PARENTHOOD: Odd, unquestioned new mum behaviour

Wierd things happen when you become a mum.

Things that to anyone else would seem bizarre or unexplainable are accepted as totally normal, so normal that you don’t even take a moment to question them to realise they’re really not.

So I made a list, in my moments of clarity of all the odd things that I found myself doing without question.

  1. We all go a bit biblical / Sir Ian McKellen and start using the phrase “this too shall pass”. I for one had never in my life uttered that combination of words until I started reassuring other mums that, yes, their baby will at some point stop vomitting / will sleep better / will like carrot again / will stop harrassing the cat etc etc
  2. My life now has a heartbeat as a soundtrack. Everything seems more exciting when her monitor is on. Watching the TV – will their lilies open on judging day on The Big Allotment challenge?! Cooking dinner – what if I can’t find the spiralizer?! Writing a blog post – god it’s like the written version of Homeland!
  3. Ewan is for me, not her. Whilst she is now nunplussed, I simply can’t drop off without his harpy loveliness. She’s moving into her own room at the weekend, he’s not. It will also be a blessing not to see his creepy face in night vision on the monitor – he’s almost as scary as the time a fly landed on the camera and we were convinced someone was stood there watching her and flew into her room, ready to rumble!
  4. I have never celebrated the arrival of a poo until having a baby. I think. I can’t promise that actually.
  5. Whilst I know every last word of Boom shake shake shake the room and other classics, for the life of me I cannot recall verse two of practically every nursey rhyme. As such I make them up, figuring she has no idea what’s going on anyway. They do sometimes go a bit dark though. A recent example “Five little monkeys drank too much caffeine, one fell over and ruptured his spleen…” (i’m sad to say he didn’t make it)
  6. There is always a wet patch in our bed, and I always have to sleep in it. It’s made with love, but not that kind of love. It’s milk from either my leaking boob or her leaking mouth, lovely.
  7. Screaming sirens don’t wake her, but me opening the door in slightly the wrong way, the most inaudible of creaks from the cupboard or treating on the wrong bit of floorboard cause her eyes to ping open like a Victorian doll. Going to bed is like something out of mission impossible. Undress outside the room, check, hall lights off, check, phones in hand, check. I always open the bedroom door as I have the “technique” and I invariably end up shushing my husband for having his phone light on too bright as he tries to navigate to his side of the bed. One time I dropped my eye serum, but that’s a whole other blog post.
  8. Shushing is a skill. fact. I know the kind of shush that works, and I seem to be able to keep shushing in my sleep. If I were counting the hours I’ve spent shushing in the last six months I imagine it would amount to at least 200, or 8.3 days. The skill is perhaps that I remember how to talk and don’t just shush at everyone.
Jennifer Fuller

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