1. Kids are smarter than you think. I found this out the other day when I discovered that my one year old had somehow reprogrammed the remote controls so now the TV remote operated the DVD player and vice versa. We’ve had the TV and DVD player for at least 6 years and had no idea this could be done. Until now…
2. Teeth are exciting. My one year old has just starting getting his chompers and it is a big deal for him. He likes to grind the top and bottom ones together in that horrifically cringing fashion where you just want to cover your ears and shriek “stop!” Today has been about using his teeth to discover stuff, in other words, bite everything and everyone. Like the dog. Yes folks, he crawled up to one of our dogs and put a mouthful of tail into his mouth and bit down. Fortunately my beautiful dog simply lifted his head and patiently waited for me to sprint across the few paces to remove the biting machine. Dogs and child safely separated, the day can continue.
3. As soon as you sit down with a hot cup of tea/coffee, they know. And will wake up from their peaceful slumber. The little darlings can be out for the count in the Land of Nod, long eyelashes resting on their little faces and chubby dimpled hands clenched around their favourite toy. You sit down, exhale and pick up your mug and, bam! The little person wakes up. Every time. Like magic.
4. Coffee will become a food group for you.
5. Jumping around the kitchen like a demented ninja to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off to make your kids laugh is totally acceptable. On a regular occasion I have been known to bust out my signature bad ninja moves, chopping the air with my hands etc., to my kids’ delight.
6. There will be days when you want to just lie down on the kitchen floor and cry. That’s ok.
7. Let it go and don’t sweat the small stuff. And other clichéd sayings. Because you have to. Let it go that is. Speaking as a highly organised (note, anal retentive with a hint of OCD) person, learning to ‘let it go’ was a massive learning curve for me. My pantry used to have all jars and bottle and cans lined up according to height, frequency of use and with all labels facing the front. Now I’m lucky if I can find the bottle of olive oil without pulling everything else out first.
8. You’ll grow eyes in the back of your head. Ok, so not actually real eyes, but you’ll know pretty damn fast when your kids are doing something they’re not supposed to be doing without even physically seeing them. I call them my “mummy eyes”. My mummy eyes can see through walls and know that my six year old is not getting ready for his bath despite being asked to. I know he is pretending to be Darth Vader with a Lego bucket on his head and is likely to be holding some sort of plastic toy – helicopter, Transformer or car, and is using that as some sort of weapon against soft toys.
9. Some days, shit happens. Literally. So you need to have a bottle of wine on hand. Like the other day for example, my one year did a poo in the bath, and it wasn’t scoopable. Thankfully I was prepared and there was a bottle of red ready to go after I had finished bleaching and scrubbing the bath.
10. You have to be able to laugh. There will be days were everything seems to go wrong, you can’t get anywhere on time and you forget three out of the five things you needed to pick up from the shops for dinner that night. So you can either let it all pile up and get stressed about it and have a cry (sometimes a good therapeutic cry is needed though), or you can laugh. Just laugh and remember that tomorrow is a fresh start and yes, it could be another shemozzle of a day, or it could be a great one. A day when you actually get all the washing done and folded AND put away, and bake that batch of muffins you have been meaning to bake for the last week.
What are some of the things you have learnt since having kids?