Harry: Mum, Wyatt has poo on him.
Rush to find Wyatt. He’s in the bathroom, trying to clean himself.
Me: Where did you poo, Wyatt? (Please don’t let it be the carpet)
Wyatt: In my bottom.
Me: No, where did you poo?
Wyatt: I don’t know. (Please let it be on the floorboards somewhere…)
Baby crying in the background.
Me: (firmly) Where did you poo, Wyatt?
Wyatt: (cocks his head to the side and shrugs)
Baby cries getting louder, I look behind me and…. No!!! Holy crap on a cracker (without the cracker) – baby has a big handful of poo. In his hand. And in his mouth.
Baby: (screaming by this point)
I scoop the baby up, strip him down and put him in a running bath. I try to rinse his mouth out but he keeps drinking it instead. Gah! I stick Wyatt in the shower as Harry climbs into the bath with the baby – No! There’s poo! Where is the rest of it? Puh-lease not on the carpet. It’s on the carpet. Quickly clean that. Back to the bathroom. Family bath time!
It’s 12pm. This day is a wash. Literally. After the bath, it was time for pyjamas. This afternoon we’ll be movie-watching, toast-eating homebodies. We’ll get back to reality tomorrow morning.
There is this funny thing that goes on between new parents/parents-to-be and been-around-the-block parents, and it concerns sharing. Not share-your-toys sharing, I’m talking about sharing stories about parenthood. For the sake of expediency and cuteness, I’m going to shorten these two groups to ‘newbies’ and ‘blockies’.
On the one hand, newbies complain that blockies will scare them off with lack-of-sleep, lose-every-inch-of-independence, poopy, smelly, whiny, horror stories. A newbie will regale a blockie with some tale of the latest drama (he stopped sleeping through! Waa!), or (worse) some sweet little moment, and a blockie will respond with you just wait… seemingly brushing off that story from the newbie.
But on the other hand… I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard nobody told me…! I had no idea about…! I had no idea how painful it would be! But we tried to tell you!! It’s just that maybe we could have said it better… (Although come on, seriously? That last one? It’s hella painful. Drawn and quartered painful. If you’re in any doubt, well, don’t be.)
So first, a word to the blockies: Hi there fellow blockies (given my eldest is only five, my block is smaller than others, but I’m definitely out of the new-parent zone)! How’s about we make an effort to balance our you-just-wait horror stories with some you-just-wait wonder stories? Much like infuriating adults telling teenagers wait until you get to the real world, stop it! It’s all real. It’s all hard. It’s all wonderful. [Ed: and how about a Yeah I feel you, it’s hard/wonderful/bizarre/hilarious/frightening every so often too?] Yes it’s important to be truthful, but let’s be measured too. It’s probably one of the best ways I know to stay in good supply of our drug of choice: newborn heads, specifically, sniffing them.
And secondly, a word to the newbies: sorry if it seems like we only tell horror stories. We actually love our lives. It’s just that these messy things make up a big part of where we’re at, and in the interest of solidarity, we want to share it with the newest members of our vomit-and-cuddles club. I’m sorry if sometimes we can brush over where you’re at. Maybe it’s because we’ve finally survived that part, and we’re keen to move on. Or we’re struggling with the next phase. Or excited about the next phase. It’s all phases, the good, the bad. Use that truth to give you hope in the dullness and darkness, and help you cherish what you’ve got during the glistening bright sunshiny parts. Parenthood is actually incredibly brilliant and lovely and hilarious. We promise to tell you more of this stuff.
So P.S. This also happened this afternoon:
Siblings loving on each other. Pretty much the highlight of my everything.