I have been thinking recently about how much my life has changed since Albert has come along, and the answer is massively. A big baby shaped change. Having a baby changes your life in pretty much every way possible, and all of them for the better. Now I can’t even go for a wee without thinking about how it might affect Albert (ie I can’t just go for a wee whenever I like and leave him in the garden with the foxes).
So apart from the obvious big changes (heart swelling with love etc) that you always hear parents talking about, it changes your life in so many little ways as well. So I thought I would take a light hearted, honest look at a few small changes in my life that have happened recently.
Foxes, they look cute, but don't leave them with your baby.
Increased Bladder Control
I’ve got to start with something to do with urine, it basically means the time I can go without weeing has increased. I can now hold my bladder at an Olympic level. I'm like a Super Hero whose power involves not going for a wee. As I mentioned above, you shouldn’t leave babies alone with foxes, or any animals really, so sometimes you have to hold it in. Usually I haven’t got time to wee when he needs feeding, changing, soothing, rocking, cleaning up after, someone to play Playstation with. Obviously Lucy looks after Albert while I am at work so her bladder must be Adamantium by now, whereas mine is just Iron. I’m not a doctor (...yet, any Universities that want to give me an honorary doctorate then please tweet me on @DudasPriest) so I don’t know if the bladder is like a muscle where you can increase its strength but flexing it or whatever, but I am able to hold in a wee much more than I was before. Which you can't fight crime with, but it's still good.
Park in Child Spaces when Shopping
This is a great one. One of the many benefits of having a baby is that you can park right by the entrance to Tesco, or pretty much anywhere with a child parking space, so you don’t have to carry them as far when they start kicking off because shopping is SOOOO BORING DAD. This has also made me very critical of other people who park in these spaces whereas previously I didn’t really care (although I’ve never parked there without a baby myself). Critical to the point where I see people getting out their cars without children and I want to shout WHERE IS YOUR BABY!? WHY ARE YOU PARKING THERE??? Shouting WHERE IS YOUR BABY at people in car-parks could be taken the wrong way though so I never do, I just silently judge.
Quickly, can someone help me here? What is the rule for parking in these spaces? Do you actually need a child with you? What if you are leaving the child in the car while you pop in? How old do the children need to be until they are too old for you to use it? What if you’re just stopping by quickly to buy baby products but don’t actually have a baby with you? I feel Tesco need a sign up in the car-park, or a FAQ on their website or something. SORT IT TESCO.
Have Toned Arms
Spending increasing hours holding a baby means toning your arms up. They are never going to have holding a baby as an activity in a gym (at least I hope not), but I am sure my arm muscles are getting way stronger after tensing them into shape after having to stand there holding him and rocking him for hours at a time. I’m basically turning into The Rock.
Basically what my muscles are turning into:
Jump to Front of queues
I haven’t done this one yet, but I have seen people do it and moved aside for them so I know it works. I’m not going to say I am never going to use my baby as an excuse for things, because being honest, I definitely will at some point, but I know that I always have the option that if I am in a big queue and I can’t be bothered to wait because the Formula 1 starts in 20 minutes and I need to get home in time, I can always push to the front and say MY BABY IS GETTING UPSET, MOVE OUT THE WAY.
Have a proper excuse to go to bed at 3am, AND get sympathy for it
I have definitely done this one. People seem to have a lot of sympathy for parents who went to bed at 3am and are really tired the next day. Nobody has sympathy for someone who stayed up to 3am playing Playstation while their child is asleep and are really tired the next day. So I tend to just say to people that I’m really tired and I didn’t get to sleep until late, and then wallow in the sympathy. Ah assumptions, you know what they say about those.
Babies and PS3, the best excuses to stay up late:
Not do things because you’re busy with the baby
Another excuse one that is waiting ready to be used. Been invited to something you don’t want to go to? Oh sorry, we can’t get a babysitter, Albert was feeling really ill etc. Again I feel slightly bad for using him as an excuse, but be honest, everyone does it, so I don’t feel bad enough not to if we are desperate for one. To make it fair I will total up all the times I do it, and when he is a bit older I will explain it to him, and I will give him that many notes to get out of P.E. lessons.
Spend more money on batteries
It seems like my battery expenditure has increased 400% since Albert has been born. Most baby products seem to involve batteries that last barely a week or so! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t resent buying them, as I would do anything to make him happy, but it’s amazing how all of a sudden I have a whole box on the desk that seems to be dedicated to batteries, and filled up with all different types waiting to be used.
Fart in public and blame it on the baby
Ahem... I am not going to comment on this one.
Suddenly stop awkward social situations by deflecting attention onto the baby
Parents definitely do this, I am definitely definitely sure! Especially dads, when you are all of a sudden in a social situation having to talk to someone you don’t really know (the dreaded Stop & Chat, as per Larry David) and you are looking for a way out of that conversation, or at least a distraction. ‘Oh, the baby is crying, I’ll go and see how he is!’ or ‘Awww look at the face he is pulling!’ and voila, subject changed = You’ve escaped. Especially handy when people come to the door wanting money, or you’re stuck on a phonecall to the bank and looking for a way out, or someone has been banging on about politics for 20 minutes a dinner party and you want to shut them up, or at least have a valid excuse to ignore them. A baby is an ideal way to divert attention and turn the tide in an awkward social situation.
How to get out of a Larry David style Stop & Chat, get a baby!
Never get anywhere on time
I am 100% positive that every single parent has experienced this at some point in their lives. We have been pretty good so far, but trying to get anywhere on time is almost impossible with a baby in tow. They have so much more stuff than you can imagine to take with them, even for a 2 day trip, I feel like a footman from Downton Abbey packing up the car with 18 bags for his Lordship. With the best of intentions, even if you start getting ready 2 hours before you have to leave, you’ll still find yourself scrambling around with 3 minutes to go getting stuff ready, and finally getting out the house 15 minutes later than planned. A baby will always, ALWAYS be sick down its front, your front, your shoes, the floor, and the cat, just as you open the front door.
Never enough time!
And that’s about it for now, having a baby is awesome! How has it changed your life in the little ways?