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When I had Elfie I was determined that I wouldn’t change as a person. I knew some things would be different – I wouldn’t be able to go out on a whim, would be a bit thicker round the middle for a few months, might lose a bit of sleep and there’d be a new little person around the place, but essentially I was determined that life as I knew it would remain the same. How different could things get, right?
Let’s take stock, shall we?
Weird things happen to your body. I’ve carried two children which obviously has put a strain on various parts of me and it shows: I have a spare tyre that I’m currently working on (getting rid of it, not keeping it), my boobs will never be the same and my feet GREW when I was pregnant. I have a funny bulgey vain at the back of my right knee and I won’t go into details because I want some of you to be able to look me in the eye again but: PILES. No 25 year old thinks she’s going to have to worry about piles. Think again.
Unless you have a child or have perhaps been tortured you DO NOT know sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is not being able to think, converse, cook, walk, function. I have had days when I’ve reclined on my sofa and wept feeling so unable to do anything at all: it’s a terrible feeling and is surely the worst thing about motherhood. When you’re in the middle of it you can feel like you’re never getting out of it and you want to punch the well wishers with their pointless advice on how to make your baby sleep (how do they not realise you’ve already tried it ALL?). Also: never tell a new mum she looks tired. Never ever ever.
Something must happen to your sense of smell during birth because you suddenly become totally immune to the smell of poo. Your child can be sitting right next to you and for some reason you have to place your nose to their arse and take a big whiff to decide whether or not they require a nappy change. If you want to make doubly sure you can use your index finger to pull at the back of their trousers and nappy and do a visual check. Pure glamour.
Last night I had a spectacular fail on the shit-whiff front. I did the cursory nose-based check of Hux’s bum as I was filling up the bath: nothing. I sat him on my knee, whipped his clothes and nappy off and plonked him in the bath. With an almighty crap clamped between his bum cheeks. Have you ever seen a bath with a full-length skidmark? My tub spent the day simmering under an inch of bleach but to be frank, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to relax with bath oils and a couple of candles in there ever again. Thanks for nothing, sense of smell.
The Gross Things
Situations that would otherwise turn your stomach really don’t phase you anymore. I’m talking vomit (OH, the vomit…), poo, snot. Just today I have: dealt with a middle of the night nappy leak, picked a hardened bogey out of my son’s hair, retrieved a half-masticated piece of cucumber off the floor, held a toddler’s hand on the toilet and wiped two bums. I basically wash my hands a lot.
As soon as I had Elfie I developed ALL the emotions. And they never left. I will cry at the drop of a hat these days and have particular things that make me weep more than others. The sickly sweet Dinosaur Train on Nick Jr “I’ll always been your Mom”. WEEP. Any and all charity TV adverts (even the donkey ones). Love stories (The Undateables kills me). Don’t even think about Comic Relief/Children In Need. I even have issues with the X Factor final.
What have I missed?