I’m aware I’ve become quite the baby bore on this blog, but you’ll have to indulge me. I’m over my due date with my final baby, so my mind is totally one-track just now. I seem to be fueled by biscuits at the moment too, so I’m not exactly living the healthy dream…I’d be a major hypocrite if I wrote about health just now.
The main stops on my single track are the birth, wondering just how squishy baby boys cheeks will be and the fear of broken sleep. But there are some minor stops that I pause at now and again, and recently one of these was flashbacks to some of the things that really twisted my over-inflated melons when my older boys were babies.
So as I’m struggling to put together coherent sentences right now, how about a list – what sucks about having a baby?
Strangers touching my baby
Now, I know – babies are irresistible to most of us. It’s part of their survival schtick – you may be running from that saber toothed tiger, but of course you’re not going to leave this adorable little bundle behind. They cry out (literally) to be held, stroked and fawned over. But there are no saber toothed tigers kicking about the high street and a baby in a pram is in no immediate danger…so why do so many randoms feel the need to shove their dirty paws near my kid? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be prodded by a grubby finger when I was dozing…
I remember being at a craft sale once, and one of the vendors was selling little signs for prams. A lot of them were cutesy, pukey “princess on board” type things, but one caught my eye – “please don’t touch the baby.” I’m not sure how I feel about that, it seemed a bit presumptive and aggressive for wee timid me. But this time around I’m tempted to just keep the insect net over the pram, or hang a alcohol gel bottle in a prominent place as the world’s most ugly pram ornament, just to make my position clear. Maybe some barbed wire too.
Parent and child parking spaces
Or more specifically, the selfish bastards who use them when they don’t have kids. Or those who use them when their kid is old enough to get in and out the car unaided – if your son has started to shave, you don’t need that space.
Now, I need to tread carefully here as my rage could bring on labour (and I can’t go into labour today because I’ve promised the four year old we’ll make scones. Don’t judge, at least it’s a change from biscuits). But my god, just how lazy do you have to be to use a parent and child space when other spaces are literally 20 yards away? And before some child-free troll jumps on that and thinks they’re smart by flipping it and asking me why don’t I just park in the spaces 20 yards away myself – *newsflash* the point of parent and child spaces is not just that they’re closer to the shop door. For your fat arse, this may be the perk. But for parents the perk is s a f e t y . I would happily use a parent and child space that was actually further away from the shop, if it meant that sloths who park without a thought for anyone else stayed well away.
See how they’re wider than a usual space? That is the crucial part – when you’re putting a car seat in a car or wrestling a toddler into their seat belt you need to fling those doors wide open. I remember a few times when my youngest was little having to leave the pram unattended at the side of the road because I had to move my car out of a regular space before I could open the door wide enough to put the car seat in. That’s dangerous, but when you’re on your own and some white van is sitting in the last parent and child space you literally have no choice.
Public baby change facilities
Oh god…you can really tell an establishment by the state of its baby change facilities. And I don’t mean just whether they have them or not, or even the placement of them (right by the hand dryer? Really?). I mean how often they’re cleaned. And most places, I’d guess never. I carry antibacterial wipes with me everywhere when I have a baby, and more times than I can count I’ve dry heaved at the colour of the wipe after I’ve given the change unit a clean before setting down my mat.
And who knew other parents were such skanky shit-smearers? We all know about those nappies, the ones that make you just want to throw everything in the bin, baby included, because the prospect of cleaning your way through that mess is just too awful. But guess what? That doesn’t mean you make the best of it and then leave the carnage behind for the next poor parent to lay their kid in. Just as I clean the unit before I use it, I also clean it afterwards…just in case of rogue poo crumbs.
Public high chairs
Speaking of the minging hygiene levels of establishments and fellow parents, why don’t we roll out the communal high chair? With it’s crusty deposits and suspiciously gunky straps, or if you’re really lucky the entire remains of whatever crap the last inhabitant was
eatingplaying with, my antibac wipes earn their keep on these babies. I know a bit of dirt is good for the immune system, but I don’t think e coli is in the acceptable germs list…
Life getting in the way
All the above rants have something in common. They involve leaving the house. And that is what I hate most about having a baby, particularly a newborn – life getting in the way when all you want to do is sit on the sofa and gaze at your little miracle. Who wants to deal with other people, their selfish parking or grotty habits when in your arms is the whole world?
And on that last thought, the steam has stopped shooting from my ears and I’m brought back to what this is all about. Because as much as there is a whole heap of crap to wade through when trying to raise a kid, it all pales into insignificance against a backdrop of snuggles, first smiles and that baby smell.
But seriously people…at least clean the change facilities after yourselves.