|Never say never
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.