Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Joys of Becoming a Parent.

Yesterday, I awoke to find A in the living room watching the news. This new found activity throws up more problems and questions than I can handle most mornings without the aid of stimulants and yesterday proved to be no exception. While I applaud his curiosity, every 30 minutes of news watched each morning means that I have to spend an hour explaining economics, politics, ethics to a 13 year old.

So on this particular morning, before I had even flicked the kettle on I was met with his curious and spotty face (he has chicken pox) demanding to know if he had been breastfed until he was two, was he put in a sling and did we co-sleep?! He explained that he had seen on the news that this was the best way to parent a child. Whoa! I muttered something vague and shuffled off to find some coffee. Five minutes later I emerged brandishing an excessively large cup of dark roasted Columbian (strength indicated on the packet as a 5) and asked him to replay the events of the news footage. It turned out that the BBC were featuring a segment on attachment parenting. Then after I had explained to him that there was no scientifically proven best way to raise a child, we watched the segment online and I explained a few points for and against the current thinking on attachment parenting. I could tell that he was already bored with the subject and was now focusing on events in Syria but it got me thinking to my activities of the last couple of days. 

Good friends of ours are expecting their first child soon and I have been sorting out baby clothes and paraphernalia for them. They are both highly intelligent, curious individuals so there has been much discussion of parenting trends and differences between the continents (neither were born and bred in the UK). This is something that I always find fascinating and have my own views on parenting, after all I currently have the leisure (and pleasure) of being at home with both of my kids full time. I had started a blog post some months ago when I found out that they were expecting where I was going to gather various pearls (or perils) of wisdom to bestow upon the expectant parents. I was intending to share this with them but I am sure that the guys will be completely fed up of 'advice' very soon after Junior's arrival. So I have decided to focus on something that very few people tell you when you are going to have kids. That, aside from the unconditional love yadda yadda yadda, there are plenty of unexpected benefits of becoming a parent. Feel free to share yours below.  

Eight secret and awesome things about becoming a parent.

1. You now have an excuse to get out of all future engagements by simply blaming the fact that you cannot get a babysitter. 

2. You can cite the fact that you have children (to people who have no idea of their age) as an excuse for being flabby around the middle (and posterior, neck and arm areas too). I think A was about 6 before I stopped blaming him for my stoutness. 

3. Ten minutes of uninterrupted toilet time will be the best experience ever and an absolute joy to behold. You will also gain the ability to go to the toilet at great speed but will steal those extra moments alone as your precious me time. "I'm in the toilet" is my personal mantra. 

4. Alcohol tastes better when you have been deprived of it for months. Combine pre-conception, with pregnancy and then breastfeeding and any alcohol will taste like ambrosia, even whisky. (Caution: do not try to consume the same amount as you could pre-children as hangovers are a parents worst enemy!)

5. You can clear a room in 2 minutes simply by announcing that you are about to breastfeed or slope off into another room while company is in. 

6. You gain the ability to make up parodic songs on the fly and ruin classic songs for everyone. During a reluctant phase regarding her personal hygiene, Boo had to be coaxed into the bath to the tune of 'Bathtime for Bella' sung in the style of the Producers' 'Springtime for Hitler'. 

7. You lose your inhibitions and your ability to filter. Babies don't really do anything interesting for the first six months so your world revolves around inspecting suspect poos like a Pantone palette, nipple scabs, vomit and gas. Simultaneously these things work their way into your daily conversations, sometimes to complete and utter strangers. 

8. No one ever thinks that the smell is coming from you.

What are your unexpected benefits?


  1. hilarious! There's only one thing I hope I manage to avoid doing (I say I hope coz, as my cousin said, "all your principled statements about what is to be done count for nothing") anyway, after this digression... I do hope in the next months I don't start random conversations with strangers about bodily fluids produced by human cubs... I can hardly deal with my lack of social skills... I don't need an extra reason to make everybody around feel awkward... 

    oh, unexpected benefits... you can go to Spain by boat (d'you remember when we were kids and wanted to be Sinbad the sailor?), spending thrice as much as it'd cost you with ryanair and don't feel guilty... you'll know it'd be all for the ween's sake, planes are awful for babies... (that's what a friend of mine did). 

  2. The eight secrets to become a parent are just accurate to what I'm expecting. The fourth one. Guess, I should be prepared for that. Seems that it's really gonna happen.

  3. I use my kids to disguise my lack of social skills! I can't wait for Junior to arrive!


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