Today River turned 10 months old. 10 months since he was salad-tonged into the world and thrust on to my chest as I sobbed at the overwhelming realisation that he was here, fine and now I had to take care of him. This hypothetical alien that I had been nesting for was now actually here and I was going to have to put all this planned parenting into action. Over the course of my pregnancy Frankie and I had discussed a number of things we DEFINITELY won’t be doing or allowing our hypothetical baby to do. Here’s 10 things that we DEFINITELY caved on because hypothetical babies are easy to parent; actual factual babies are hard work.
- A common one; we were never going to let River watch T.V. for peace and quiet. No no no, River was only ever going to have high-stimulating messy play that would broaden his hypothetical little mind or be engrossed in educating bright starting toys. Sod that,
Peppa PigCountdown for half an hour whilst I’m trying to cook tea* is golden. (*check social media and ignore the mess around me)
- We were going to go walking every weekend and not stay in. Utter idiocy. Not doing anything is now my treat.
- Absolutely NO junk food. During pregnancy I naively thought that I would have bags of time to make homemade bread, organic stocks and occasionally even try my hand at some mozzarella making. In short I thought I would be able to make everything from scratch and control exactly what River would be eating. Spare time is non-existent and if smiley faces and chicken nuggets only take 20 minutes in the oven then that’s tea sorted for one night.
- No jogging bottoms. I don’t know why, I’m not sure if I thought he would grow up to be a murderer or worse, Wayne Rooney, if he ever felt the comfort of an elastic waistband and fleecy legs but I genuinely thought he would never own a pair. He now has about 8 pairs because they are the easiest thing to pull up a crawling baby’s bottom. And I love them. And I’m sorry to all jogging bottoms (and wearers) for the prejudice.
- He will absolutely NEVER be allowed to sleep in our bed. This lasted about 7 days. In fact he quite often got put in the middle when I was home from hospital. Unfortunately the little pig hates co-sleeping now so I can’t even put him in for a snuggle so he actually made his own mind up about this one. Point is, I caved almost immediately because I missed him.
- Put too many pictures of him on social media. I’m not even sorry. I flood my social media pages with pictures of him and his little toothy smile and I don’t care that half my friends have muted me.
- We wouldn’t swear in front of him. That went out the fucking window on the way home from the hospital when someone cut us up in the pitch black on a back road. Oh well, there’s time before he’s talking to cut back.
- Pick him up every time he cries. Bite me.
- If he doesn’t eat his dinner then he won’t get a treat. Hahahahahaha. I mean, a treat to River is a piece of fruit so it’s not so bad but I’ve definitely run to the fridge for an emergency strawberry when the “I don’t want this to eat” tantrum is rumbling. Biscuits also solve tea time tears.
- Laugh at him when he’s being naughty. Okay so he’s only 10 months old and he hasn’t really been naughty but there have been definite occasions of boundary pushing sass-mastery that has tipped us over the edge into hysterical laughing. He just laughs with us and does it more.
All in all, I think hypothetical River and actual River would have turned out the same whichever path we took. So relax, break the rules. It’s all good.