Things You Swore You Wouldn't Do as Parents (But Do)
1. You willingly pick up your infant, and sniff his bum. Not a quick sniff of the general area, but a full inhalation of nappy aroma by burying your face deep into the backside of his sleepsuit. Pre-children, I once heard a woman comment, 'you know it's not your own baby's poo when it's a foreign smell.' I had a little chuckle to myself about how sad her life must be. Three years later, and I'm pretty confident I could pick my child's nappy out of a twenty-nappy sniff test. They should add that as a round to The Cube. Turns out foreign nappy smells are A Thing.
2. You refer to your spouse as 'Mummy' or 'Daddy', all the time, out of habit. You will try SO hard not to do this but sometimes you will let yourself down. And ask your husband, 'Do you want a cup of tea Daddy?' before looking around and realising your kids are in bed. And 'Daddy' hasn't even batted an eyelid at the loss of his actual name. Arghhhhh.
3. You are dismissive of your child's conversation - something you swore blind you would never be. This dismissal is not because you are a bad parent. But because, after twelve hours of 'I'm Scooby Doo you can be Daphne' and 'vroom vroom VROOOOMM look at my racing car,' you have zoned out and have no chat left to offer so you periodically nod and say 'that's lovely, darling' (while checking eBay) instead.
4. You comment 'gosh haven't they grown!' every time you see the offspring of friends or family. Despite remembering embarrassing elderly relatives saying this to you (and pinching your cheeks) when you were little. I mean it's kind of a given, isn't it? Kids grow. Daily. If you don't see your godson for six months it is highly probable that he will have got bigger. Regardless, you will feel the need to comment 'he's getting so big now' and/or 'look how grown up they both are!' as a conversation starter at any social gathering. Yawn.
5. You shout at your kids. At home. In the car. In Tesco. Yes, it does all look a bit Jeremy Kyle. And no, it doesn't ever solve the problem. But it's how you roll these days. You've made peace with your Inner Chav.
6. You also nag. Like a broken record of parent fussiness, repeating instructions that nobody (least of all your child) is listening to. Like 'can everybody just calm down a bit,' 'play NICELY' and 'we're not going anywhere until you stop whinging' (the latter being said as you leave the house while everybody is very much still whinging, because you are too weak to follow through with threats).
7. You share every minute detail of your kids' lives on social media. Pictures, milestones, their weekly schedule. We're probably all guilty at times. You want the world to see how beautiful your baby is and the flood of likes and comments reaffirms this. The problem is, people already appreciated his beauty when you posted that last picture ... an hour ago. You will be more likely to dominate your friends' news feeds with your first child, who will be posed for endless portrait shots (subsequent neglected children are photographed solely by a blurry iPhone). Though the third tooth or unaided roll-over is a milestone for the family, I think it's a fair assumption that nobody else is quite as interested.
8. You care less about what you look like. Not all the time - sometimes you will care more. You will care quite a lot if you are going to come into contact with people who knew you before you incubated two small humans (your worst nightmare being them thinking you have 'let yourself go.') But daily life with kids gets in the way of self-maintenance, you will neglect to shave your legs, lazily throw that hoody on again (the comfy one with the baked beans stain), find yourself in your dressing gown at 6.45PM eating fish fingers straight off the baking tray and conclude that yes, you have indeed let yourself go.
9. 'I'll never bribe my children' you once said. How's that working out for you? For 99% of us, bribery is the backbone of parenting. Behind every good child is a Percy Pig biscuit, right? The remaining 1% are using some kind of witchcraft or sorcery. See also, 'We won't let them watch too much TV.' HA HA HA HA.
10. You use baby talk, giving every object a nickname. Milk become 'milkies,' bottle becomes 'bot bots,' nappies become 'nap naps' and soft toys/comforters become 'snuggies' or 'bunnykins.' Just the other day I said to my husband (and I quote) 'If you sort out his bot bots, I'll change his nap naps and find his snuggies.' What a twat.