Life, inevitably, changes once you have children. I remember being pregnant and swearing blind that Mr Baffled and I thought our lives wouldn’t change that much. But, inevitably, life did change. Of course it did. A teeny tiny human being came to live with us and is working out how she fits into the world so yes, our lives have changed. Considerably.
There are a few things I wasn’t expecting however. Nothing ground breaking here, just unexpected and occasionally, pleasantly surprising:
1. I walk more
My gorgeous little Button-Pusher was a baby who thought that daytime sleeping in a cot was for wimps. She decided from a pretty young age that the nicest way to snooze was when being pushed along in her pram by, well any responsible adult really. This role invariably, was mine. And so we walked. We walked for miles. We walked for hours. Come rain or shine. We walked more than I had ever walked before. And amazingly, I began to really enjoy it. Fresh air in my lungs (well as fresh as the air in London can be). Vitamin D and sunshine for my skin. And a new found understanding of how easy it is to get around my little patch of London. Before B-P came along, I would often jump in the car for the smallest of journeys, claiming it would be quicker to run the errand, and often not factoring in the amount of time it might take to find a parking space. Now, I love walking. Sadly B-P no longer naps, but we often go out for a stroll together. Just because. And being outdoors so often, led me to discover change #2.
2. I have a pram tan
Growing up in 80s England I longed to be sun kissed and bronzed. Being fair of skin I was more usually a sun burnt shade of crimson and peeling. Once I gave up on the factor 2 Hawaiian Tropic, and accepted how important it was to look after my skin, I usually remained relatively pale, and occasionally had a faint glow after a sunny holiday. But then B-P entered my life and we walked. How we walked. By the time B-P was almost 6 months old (having been born in the spring), I was developing that sun kissed skin that my teenage self had longed for. The only slight hitch came as a result of my preferred choice of summer attire: bandeau style maxi dresses and sandals. My only bits of bronzed skin were upper body, stopping at the top of the bra line, and my feet! A mum friend called it a ‘pram tan’: sections of skin that are only exposed to the sun when out walking with a baby in a buggy. What a brilliant phrase. And I felt rather lucky that my fashion choices meant my sun kissed skin didn’t stop at say, mid arm level, where a t-shirt sleeve stopped. That said, Mr Baffled regularly holds my bronzed arm against my milky white legs and laughs out loud at the staggering difference. Meany.
3. I’m more aware of my pelvic bone
Dads talk a lot about how much it hurts to be kneed in the Crown Jewels by a clambering toddler. In fact I’ve seen Mr Baffled roll around on the floor and groan loudly, on a number of occasions. Normally after B-P’s cried, “watch me jump Daddy!”, before misjudging her landing. But I wasn’t prepared for being head-butted in the pelvic bone. B-P is now the perfect height that sometimes, when she runs up to me with an unexpected and enthusiastic hug, her head hits me at just the right point, for her forehead to crash into said pelvic region. This, I have learnt, hurts. A lot. B-P’s enthusiasm for hugging her parents is adorable it really is. But as I said: it hurts. A lot.
4. I now accept that the TV Is my friend
When I was pregnant, a friend who has two older children once said, “oh you’ll know a lot about Peppa Pig soon.” The judge-y smug pregnant me thought, no chance. We won’t be watching TV like that when my little darling comes long. We’ll be having fun together and playing educational games to prepare her for her life as a child genius. Ha! I’m now fully appreciative that Peppa, Thomas, Bing and many others exist. They allow me to jump in the shower in the mornings. They allow me to prepare lunch for us both. They allow 5 minutes of peace occasionally when the stresses of the day are threatening to take over and drown me. Peppa Pig has not melted my child’s mind. It is fine. It’s, like anything in life for all of us, about balance: bit of Thomas the Tank Engine now, running around in the fresh air, improving agility and a sense of exploration later. What’s Bing bunny got to say about picnics now, building a tower from blocks and exercising fine motor skills later. If I mix up creative play with paint pots and stickers, with watching Cars or Toy Story after dinner, both of us go to bed a little less stressed. And that, is no bad thing. TV: it has its uses, and I will use them.
What’s changed in your world since your little Button-Pusher came along?