Author: Sarah Dawson
The day your baby rolls over for the first time, their first word, their first steps – these things are mind-blowingly amazing moments that will stay with you as a parent forever, and if you’re anything like me you’ll want to shout about them from the rooftops (ie Facebook and Instagram) in true, verging on deranged, proud parent style. * Expertly arranges the baby in a snazzy flat-lay featuring sweet milestone card*.
But what about the other milestones? Those defining moments that leave you thinking, “Woah, this parenting lark just got real.”? I think it’s about time we celebrated those too – although maybe not with pretty pastel cards, I’m not sure anyone’s Instagram feed is ready for that…
The first bath poo
Now I’ve been lucky – we got through almost two years before we had to deal with this horror. In fact, I was feeling pretty optimistic that this particular milestone was one that would pass us by, but alas we’ve recently earnt our ‘poo in the bath’ badge, and friends, I’m pretty certain you will too. A quick shout out to Mr Whale, the trusty bath time pal that sadly didn’t survive the clean-up operation. We’ll miss you, buddy.
The first floor snack
Babies just can’t help themselves when it comes to carpet picnics. Seriously, once they’ve mastered that pincer grip they will literally pick up anything from the floor and put it straight in their mouth. Stray raisins (I swear my carpet is 90% raisin these days), biscuit crumbs, a leaf and cat food are just some of the floor snacks that have passed my son’s taste test. The only thing he regretted trying to eat was an ancient, neon green hair scrunchie I can’t bear to throw away, that hasn’t been washed since the early ‘90s, which he managed to excavate from under the bed.
The first ‘kind-of’ swear word
Crab, truck, sock, fox – the potential for mispronunciation is HUGE when babies and toddlers are just getting their head around things. And when they do, the temptation to laugh is strong. Yep, it’s all fun and games, until they actually do repeat a swear word they heard Daddy say when the dog stole his sandwich…
The mental, exploding nappy
You will always remember this game changing nappy – the one that becomes the stuff of legend. The first poonami; an exploding nappy so heinous that it requires a full change of clothes (baby), a biohazard suit (you), a bath, glass of straight gin and a quiet sit down to recover. Strangely you will also feel compelled to take a photo of the whole sorry mess for posterity.
The first accident
Babies go from handily immobile to danger-seeking missiles in the blink of an eye and it’s an unavoidable fact that they are going to fall over/roll off the sofa/head-butt a table at some point in their first year. Whether it happens when your back it turned for LITERALLY one second (how? HOW??) or in slow motion before your eyes, this is one milestone you won’t forget. The fear; the panic; the guilt – you’ll feel it all. Your baby, on the other hand, will barely register the event and will head off on their pursuit for knives/electrical sockets/sharp edges. Hardy little things, babies – like mountain goats.
The Peppa Pig obsession begins
Don’t ask me how it happens, but the pull of Peppa Pig is strong. Some kind of baby voodoo is in play that creates a full-blown obsession with the pink one, similar to the love I had for Robbie Williams in his Take That days (peak obsession, 1993). You think you’ve avoided it, but you can’t escape. You are destined to watch, at the very minimum, a year’s worth of Peppa Pig. And you will develop strong opinions on Daddy Pig.
The first epic meltdown in public
I’ll never forget when my son had his first full-blown meltdown in public. I was half way round the supermarket when I accidentally broke the biscuit I was passing to him. All hell broke loose when he realised this biscuit was not going to get fixed – proper end of the world tears, screaming and biscuit flinging. It got so bad that I just had to ditch the shopping trolley and make a hasty retreat with an inconsolable toddler. The worst part was, in that discarded trolley was a bottle of wine, and my god could I have done with that by the time we’d got home.
Moral of the story? Always have wine in the house. Always.
Sarah dawson can be found at www.wordupwriting.co.uk