra few much needed minutes I try singing distractedly. “Mummy’s making the food, Please don’t be rude. I just need a bit more time, You won’t get any lunch if you whine.”
::Going To The Loo With An Audience
Life really is a cabaret these days, as I am always trying to distract a mischievous child from household hazards she shouldn’t be playing with, whilst also avoiding a tantrum.
Hence any bathroom break means taking her with me and keeping up the performance from my porcelain throne.
::Hiding In My Own Home
A rustle goes up from the corner of the room. She is waking up! But if she doesn’t realise I’m here she might go back to sleep…
So I drop to the floor or duck behind the door and hold my breath, pretending I am some sort of spy on a covert operation, before commando crawling or creeping away.
A futile exercise, as she never falls for it.
I don’t want to share my cheese on toast! I haven’t eaten since breakfast, I’ve been on my feet all day, and I am starving.
But if she sees me eating it, she’ll want some too. Even though she’s already had her own, lovingly cut into fingers, followed by two bananas.
So I hide it on the kitchen counter and duck in to sneak a bit when she isn’t looking.
It’s the same ritual for chocolate biscuits.
::Making Animal Noises In Public
Will I spend the rest of my life pointing at every animal I see and shouting out their associated sound?
“Look! Quack quack! Miaow! Woof woof!”
I am officially barking.
::Checking Vital Signals
“The baby alarm is very quiet tonight. I’ll just turn the volume up a notch and press it to me ear. Hmm, that could be breathing, or it could just be the radio crackle.
“I’ll just pop into the nursery and check everything’s okay.
“Aah, she’s totally out for the count.
“Hang on, is that her chest rising? I think it is. I’m not sure… I’ll just pop my finger under her nose to see if I can feel her breath.
“Oh, that’s disturbed her! Phew! She’s definitely alive.
“Quick, I’d better run before she wakes up!”
But I secretly quite like sneaking into her bedroom and watching her sleeping.
I quite often find myself just sitting and staring at her with a silly, big grin on my face.
Because as much as she drives me round the twist, I’m mad about her.