This one comes with a P.G. warning!
When you enter parenthood, you have no idea of what is ahead of you. I’m not just talking about the emotional roller coaster you experience as your children grow from babies into young children, or even the daily challenges you face when it comes to lack of sleep and juggling a million things up in the air. I’m talking about the side of it that no one prepares you for; the disgusting bodily functions of a young child.
This week’s piece comes with a warning. I suppose it would be a PG. Literally, Parental Guidance. Or Potential of Goo. Or Poo & Grossness.
Do not read on if you are squirmish and/or are thinking about having a baby.
Or do, because it would give you a heads up on a few things that people failed to tell me before became a mummy!
I remember back to when Lylah was around 14 months old.
One evening, at around 6:15, I watched as my beautiful, angelic faced, sweetheart of a daughter, squatted on her chubby little legs whilst fully naked in the bath, and squeezed out around 5 gobstopper sized balls of poo. Into the bath water. I then proceeded to watch my husband scoop each little ball out with his bare hands, scrabbling after them as they floated around the bath and Lylah’s bum, trying to escape his grasp.
That was the first time Lylah pooed in the bath, and it was hilarious! I thought the whole thing was very funny, as did Chris, and we chuckled as we continued to bathe her and commented on how comical this little episode was. Lylah looked rather pleased with herself and squealed with delight as the floaters (actually, they started to sink a bit) were extracted, and she splashed around with her bath toys. We were both just so relieved that it was a rather solid form of poo, as opposed to some of her other nappy delights.
No one warns you about these moments. No one tells you just how much poo and puke and saliva and goo and food that you are continuously up to your eyes in.
Your baby enters this world in a state of gooey delight, covered in blood and other stuff (ewww), and is quickly dried off with a blanket and given to you to cuddle, kiss and caress. Which of course you do, because this is your baby, your own flesh and blood, and so it doesn’t matter how icky and sticky they are, you just don’t care about that stuff anymore.
In their first few weeks, to give them their credit, they do live up to the cute, sweet smelling stereotype that newborns have become famous for. All of their new clothes smell of fresh linen after you’ve spent hours getting them all prepared in the last few weeks of maternity leave, the nursery is spotless, and there isn’t a yellow coloured poo stain in sight! Oh how that changes.
Also, the content of adult conversation is taken to a whole different level. As new parents, there is a new, untouched layer of dialogue, where it is suddenly okay to talk about colours/textures/contents of poo, the pattern of today’s nappy changes and the ever-changing milk production of your boobs. And, in a ground-breaking revelation to you all (I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this) my husband and I have been known to snap a picture of said nappy contents, and send it to each other, along with a comment like “third one of the morning, that was the big dinner she ate last night!” Yes, we are those parents now, the ones who take delight in discussing their children’s toilet habits with each other/other people/anyone who will listen.
We have had too many disgusting baby poo/goo/puke/food incidents to write about them all, but here are a few of my favourites:
1 Projectile Poo (PP) – Lylah was amazing at these. One lift of her legs during a nappy change and she took the opportunity to point and shoot, spraying anything in it’s line of fire with a mustardy coloured, milk infused shot of runny poo. The best one was when my husband and I were once changing her nappy together. It was almost like she wanted to put on a bit of a show for us, so she took it to the next level. She aimed for the wall, and she got the bullseye! Thank goodness for wipe over wallpaper and paint – it was quickly removed with no stain in sight, thank goodness! We had a number of these incidents, and they normally resulted in either of us being covered in the stuff, or it would lead to another of her baby vests becoming victim of another PP episode. Vanish became my new best friend, but sometimes, when the PP was just too much for me to handle, the vests just went to baby vest heaven, along with the other victims of PP attacks, including baby grows, trousers and tights. Sad face.
2 Va Va Vom – Vomit/sick/puke/”spit up”. Always gross, always smelly, and ALWAYS ON ME. Lylah was a sicky baby. She puked a lot. In the early days (first six months or so) I was continually covered in baby sick, constantly covered in muslin cloths, and probably smelled pretty horrible all of the time. It got to the point where I would leave the house knowingly covered in baby sick. If it were pointed out by anyone I would laugh and say, “oops, I didn’t realise that was there!” But I did realise, of course I knew, and the reason I didn’t get changed is because it would just have happened again, and again, and again.
3 Dribble – this one isn’t so bad. Babies dribble… It’s the dribbling on mummy’s face that is a bit grosser, and giving mummy kisses and dribbling on her mouth, and dribbling on her new shirt, and dribbling on anything and everything that they can get their squidgy little hands on! As a mother, you get used to this. You eat their saliva covered left over biscuit, because it doesn’t matter to you – they came out of you for goodness sake! I used to laugh at Chris because he would never eat from Lylah’s spoon if it had her baby goo on it. That has changed now, he’s got used to it, and he rightly states, “you can never see food go to waste”, and so polishing off her Weetabix in the mornings now isn’t a problem for him!
4 Food – Weaning is an amazing time. You get excited about buying the necessary bits and bobs, you make up some purees, you give them some finger foods. The natural thing is to eat when you’re hungry, so you imagine that your little munchkin will polish up whatever you put in front of them, leaving no trace in sight. No no no. This is the MESSIEST time. Lylah’s high chair is constantly covered, I’m always finding food in places that I haven’t even given it to her, and once again, mummy’s clothes fall victim to the baby shot-put tryouts.
So new parents…enjoy the extremely short spell when your babies smell of babies, and the rare occasions that they are asleep, clean and dry all at the same time, because mostly, babies are smelly, messy and overall pretty gross!