My daughter’s first four weeks of life have been littered with – I want to call them misadventures. But it doesn’t quite capture how stressed I was at the time though I can now look back with humour so, “mummy fails” it is. It was to be expected. Everything is so new.
But if I’m entirely honest – and I may kick myself later for writing this – I had anticipated a lot more “daddy fails”. Turns out, he continues to be the real grownup. I comfort myself by thinking that I’m around more therefore have more room for error. Maybe.
Here they be:
Mummy fail #1 – Forgetting the kit
We’re in a shop on Gloucester Road. The baby’s crying and behaving like she wants boob, as usual. I wonder if she wants her nappy changed (this in itself a mummy fail – the kid never cares about her nappy). I ask and no one knows where the nearest changing station would be. The baby screams.
I feel all gadgety and figure it’s time to download that NCT app which tells you on to my iPhone. The baby screams. I realise I’ve still not updated my card details with iTunes so nothing doing. The baby screams.
They take pity on me and say I can go to their changing room, so I get ready to do this one on my lap. I put the screaming baby on said lap, open the changing bag and le voila! No changing mat. Hmm, it doesn’t make sense to do all of this and leave her wet.
Fastest nappy-change-balancing act ever and let me tell you getting fast with cloth is an art. Prayers were said that there would be no mid-nappy-change pooing involved as has taken place in the recent past.
Fail factor: 7/10 since it’s amateurish as opposed to seriously problematic.
Mummy fail #2 – Leaving it to the last minute
You might remember, rushing for public transport is one of my favourite hobbies. Back then, if I left getting ready to fifteen minutes before leaving time, I was being generous. And being uncharacteristically sensible.
For the first time since her first or second week of life, Talitha had been asleep in her moses basket in broad daylight for hours or maybe an hour or maybe it was half an hour?
Anyway, it felt like a long time and I was so nervous about taking a screaming baby on a bus and having to wap out my boob while trying to balance stuff in front of lots of strangers that I didn’t want to disturb the magic. So I gave 15 minutes to get ready.
Then I reached into the basket to pick up my lovely sleeping babe who…had done a giant poo. Nappy changing at Olympic speed. Screaming child sensing my mounting stress levels.
A hurried debate over whether she’d cry less in the sling or the pram. The screaming gets louder. I rush to put the wrap on. I stick her in it. I’m so stressed I almost lose grasp of her.
I give up and stick her in the pram because it’s pouring outside and I can’t be bothered working out how we’re going to do babywearing and rain cover at the same time (have since done this, by the by).
As soon as we hit the road she zonks out.
I needn’t have worried so much. But I’m now 15 minutes late.
Fail factor: 9/10 because I should know better.
Mummy fail #3: Spilling crap all over the young ‘un
I’ve always been a messy eater. Hide me from your polite company. I don’t know what it is. I’m poorly coordinated and chatty.
Things got worse when I got pregnant and massive. The bump and the boobs sported whatever had passed my lips.
Since I can’t ever put my baby down and I have to eat – it’s true, breastfeeding makes you hungry like a beast – my baby wears jam and toast on a regular basis.
But the peak was reached when I propped on my side yesterday morning, feeding her as she lay on the bed sleeping. I asked for my room temperature cup of tea to be passed to me.
It took but half a moment for me to fall asleep and pour it all over my daughter who, impressively, did not so much as twitch, so committed is she to the milk.
Instead, she protested against being cleaned and changed by her father.
Fail factor: 10/10 for guilt.