Friday, July 14, 2006

10 things I didn't know on the 5th May

Millie is 10 weeks old, so here are 10 things I've learnt about parenting.

  1. Parenting gurus give their advice like they're stating scientific fact. If it were scientific fact then it would have the same effect on every baby in the same way. You can't know that blowing in the baby's face means they're more likely to be a concert pianist without years of evidence. If the book was written in 2004, it's all guesswork.
  2. If you're concerned about something, ask yourself whether they'll be like it when they're sixteen. For example, if they're not lifting their heads up by six weeks, question whether its likely to be a factor in sixteen years time. On the other hand, if their leg falls off, worry.
  3. Birthing plans are a nonsense. You have no choice about how the baby is coming out.
  4. Your life doesn't change as a result of having a baby. This is your life, a continuation of what you had before, with new influences and factors to consider. If you're life is so heavily locked into a particular routine, so hardened that you can't move away from it, you're either very sad, or you're OCD.
  5. People who know the mother best, think the baby looks like the mum, those who know the dad best thinks the baby looks like the dad. Agree, whatever the view.
  6. Baby poo smells great, at least your baby's poo smells great. A baby has a minimal vocabulary, so they communicate their well-being through poo. A big smelly one is great to see.
  7. It is easier to agree with people that you're not getting any sleep and nappies are a nightmare than to explain that it's all going really well, you're sleeping fine and you're enjoying it.
  8. Doctors are always right. If your philosophy is that if a doctor gives you bad news then they're right, but if it's good then they're telling you a bunch of lies, you'll quickly end up in a puddle of your own paranoia. You have to make a simplifying assumption that what you're hearing is the truth and that a vast-majority of doctors have the same values and objectives as you.
  9. Phases don't last long. If you can remember a time when she went through a phase of finding it difficult to settle after a bottle; it was probably last night.
  10. Don't think about the future. The future may hold Neo-Nazi boyfriends, piercings and heroin. Today they don't, tomorrow they may do. As the great Gaulish chief says, Vitalstatistix says, 'Tomorrow never comes'.


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