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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Never say never [20130316|14:42]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Before I became a parent, I carefully watched people who were already parents of small children. I saw them do certain things and thought to myself, "If I become a parent, I must remember to do that," or "If I become a parent, I'm going to try not to do that."

Here are the things I had resolved would not become part of my repertoire as a parent.

  1. There is an acceptable amount of baby vomit to wear upon one's person, and that amount is not "none". A baby spits up after every feed. There's no avoiding this, and no amount of diligence seems to allow me to catch all of it in a muslin or a bib every time. It will get on my shirt/jeans/dress/coat/shoes. I may or may not notice. If I do notice (or someone else points it out which is unlikely given that I live in England), I find myself evaluating whether the quantity merits a change of said item of clothing. I have to do enough washing on a daily basis that if I can wipe most of it off, I probably won't.

  2. Bottom-sniffing is not just for dogs. I'm sure you've all seen parents lifting up their children and using the smell checker on them. As I discovered, this is an invaluable tool for determining whether or not I need to pay a visit to what will probably be a grim public toilet that doesn't have a changing table or a toilet seat. If I wait ten seconds after the auditory indicator and then perform the smell check, it's the difference between having to spend ten minutes in said edifice followed by another half an hour calming down an angry baby, and being able to wait until we get home to have a peaceful nappy change.

  3. There is no aspect of one's dignity that is not worth sacrificing to make a baby smile. I spent the first few weeks of Humuhumu's life trying to address her as a miniature fully-realised adult (ridiculous nicknames notwithstanding). That all went out the window the first time I had to travel with her on public transport. There are no faces I didn't pull, no stupid noises I wouldn't make, no songs I wouldn't sing fifty times, no exaggerated dances I wouldn't perform to keep the commuters from slaying us with their unspoken disapprobation. Now I'll do them for no reason other than to see her happy.


I'm sure this list is nowhere near complete. After all, Humuhumu isn't even five months old yet.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: belladonna_
2013-03-16 17:36 (UTC)
I breastfed and then made Miles' babyfood at home from organic ingredients until he was about 18 months old. Now I consider it a victory if we only go to McDonald's once a week. Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-03-19 11:00 (UTC)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! :P

Seriously, I admire your perseverance. I suspect I'll be getting my organic baby food out of jars, especially after I start work again. I've never been particularly keen on cooking (although I do love to bake) so Humuhumu will be learning about the delights of fish finger sandwiches, pizza and takeaway curries sooner rather than later...
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[User Picture]From: jixel
2013-03-16 17:42 (UTC)
The hardest one to avoid is tv. At some point as they get older you will cherish the idiot box for its instamagic babysitting appeal while you can tend to small errands in the home or other personal hygiene in peace. Conversely, it is easy to avoid all candy/sugar as much as possible for at least 2 years. Once they get a taste of that heroin all bets are off, but the longer the delay, the less addiction will ensue.

There is a point in the sigmoidal plot of parenthood when it all flips and you see single people as the worthless drones they are and just think anyone without a kid is just missing out on the entire point of being alive.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-03-19 10:58 (UTC)
I don't object to TV. She hasn't watched much since she started sleeping through the night but I don't mind showing her YouTube videos ("C is for cookie", "Mahna Mahna" and the like) and nature programmes on iPlayer.

I loooove sugary things so I'm not going to be surprised if she's a little addict as soon as she gets a taste.
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[User Picture]From: imho_im_a_givin
2013-03-17 03:41 (UTC)
Having a sense of humor helps sanity and maybe more of a natural reaction? maybe she can even feel or pick up on your ease or you don't know it but you're both laughing and smiling bigger.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-03-19 10:55 (UTC)
I hope so. I do have sense of humour failures occasionally, and then our mutual disgust makes things worse. :P
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-03-19 10:54 (UTC)
Aw, thank you. It's pretty fun being a mum...most of the time. ;)
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[User Picture]From: sekl
2013-03-18 20:58 (UTC)
Wait until she learns civil disobedience and goes boneless. I found I am not above giving zerberts to rectify the situation.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-03-19 10:54 (UTC)
Bwaha. I look forward to employing motivational zerberts.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2013-03-31 05:33 (UTC)
Wow, me too! Writing that one down :)
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2013-03-29 21:44 (UTC)
I particularly get the third. It's taken me quite a long time to get even vaguely comfortable interacting with him in a baby-pleasing kind of silly way.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-04-02 17:53 (UTC)
I still feel uncomfortable doing it in public. If she's not playing up, I talk to her like an adult.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2013-03-31 05:44 (UTC)
Hmmm, I've found working as a body-art model and face-painter for kids of all ages has whittled my concern for personal dignity down a fair bit already; will have to monitor at what point it crumbles away entirely once childed.

Oh, and spit-up, gosh: my pet parrot pooed on me so regularly I wore a flannel draped over my shoulders whenever he was out of his cage flying about. And then the various minor injuries and property damages inflicted by my cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, rabbits: I predict from the Shit My Kids Ruined site that'll all be outdone by age two.

Still, seems worth it. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-04-02 17:57 (UTC)
I didn't think I was terribly precious about my dignity until I had a child, I must admit. Now I realise that I only *thought* I was a bit of a hippie. ;)

It's totally worth it.
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