When you have a baby you vow that you won’t be one of those Mothers that talks about nothing but her wonderful little offspring, that you’ll continue with your life and it won’t change you. Then you give birth.
It’s not that you’re just so blinded and amazed by your baby that does it (although there is some element of this). It’s that this little baby takes up literally every second of your day. And I mean every second. You physically can’t focus on anything else.
We had TV programmes that were paused so often I was pretty sure I couldn’t remember the start of them, a house in such chaos and disarray that it looked as though we’d been burgled but the thieves had dismissed everything we owned and just had fun throwing it all around the rooms (and then invited a load of teenagers to have a party over the top of it) and scores of well wishing messages of congratulations that we couldn’t even begin to respond to.
When they say it’s a 24/7 job they actually mean it’s a 24/7 job (who knew?). You begin to wonder if you are ever going to wash and dry your hair again and how single mums and people with twins cope. You lose track of the days because, besides the naps you take, the week is just one big long day.
And you do start to talk only about your baby. Not because you’re boring but because it’s what you do now – 24/7.
More specifically you forget social norms and etiquette and you start to talk about poo. Frequently. To anyone who will listen.
You talk about the regularity of your baby, the colour, the consistency. It starts with the midwives and health visitors. In fact, I blame them for this as they quiz you so intently on your baby’s excrement that you just start to get used to talking about it and you get lulled into thinking it’s normal and that spills over into life.
And when I say spills over I mean literally. I seem to have produced a baby with let’s say an ‘active’ bowel. My most funny stories of early Motherhood all involve projectile poo. All of them. It’s probably one of the reasons I actually let the talking about poo ooze into ordinary conversations – if I had to be boring I may as well try and be funny instead.
When the NCT teacher told us that she’d heard projectile poo could happen but had never come across it, we all laughed and cringed and hoped that wouldn’t happen to us. Of course it happened to me.
Shamefully, I have to admit though that although it’s not a bed of roses when it happens, it is bloody funny. Even when it happened at a local children’s centre and went all over the muslin feeding cloth (and I later discovered after walking round the supermarket actually went all over my top too). Even when it happened on the living room carpet at bath time and literally darted across the room. Even when I was putting sudacrem on his bum and he literally did it right in my hand. Even when he did it through three layers of clothes. Even when he did it on our bed and I’d been jiggling him up and down without realising and it went all over the bedsheets. Even when on several special occasions he was simultaneously weeing in his own face and being sick. You get the picture.
And these breast feeding councillors that tell you the baby is not affected by what you eat were either smoking crack, had never breast fed themselves or must have had babies with sturdy bowels, because let me tell you it bloody does make a difference as I found when I was cleaning up a thunderbolt nappy for the third consecutive time after spicy food.
So talking about poo becomes normal and it seemed only appropriate that I warn you now, if you are easily offended by stories of poo – and other bodily functions because, ladies and gentlemen, my little bundle of joy does it all – this is not the blog for you. Although I was never a massive fan of toilet humour, my funniest stories are now of this ilk and, as they help me laugh my way through another long night of feeding, no doubt I’ll be sharing them with you lovely people as well as my poor family and friends.