After reading the Dad Up North’s hilarious post about baby things he doesn’t understand, I was reminded of how pointless baby shoes are and our battles with them. I’ve already mentioned some of the things I wasn’t a natural at before and there’s even more stuff that really should be easy and just isn’t (at least for us…) Here are some of the things that we’ve struggled with as new parents:
- A beanbag. We bought a beanbag, and had to transfer all the beans from a weird white net thing (which did not fit into the bean bag case, obviously we tried that first) into a bag that goes inside the case. Yep, it was as much of a palaver as it sounds. Cue lots of swearing, tiny irritating beans going everywhere and then me on my hands and knees trying to sweep up fucking beans that inexplicably jump around. All while my friend held the baby and laughed at us.
- Knowing what’s normal and what’s an actual medical concern. It’s all too easy as a new parent to turn to Dr Google and be convinced that you need to get to A & E, stat. Is green poo normal? Are spots on the face ALWAYS some kind of deadly disease? Is blood in his sick a sign he’s seriously ill? Is he constipated? It can be a minefield and obviously you never want to risk not checking something out if there’s cause for concern. Equally, though, you don’t want to become hypochondriacs on behalf of your baby. It can be a nightmare deciding whether it’s necessary to see the GP, go to A & E or if it’s really nothing to panic over. I usually turn to Google and then get the opinion of my mum and my sister-in-law (who’s a scientist and mum, so pretty good for advice!) before deciding which course of action to take!
- Spatial awareness. We’ve both managed to misjudge how big he is now and bump the poor boy’s head. Both times he wasn’t hurt and didn’t even cry (honestly!). I bumped it on a low hanging light fitting during an overzealous game of airplane and B bumped it on the tap in the bath. Whoops. Please don’t call social services, we are careful really!
- Baby shoes. The few times we have attempted to get our son to wear shoes we gave up because either his foot is somehow too big or you suffer a minor injury while attempting to tie them up as the baby is kicking you/crying/wriggling (all of the above) and, you know, it’s a lot of effort to go to when they cannot walk! And it’s sod’s law that as soon as the shoes are finally laced up you’ll have to change a nappy, so the bloody things have to be taken off. The only thing I do use is fluffy bootees if he’s in the sling when we go out.
- Napping. We are both really rubbish at napping. Sometimes B will send me back to bed only for me to resurface half an hour later, having not been able to get to sleep, and it’s the same the other way round. All those well meaning people who tell new parents to sleep when the baby sleeps have obviously never tried to nap when there’s a million piles of laundry to get through, a house that’s not seen a Hoover for a few weeks and neighbours having building work done. I think we managed it in the first few weeks because we were, essentially, the walking dead but since then it’s not proved so easy.
- Leaving the house quickly. Pretty often we say ‘yes, we’ll be there in half an hour’, forgetting that leaving the house on time with a baby is a feat akin to climbing Mount Everest. By the time we’ve checked we have a fully stocked changing bag, got ourselves sorted out, fed the baby and changed the inevitable shitty nappy/sicky clothes we are at least 30 minutes late.
What other struggles are new parents out there facing?!