While I was feeding baby Thomas his bottle the other day, I noticed there was some sweet potato residue on his forehead from his breakfast and what did I do? Yes, you guessed it, I went full-on old-school Mammy and wet my finger and proceeded to try and wipe it off!!
Where the hell did that come from?! I would have run a mile if my mum tried to do that to me as a child and yet here I was repeating history.
And it got me thinking about all the things I now do on some kind of Mammy induced auto-pilot that I said I’d never, ever do. Like sniffing his bottie to see if he has pooped. Before I had Thomas, I’d often see other mums doing this very same bum-sniffing manoeuvre and I can distinctly remember looking at them and going ‘oh my god, yuck how can they do that? I’d never do that.’
Now it’s a daily occurrence. Another was when someone would show me a picture of their baby with some unknown veggie puree all over them as they got to grips with weaning, and they’d gush over how cute they were and want me to join it, yet I’d be silently thinking to myself ‘gross!’ Another was when I’d see a mum or dad out with their baby in the pram and they’d keep stopping every few minutes to ‘fooster’ with something and I’d think ‘for God’s sake will you not just keep walking with the pram and be done with it!’ Now, I truly understand what they were doing as I have to stop regularly to put his soother back in, pick up a toy he’s hurled out of the pram, move the sunshield, put on the rain cover, take the rain over off, and so on and so forth!
The truth is, when you become a parent, all those things you said you’d never do, go out the window. I’m only at the start of my mammy journey, but I can already see that my pre-baby gross-o-meter has plummeted. Let me explain. As a boy mum I’ve been peed on (in the face!) more times than I can count. I’ve had poop smeared on my hands and clothes and even in my fingernails. I’ve had saliva soaked hands up my nose, in my mouth, ears and just all over my face. I’ve held long conversations about his poop and what sort of colour and consistency it is. I’ve been barfed on so much sometimes it looks like a seagull has sat above me and emptied its bowls all over me. I’ve had drool in my hair, baby farts in my face and had the pleasure of scraping ‘poo-namis’ off onesies with my bare hands. But somehow it doesn’t bother me a jot! It’s beyond bizarre, it’s like your own baby has this ultimate get out of jail free card when it comes to the grossness you’d lose your marbles over if anyone else did it.
I imagine it’s only going to continue too… sweeping statements made pre-children like ‘my kids won’t touch a smart phone or tablet until they're 4…’ are now so beyond comical I think I may wet my own pants.