BY day’s end, yours truly is going to be an auntie again for the second time this year. I’ve been waiting years for a niece or nephew and all of a sudden two have come at once. A bit like Lagmore buses. Ladybrook would be the three – if we were going for that simile.
My lovely sister in law is squeezing out a human as I type. The brother will likely be shifting around awkwardly in the delivery suite and cracking really shit jokes.
Until I’m able to have a cuddle with our new family member, I’ve told them I only want to know the sex, weight and name of the baby as soon as it’s born. These important details are the only things we mother’s need to know. Because via the power of our memories, we will already be able to wince excruciatingly as we imagine what kind of birth took place.
Once your first baby is born, without asking to be – you are inducted into the club. This club has no AGM or code of conduct. It takes place without warning on the street, sometimes on public transport and on the phone. You’ll be on the receiving end of horrific birth stories and unsolicited advice. Just because you have a baby in your possession, people think it’s ok to randomly stop you and ask how well your perinatal stitches have healed.
When wheeling a pram we wish we could wear a sign saying “Please feel free to ignore me and shove your old wives tales up your hole!” But becoming a parent is also a bonding session with people we’d normally avoid and sometimes that one sentence can create a lengthy friendship.
Being responsible for a small human is a licence to enter the minefield of crap that only an experienced parent is aware of.
So whether you want it or not, here is my advice. I guarantee it – if you keep it up, you’ll be able to watch the soaps in peace and have a tidy house.
It all begins with ‘the law’.
Start off with “When you were born, the doctor gave me a book of rules to stick to or I’ll end up in jail.”
“It’s against the law to wake Mummy or Daddy up on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You have to wait until we wake up”
“All boys and girls in the whole world have to go to bed at 7pm.” Ceebeebies bedtime story and goodnight song helpfully reinforce this. Well, they did in my day.
“When you are upstairs for bed – it’s against the law to come down and ask for drinks of water. You need to get sorted before then. Drink at 6.00pm, then a wee-wee and story at 7pm. Or else the police will come and ask questions.”
“When you have outgrown your toys, the law says you have to pass them on to a child younger than you.”
“The law says you are only allowed to go to a fast food restaurant once a month.”
“If you break a piggy promise you’ll grow a piggy’s tail out of your bum and it will be there forever.”
“It’s illegal to buy toys two months before Christmas. Santa needs them. They are only on display to look at. Santa will know if you have a toy belonging to another boy or girl and won’t bring you what you want.”
“When you’re playing with your toys and move onto something else, the law says have to put the other one back in the box.”
I know – you’re saying, God help her poor child, believing all that crap.
She’s now at the pre teen stage and was the best child anyone could ask for. So my lies paid off.
I’m asking for suggestions. Apart from “Lock her up” what other advice would you give to the mother of a teenage daughter?