It’s a dogs/toddlers life…

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… having a baby changes your entire life. Which obviously you attempt to prepare for by reading books and using up pretty much all your mobile data by Googling like a mad woman. Eventually, by about the 8th month you end up feeling that you have a vague (naive) idea of the changes afoot.

Pregnancy gears you up for the lack of nights out and the very apparent lack of alcohol. You don’t buy clothes anymore because you get bigger by the day and all you end up doing is walking through Topshop trying to mask your jealousy at everyone else in there who appears to be a size 8 and wondering if you’ll ever be the same again, before heading to Costa and devouring a full fat coffee (decaf if you’re feeling particularly well meaning) of some description and a massive slice of cake.

Then parenthood actually happens, smacks you in the face like a sledge hammer but if you’re lucky enough to find some like-minded Mums you can seek solace in their equal measures of tiredness and ‘when will they sleep-ness’, you can drink again and eat pate and brie.

However, prior to children you may have decided that getting a four-legged friend would be a good start to solidifying your relationship and obviously having a puppy is a bit like having a baby… hahahahahaha.

For this poor, poor pooch life will never be the same and the major difference here is that they can’t use Google to prepare, there is no NCT for dogs and they remain oblivious right up until you arrive home with the new delivery…

Life before baby pretty much meant that they were your baby.

Life before baby: Leisurely afternoon naps, lazy Sunday walks followed by a relaxing pub lunch. Specially selected dog food to ensure a luscious coat and minimal fat and wheat to avoid the dreaded flatulence. New collars  and baths on a regular basis. Perhaps with the odd treat of leftover gravy and chicken. Life was blissful.

And then comes the positive pregnancy test…

First you have discussions about how you think the dog will cope with a baby, as you know, it was your baby. Then all of a sudden saying that out loud starts to sound a little bit ridiculous because it’s not really the same at all, you definitely didn’t give birth to them (which would be pretty horrific) and you don’t really have a moral responsibility to ensure that they grow up into well-meaning members of society who contribute to the world and aren’t mean to people. Obviously you teach them not to chew, or bite people which I guess is kind of the same for children but really I think that’s where it ends – oh and not to turd on the carpet, so maybe a few more similarities than I first thought.

Next you will probably read somewhere that you need to play the sound of babies crying to get them to adjust to the noise in a bid to help them accustom to the onslaught of a newborn (we managed an hour of this, we couldn’t cope… let alone the dog).

Oh and because it’s at the forefront of your mind after giving birth, never mind concerns over breastfeeding and not dropping the baby, you should send a family member home with a blanket of the babies smell so the dog can be prepared.

Then 2 becomes three plus the dog and life gets a little bit shit for them for a while.

Don’t go too near the baby, get off the bed, no you can’t eat the leftover chicken and gravy because we haven’t actually cooked a proper meal in at least 3 weeks. That sort of thing. A walk around the block has to suffice and then you start finding yourself wondering whether they’re happy , the guilt sets in and it hangs around for quite a long time.

Then suddenly, the baby becomes a little less baby-like, a little sturdier, starts eating solid food, crawling/walking/talking/laughing and life for the resident pooch starts looking up again.

Hello new best buddy…  the pre-baby diet will probably never return, or at least not until the actual children fly the nest and should that dog live to see that time, they will return to being the resident baby because I think empty nest does that sort of thing to the maternal brain.

However, sod the pre-baby diet… the new weaner baby diet is much more fun.

Oh look, chickens really do fly – off the side of the highchair and straight into the jaws of the slightly plumper version of your hound.

“Shall we share that rusk? Oh yes let’s…” one bite for you, one bite for me. Sharing is caring.

Anyone with a dog and small child will know only too well the struggles that you now face in a bid to get your actual child to eat the food you have spent the last 3 hours cooking in an attempt to hide veg and make it taste delicious at the same time. There is possibly nothing more infuriating than watching your dog devour meals that you painstakingly prepared when you could have just given them an Ella’s pouch which they probably would have eaten. Suddenly all that guilt that you were feeling previously about how horrible their life has become dissipates and you actually start to become a little jealous of the ‘dog’s life’. Food actually thrown at your face, cooked… heated to a lovely temperature and you had to put in zero effort. Amazing.

