8 Signs that you’re a seasoned parent
When that first little bundle of joy appears in your life, everything gets a whole lot harder. You query your every decision and google every little sniffle. You read every baby routine book in preparation for the day they go longer than half an hour between feeds. You buy clothes in the first three sizes- just in case- and stockpile nappies like they’re being discontinued. There are no such things as hot meals, sick days, nights off and the simplest of activities requires military precision planning. You eventually fall into a new routine, albeit a clumsy and bumbling one. By the time your second, third or more make an appearance, you’ve got this parenting thing down! You are ready to ‘adult’. Here are a few tell-tale moves that set you apart from the newbies:
- Danger changing- removing the soiled nappy and then performing the clean up before placing a fresh nappy or suitable changing mat underneath that butt. If you get away with this in the middle of the night without disaster you score extra ‘badass’ parenting points.
- The scroll ‘n feed- gazing lovingly into your baby’s beautiful big eyes as they feed… for a few seconds before sliding that gaze right beside those perfect pudgy cheeks at your phone already sneakily placed in the hand of the supporting arm. Scroll away Mamma, your newsfeed awaits…
- The sink bath- why drag the baby bath out or fill the tub when you can just shift those dishes and give baby a rinse? Half fill with suds, pop ‘em in, a quick wipe down with the cloth- all the while ensuring that soft little noggin steers clear of the stainless steel- job done. Bonus points for rinsing the dishes at the same time- that’s right, we’re multitasking.
- The roll down- poonami strikes, it happens. Before you’ve even released a popper you know that mess reaches up to her neck, front and back. You know that envelope necked vest was designed for exactly this reason, you roll it down, wipe away the tar as you go et voila! No more poopy hair or face for baby, you can even finish up with a sink bath if you’re feeling diligent!
- The sleep feed- now only a true pro can perfect this manoeuvre. This requires the ability to feed the baby without even truly waking. You wake hours later to find an empty bottle/breast and contented baby with absolutely no memory of the occurrence- when you can achieve this step, you are what is known as ‘old school’.
- The prop ‘n play- remember the hours you spent hunched on the floor helping your precious first born turn the pages of those squidgy books? Stacking cups while those crazy waving arms knock them down again to their delight? Now feeding support cushions are your friend. One behind, one in front, dangle a toy from your toe as you enjoy that coffee. Bring on the caffeine- they may tag team at night but they will not defeat us!
- The distraction- even better than the prop ‘n play, buying you an extra twenty precious minutes if you set it up right. Use the older sibling to occupy the baby. Set firstborn up with a noisy, repetitive task (I find a motorized train set to work best) and simply point the new addition at them. Occasionally remark upon how happy they are making the baby and what a good brother/sister they are- job’s a good’un. Now, who drank my coffee? Where’s the kettle at?
- The hint- now this one has to be done in the right company. Remember how you couldn’t stand to be parted from that teeny tiny in your arms? Now look around- you’re outnumbered, sister! Need a break? Spend some time with a relative or close friend that you trust (we’re desperate here- remember you’re not choosing godparents, just blagging yourself an hour off, don’t be too choosy!) and sigh- a lot. Reminisce about the times you used to nip to the shops with nothing but your purse, the hair salon, nail parlour- anything that didn’t involve your little darlings. Do not, I repeat, do not ask directly for a sitter. This may result in awkward refusal and even if they do accept- a time limit. Sigh some more. Make eye contact for just long enough that it’s almost creepy and there you have a volunteer. That’s right, this person is offering to give up their time to watch your little critters while you take 5. Only don’t take 5… take longer- much longer and don’t feel bad, they offered!If you can master all of these steps, you’ll find yourself with some free time, a caffeine buzz and maybe, just maybe, the notion that these Littles aren’t so bad after all. You’ll remember the cute sniffly noises while they nap. That brand new baby smell. The first smile, the first laugh! But don’t get too carried away. After all, that’s probably the reason you’re a seasoned pro and not a newbie anymore- aint nobody got the time or energy to be pregnant again!