Just over a year ago I wrote a blog with some tongue in cheek advice on what to expect when you become a parent for the first time.
While I’m no expert (far from it) having two young children at the moment means that all the privations, humiliations and exhaustions are still very fresh in the mind.
With my youngest just entering the dreaded toddler stage here’s a few more things to think about.
- I hope you like early starts because just as they forget about waking up for milk every couple of hours they work out that the best time to sing/shout/play is as early as possible (especially at weekends).
- Goodbye nice things. Those last few possessions that you managed to protect through the early years of parenthood are now doomed. Toddlers can and will touch everything.
- Get used to dealing with embarrassment in public because they will provide it in spades. If they’re not soiling themselves at the most inopportune times they’re shouting things like “Why is that woman sooooo fat? Or “Daddy, daddy look at that man’s face. Look it’s horrible. But it is daddy it’s horrible.”
- Most trips out the house will end abruptly with a screaming mess of a child tucked under your arm as you storm back towards the car like an All Black scrum half.
- Nothing will melt your brain quite like repetitive, mind numbing, kids TV. Nothing that is apart from the theme tunes which will stick in your brain all day.
- Food will be everywhere. They say yogurt is good for the skin and it’s a good job because you’ll be wearing it (and so will all your furniture).
- Remember that lovely, designer, tailored, navy suit that you couldn’t really afford but treated yourself to anyway because you deserved it? Burn it.
- By now you should be a degree level expert on nappies, potties and toilet habits.
- As your little darling slowly starts to walk you’ll get to witness more slapstick prat falls than every Laurel & Hardy film put together.
- As soon as they’re into nursery you’ll need to start arranging birthday parties. The rule seems to be the bigger the better. Even worse you’ll have to endure endless birthday parties of other kids, which always descend into a blood curdling homage to the final scene of the film 28 days later.
- Despite all this they start to become real, little people and your heart will love like you never thought it could. That doesn’t make it any easier though.
Parents of Britain, you’re welcome.