Parenting changes you, blah blah blah, makes you complete, yadda yadda. Pish posh. Despite how much parents love to talk and share stories/videos/photos/more photos of their children, there are a few things which they might not admit to very readily. Here are some of those things.
At some point, every parent has accidentally knocked their baby’s head against a wall or door frame. This is very, very accidental, I should add – it’s not like you set out to clunk your child’s skull against the door, but sometimes you’re carrying them and it happens. You stop in your tracks and scan your baby’s reaction to see if they’re about to cry. And your expression is like this.
Another thing: you’ve used your child as an excuse to get out of something. Whether it’s a visit to or from a relative, or to get out of an excruciating function which you just don’t want to go to, you’ve made something up about your child in order to form an excuse. Stuffy family reunion in a village hall two hours away, you say? What’s that, Timmy’s got the tiniest of tiny spots on his cheek, a spot which you just so happened to poke onto his soft skin with a red biro? He must have chicken pox, there’s no way we can possibly go! Oh, such a shame… (evil grin face)
Having children can make you monstrous in the middle of the night, especially when kids do that annoying wailing at 2am when they’re not really crying, they’re just making a noise because they’re half asleep and inherently evil. They don’t mean any harm, but your broken slumber turns you into some kind of hunched monster, hair a mess, eyes sunken, a snarling gibbering wreck as you stagger across the landing. You say horrible things, things you don’t mean but which drop off your tongue like poison because you’re so damn tired. My wife once told our three-year-old son that if he didn’t stop wailing she was going to, and I quote, ‘take a pair of scissors and cut up Ted and put him in the bin’. He stopped crying. (Ted is a fluffy toy, incidentally, and not the name of another child.)
You’ve lied about how attractive a friend’s baby is. They run up to you, phone outstretched, swiping through photographs of their newborn child (and, as we all know, newborn babies are ugly). They want a response. They want you to tell them how beautiful their child is, when actually you can’t stop thinking about how stupid its hair looks and how you could stick a pack of cards in the wrinkles of its face. But you lie, and you tell them what they want to hear. “Ohh!” you exclaim. “Isn’t he gorgeous?!” …and in your head a voice is saying ‘Nope.’
You’ve ignored your baby when he/she is screaming. In your head, you justify it as being some form of controlled crying, or that they ‘might go off after a couple of minutes’. But, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re ignoring your child because you’ve just sat down with a glass of wine and ain’t no-one gonna move your ass from that chair.
There must be more…