I need to get something off my chest – I know it’s controversial – but I hate changing nappies. Now, I’m very much a champion of the “mumsterhood” and I would do anything to support my fellow mums, but really, does anyone actually like changing nappies? Are you sure? There’s pooh there! Pooh is disgusting to me whether it comes from my darling daughter’s little pink bottom, the fluffy behind of a baby rabbit or the hairy a*se of a giant man. It’s pooh, it’s disgusting because it smells horrendous, it looks horrendous, it’s…pooh!
Before continuing, I should point out that I am writing this post on the basis that you know and I know that mothers of babies find poo fascinating and could probably talk about it all day, so let’s not pretend we think that this post will really be disgusting.
On the way back from the monthly weigh-in (baby, not me) today I was chatting to one of the other gorilla mums about how quickly our babies are growing up. I found it rather frightening to be sat in the waiting room for the weigh-in to see at least 2 “baby babies” as I call them – that is, little babies who are probably only a few months old. I was frightened because that was Hannah just a few weeks ago, and that in that same amount of time I will be back at work, and back into my own routine. It made me think about just how true the advice was that I was given by sooooo many people that I should take time to enjoy Hannah when she is so small because the time flies by so quickly.
Anyway, I digress. Me and the other Gorilla Mum (it was Anna, actually) were talking about poo – as one does – and the effect on it of our babies eating solids. I, like Anna, was entertained and amused by the particular effect that banana has on it – poo with little black streaky dots in it, what’s all that about? The conversation then developed into how the substance of the poo has changed (a lot more solid than it used to be) as well as the colour (mainly orangey) and that we missed that oddly cute smell of a baby’s milk poo. My husband and I still quite like changing her nappy, and it’s even a favourite Grandma (my mum) and Nanny (his mum) task to perform.
Now, I’m a clever lass (or clever enough to think at least) and I know this is not going to last. I have very clear visions of the future based on the experiences of dealing with my (gorgeous) nephews for a start. However, I just don’t want the future to come too quickly. The poo is just one issue which, for me, symbolises the pace at which life is moving now. Hannah is in size 3s at the moment, but not for that much longer and there will be no going back. My little girl is growing up. Do I want this to happen? Yes of course – I want her to develop and grow into the fantastic young woman I know she is going to be. But not too fast please, because she can never go back.
My grandma, after whom Hannah is named (one of her middle names), used to say to my mum that each age has its rewards and I think that’s true. There’s nothing like the wonderfulness of a newborn, but then you don’t get the fun of playing with a newborn that you do with an older baby. I guess Hannah will, as I am to my mum, always be my baby, but I’m not half going to miss those early days. Especially when she hits the terrible twos……..
I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those mothers who run to the doctor just because their baby has sneezed, but I have to say that Hannah has seen more of the doctor in 5 months than I have in 5 years. Well not quite. She is, after all, a baby who needs check ups and jabs and so on. Aside from those I feel I can justify those visits. The first time was about 4 months ago when she hadn’t pooed for 2 days- everything I had been told previously suggested that this wasn’t normal and that she should be doing a number 2 at least twice per day. Nonsense. Hannah’s record is 5 days and it’s nothing to worry about. The second time was yesterday. She’d had a cold for a couple of days and had also been coughing, to the extent she couldn’t sleep (and to be honest I couldn’t either and feel rubbish myself). I felt a bit stupid going to the doctor with a cold, but it was the Friday before a bank holiday and my little girl had been valiantly struggling to sleep for 3 days without much success. So I was pleased when she was prescribed antibiotics- my poor little baby’s suffering will soon be over and not before time. As I type I am sitting in the back seat of our car with her on my way to visit my parents for the weekend. I can’t wait- the thought of 2 days of rest is so exciting I might wee.
1. Mummies are not allowed to be poorly. If you tell anyone that you and/or your baby are ill, the stock response is “oh poor Hannah” (don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to take it away from her). Your feeding/cleaning/changing duties do not stop. You do not get a lie in. You do not have time to have a hot bath.
2. Mummies are supposed to know the answer. “What does she want”? is the question my husband asks most. “Where is the xxxx”? Is the next one.
3. Parenting books are rubbish. I flicked through one the other day which I had devoured when I was pregnant, thinking it was the Bible of Babies. I laughed out loud at the advice. One bit said “by now your baby will be sleeping through”. The author obviously hadn’t met Hannah. And in fact has never been a mother.
4. You might not be able to establish the routine you wanted. Before I had her, I was ambivalent about whether or not I would breastfeed, and when she came out I decided I definitely did want to. I was helped with oodles of breastmilk (lucky me) which for whatever reason is no longer there. So I’m topping up with formula and frankly it’s really nice to be able to drink from time to time, and to go out without having to get your boobs out to placate a hungry baby.
5. I’m fascinated by poo. Sometimes she goes twice a day, sometimes once every 5 days. I have names for the different sorts. I have names for the different colours. I’d better not carry on with this bit.
6. Having a routine is great when you can stick to it. Pros – I know when she will go to bed and when she is likely to get up, when she is likely to feed etc etc and can work my life around it. She seems happier and is easier to manage. Cons – you are tied to the routine. If she leaves it, I know about it all day for the next 48 hours. So I can’t go out after 8pm….