The dog bowl – yep that’s kind of become the watering/feeding hole for both child and dog if I’m not rapid enough to swoop it up in the morning. The main reason B now knows how to spit things out on demand is because there have been too many occasions to count when that boy has wandered in looking like a guilty hamster having gorged on the dogs biscuits for a pre-breakfast appetizer.

Treats – no longer a reward for sitting, or giving paw. Now, it’s treat time ALL the time. Because it’s a really fun game apparently.

Oh, and remember back when the dog wanted to share your bed? Yep, well that’s reversed.. because in a toddlers mind it’s really fun to get into the dogs bed. This one doesn’t go down so well for the dog but there’s a lot of love there and continuous, slightly heavy handed affection that goes with it. A bit like being in bed with a drunk husband one might say.

Toys – more toys than you can ever imagine and at this point sharing is ok.

Toddlers are also tireless in their playtime pursuits, riding up and down the corridor on a broom has some serious longevity. Luckily enough for the dog, so does throwing a ball up and down the hallway. Winning.

So really, yes there is always going to be a small period of time where the dog of the household seriously lucks out and barely makes it in range of the pile, let alone being on the bottom of it. However, that moment when all of a sudden they become buddies… makes it a little bit priceless.

So for all of you going through the ‘shit I think the dog is suicidal life is so bad right now’ stage – it will (should) get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and these four-legged family members may not really have been a true representation of what it would be like to have a baby but ours definitely brightens up my little man’s life… she’s also taught him a few things along the way which is a bonus – by that I mean a gentler touch, not the ability to lick ones private parts.

 

 

 

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Baby/toddler would you rather…

Obviously it’s Valentines day, no commercial outlet in the entire UK would have you forget that. So I’ve spent it leisurely pottering around the house, drinking tea, reading a book and eating steak and dauphinoise potatoes… in my dreams!

Instead, I got a fairly consistent stream of vomit exiting Boden’s mouth from approximately 4am this morning, although this was made significantly better by some croissants in bed and my little vomit machine bringing me a red rose, simple parental pleasures.

In addition to the above I found a frozen lasagne in the freezer which felt like Christmas and even the toddler and dog rolling around in the vomit covered duvet and duvet covers wasn’t going to get me down after finding that nugget of meaty, cheesy goodness.

I also decided this morning whilst trying to figure out how to tackle the mound of vomit-ridden bedding/clothing/child/dog that I genuinely think I would rather catch a turd with my bare hands than have to deal with heaps of sick. One quick rapid moment of grossness which can be easily remedied with a bit of soap and lemon juice as opposed to hours of washing/drying/putting away. Done deal.

*I’d like to add that a few weeks ago, I actually did catch a turd with my bare hands during a brief and clearly ill-considered moment of free-willy time. The reason for doing so was that I actually considered that the lesser of two evils as we’d just had a new carpet fitted and the thought of scrubbing turd out of it was too much to bare.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the various situations you find yourself in as a parent and decided I’d play a little bit of would you rather with Mr T, he was mainly watching the rugby and giving my squiffy looks but it’s been that kind of Sunday and pretty much where my mind is at.

So, would you rather…

Have a hungover husband, or be hungover yourself?

Have to share every single morsel of food that you got to eat with your resident scavengers, or eat every meal in the toilet on your own..?

Have baby vomit in your face, or down (actually inside) your top?

Never have Cebeebies ever again, or have to listen to the theme tune to Peter Rabbit every 30 minutes? This is a tough call, Cebeebies has been a bit of a saving grace today but that song….

Have to use/clean reusable (shitty) nappies or walk to the shops every time to buy a new one?

Have a toddler that throws tantrums, or objects (to include food, feaces, your phone)…?

