You would think that after ten and a half months I would have a handle on the fact that I have a baby. Add to that the nine months of pregnancy, and the element of surprise should have left a long time ago, right? Wrong. Parenting is odd, it was odd on day one and it is still odd ten months later.
Badgerman was giving Little Girl a bath this evening whilst I was making dinner. We have a downstairs bathroom adjacent to the kitchen (don’t ask) and I had a clear shot into the area where she usually gets wrapped in her towel and dried. Here she was, sitting happily in her nappy looking all shiny, fluffy and cute as a button, when I had one of those strange moments of deep insight: ‘my word, but there’s a baby in our house.’
That’s right. There are moments when having a child around makes me feel totally weird, like I’ve stumbled into an alternate universe where alternate-me is a responsible adult and is required to act on it in relation to another person. Whose child is this that’s been left behind in our house? Where did she come from? How long has she been around? I know the answer to these questions and yet it can still come as a complete surprise. I guess I have had thirty-one years of being only responsible for myself before she turned up, so it’s no wonder that it should take time to adjust. Still…
After a rocky start, I feel that I have come to terms with the changes to my lifestyle. I have a weekly routine of sorts and I enjoy being a mother and being at home. Little Girl is a lovely baby, a ray of sunshine with easy smiles and lots of cute babbling but her recent foray into crawling, standing and everything in between has suddenly unraveled her personality and I no longer care for a baby; she really is now a Little Girl. So I have gone from ‘Argh I am a mother!’ to ‘Argh! Who is this other person in the room?!’, especially when she creeps up behind me when I’m doing the washing-up and grabs my trouser legs to push herself up.
Maybe one day I will find being a parent normal but until then I suspect I will continue to have random freak-out moments and to wonder at the weirdness of it all. I am an adult with responsibilities. God help us all.