People have always moaned ceaselessly about how time consuming having a child is, and people will continue to do so until, well, evolution grows us a third arm, really.Â New mothers, or mothers of more than one child are generally recognisable by the haggard, frazzled, frantic look in the eye, the remnants of old nail polish, the packhorse-worthy collection of bags, carrycots and random toys over their shoulders, hair that no longer sees the ideal 100 strokes a day, and if they’re really organised, hastily applied mascara and lipstick (probably skew as a result of those bags weighing down one side of the body).
People have also always insinuated that new mothers learn pretty quickly.Â Well, let me attest to that.Â In the three weeks my beautiful baby girl has graced us with her presence, I have learnt that:
– Poo can be yellow, green, mustardy or stringy (oh and then there’s meconium – the black tar)
– Poo can stain baby grows and sofa cushions alike
– Poo can run down a baby’s leg faster than you can grab a muslin cloth
– Changing a nappy is like a personal challenge to see how fast it can be dirtied again
– Having a belly the size of a ping pong ball (table tennis ball) means you get gut wrenchingly, raise the roof with my screams, why does no body love me, starving – often.
– Baby clothes take as long to dry in wet climates as adult clothes and just cause they’re small and cute doesn’t mean they don’t fill up a whole washing line
– You can attach a machine to your breast to get milk out, whilst simultaneously reading a book and checking emails
– You learn to check emails at the same time as doing many other things really quickly, or you just forget about the emails.
– Pumping your breast is not sexy. It doesn’t make you feel like the pretty girl your hubby married. You feel more like a cow
– You still love the pump though, cause it means hubby can feed baby while you sleep a little.
and so on and so forth.
There are also many new skills you develop very quickly with parenthood:
– Like going to the toilet, one armed (the other holding baby in mid air)
-Â Having a shower, one armed (the other, along with the frozen half of your body aiming away from the water)
– Washing your hair, one armed (see above for the whereabouts of the other arm)
– Typing, one armed (the other keeping your baby’s head aimed firmly at a nipple)
– Writing, one armed (as above)
– Applying makeup, one armed (the other holding the baby, whilst trying desperately not to poke anything out)
and my personal favourite, driving really slowly, one armed (while the other acts as an impromptu dummy for shrieking infant.)
Yes, my range of skills has increased dramatically. If I was ever to lose an arm, I would survive – so long as I didn’t have a baby.