Shower once a week on your own, for as long as you desired… maybe even bath with some prosecco and candles (really push the boat out) or shower every day while dealing with a slippery child who HAS to join you and splash you constantly in the face?

Have your child brush their teeth every day, twice a day without any drama and only get to shave your legs once a year, or have complete teeth brushing breakdowns but be hair free?

Have a fussy eater, or a fussy sleeper?

Only be able to drink gin/wine out of a sippy cup, or not at all?

Go food shopping with child in tow, or do it online and have the site crash and start all over again at least 10 times…?

So Happy Valentines… now where’s the bloody gin?

 

 

 

 

 

Offspring… a.k.a rockets up ones arse

I’ve been thinking this last week about the profound impact that my little man has had on me as a person and I’ve come up with the following…

He makes me crazy! As in furious, I’m going to walk out the room and scream into a pillow while simultaneously counting to ten crazy… I’m going to crawl around on my hands and knees pretending to be a bunking bronco crazy… I’m free so I’m going to drink a lot of gin and then seriously regret it in my hungover state crazy… I haven’t slept for more than 30 minutes continuously crazy… and I’ve got so much washing and sodding life admin to do that I’m just going to sit and drink tea in my pj’s watching Octonauts crazy.

If someone was to show me a magical crystal ball 3 years ago and say this is going to be you I think I would have laughed and run for the hills. I was never too into the whole motherhood thing and as I’ve said before, Bodes was a bit of a whoops (a lovely one) and I was pretty adamant for several years that absolutely nothing was going to venture out of my hooha. And aside from making me feel a little bit bat shit crazy from time to time, there are so many things that B has taught me so far.

Who would have thought a tiny little person would actually be able to teach you things? By that I don’t mean how to change a nappy, or wipe a snotty nose (well actually, that’s an art in itself to be fair – I’ve evolved as a booger ninja, rapid wiping action is the only way) but I mean that they teach you things about yourself and kind of teach you how to be a different version of you.

I know you often see these things about motherhood being your calling and the making of you and all that jazz and I essentially think I’m still the same but mainly, the one thing he’s taught me is that you just need to get on with things… life doesn’t wait, it doesn’t always happen exactly when you want or planned it to and curve balls are kind of inevitable. He was my curve ball, and the best kind really.

He’s made me realise that I don’t need to carry on doing a job that I don’t feel fits with my life anymore (technically I do for now… but he shoved an imaginary rocket up my arse and made me see that I can make changes). These things don’t happen over night and I’m a little knee deep in coursework but there’s a long term goal there and I definitely wouldn’t have done that before.

I also finally paid off my student overdraft – maternity leave may have dented this again slightly, but hey technically it’s not a student one now! More like a coffee, cake and soft play kind of overdraft…

I definitely would never have thought of writing a blog and putting my thoughts out there… but that happened.

I also used to seriously worry about what people thought, all the time… and I would read into the smallest things (I still do this a little) but I don’t actually have that much time to do that anymore. On the one hand it’s quite difficult going into second rank behind a little feeding-pooing-sleeping machine but on the other, it’s kind of liberating and I actually really like that part.

When I found out I was pregnant my greatest fears were that I would be lonely and ‘just a mum’ (oh and covered in stretch marks) and I really struggled for a while to see the good bits that would come from it, however being in the slightly reflective mood that I am today this hasn’t been the case at all. Having him was such a happy (long) day and I really wouldn’t change it for the world and no-one is ‘just a mum’, which I totally get now.

So my concluding thought is that really, babies are little pocket rockets… yes it means that things change, life changes and that promotion that you might have got isn’t an option anymore and people at work may look at you differently because you’re ‘part-time’ but do you know what… who cares! You made a human and that’s pretty damn impressive, as is the ability to squeeze them through a tinie tiny hole… so I’m learning to embrace the change and see things from a different corner of the earth these days.

Oh and… I’m designing some Food Baby bags (not so subtle plug), these will be available to buy very soon – another example of what baby rocket fuel makes you do.