Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Mummy Tourette's

A lovely friend of mine gave birth to a very beautiful daughter yesterday, and it got me thinking about how, as parents, we speak to the uninitiated. The not-yet-parents, but most importantly, the almost-parents. What on earth possesses us all to be such harbingers of doom when we speak to a pregnant person? I know I'm guilty of it. When first time pregnant ladies complain they are tired, why do we not give them a quick pep talk about how it's all worth it, rather than manically screaming "You think you're tired now? You wait till baby is out and then you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!" while trying to cram the baby in the fridge and the milk carton in the pushchair.
When I tell people my boys were born 21 months apart and one of them is an insomniac, I use it as an excuse for why I've not brushed my hair and my snot stained jumper is on backwards. If other mums are expecting number two with a close gap, I can't stop myself listing how I don't go out past 5pm anymore, how if anyone mentions a TV programme I have to just nod along like I know what they're talking about because if its not on CBeebies I've definitely not seen it, and how two out of my three meals a day are soggy left overs as I've not got time to make myself anything. 
Are we altogether too British to say what we mean? I have another theory. Yesterday I sat at the dinner table watching M watching J. J was roaring (note I said roaring, not singing) The Grand Old Duke Of York at the top of his lungs, while 'accidentally' flinging bits of his dinner around the room as he marched in his chair. M looked totally enraptured. Every now and again J would stop and ask me what I would like him to sing next, and give me a cheeky grin. M just grinned and grinned at his big brother, and every now and again reached out his pudgy hand to hold mine, or looked imploringly at me because he had some of J's dinner stuck between his eyes. I could have sat there all day, watching my boys. M had had a particularly bad night the night before, and I was working on about two hours sleep. But I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. 
Now how do you even start to explain love like that?
So we don't even try. We just prepare them for the tough bits, like having to watch Postman Sodding Pat at 6am in the morning, who is SO INFURIATINGLY STUPID it puts you in a bad mood for at least the next hour. IF YOU HAVE A BOX OF BATS IN YOUR VAN, YOU HEAR A BANG AND THEN LOTS OF FLUTTERING, DONT OPEN THE VAN TO HAVE A LOOK YOU MASSIVE NUMPTY, OF COURSE THE BATS ARE GOING TO ESCAPE. Jeez. 
And the wonderful bits? The overwhelming, all consuming love? I think its best they have the fun of discovering it all for themselves.

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