There are very few things in life that are as uncertain as parenting. As a parent, you constantly find yourself second guessing – and often judging – yourself with every move. Should I really give Calpol for this ailment? Should I have given Calpol when I decided not to?! Have I over fed him today? Have I not fed him enough?! Have I taken him to enough stimulating activities this week? Have I given him enough downtime to just play and “be”?!
There are many, many aspects of parenting that we’ll never have a good enough answer for. But similarly, every now and again, our offspring will play a blinder. No, I’m not talking about those times that we cherish – when they hit a milestone early, when they’re being adorably cute, when they learn something new – no, I’m talking about those other times. Those times when all you can do is huff and puff some choice words under your breath and raise your eyes skywards. I’m talking about the parenting laws of sod.
No matter what our plans are, I have decided that the universe will often have other ideas, and the following will always come to fruition:
1. To start with an oldie but a goodie, baby shall decide that the one time they fancy a lie in will be on the day that you need to get up early to be somewhere. 9am, 9:30 even? No problems, you’re raising a mini teenager! Except you had to leave for a doctor’s appointment at 8:30am. And you forgot to set the alarm. Because Baby will be your alarm, right?! Not on this occasion of the parenting law of sod, Mummy!
2. And while we’re on the subject of sleep, one of Baby Lighty’s favourite tricks is to pick a particular night to decide not to settle. Usually nights when Mrs Lighty has decided to give herself a night off from copywriting. Maybe I’ll take a bath, watch some crap TV, perhaps do some blogging! Nah-ah-ah Mummy! Thou shall not relax at your choosing! You need to be running up and down the stairs with a dummy / teddy / bottle / Ewan the blimmin’ Sheep*, depending entirely on the sleep aid of my choice at any given time, Mummy!
(*Mrs Lighty dosen’t mean it Ewan, I love you and your strangely soothing heavy-rain-remixed-with-womb-sounds really, you got me through many a sleepless newborn night!!)3. Or conversely, there are the times when I’m really up against a deadline. When I really need to get paid articles written. So please go to sleep quickly, Baby Lighty, I need to get 800 words under my belt tonight! But why would I do that, Mummy, surely your writing brain is at its best late at night after I’ve taken two hours to settle?!
4. And let’s not forget the old “I’m going to start waking up repeatedly through the night because you’re about to go back to work after maternity leave” trick. And just when we’d been lulled into a false sense of security that they were sleeping through, too! But isn’t it a funny game Mummy, that now you’re not only panicked about going back to work but also panicked about potentially having to go back to work on two hours’ sleep, too?!
5. But enough about sleep! What about the other parenting laws of sod? Poo, for example? Or, as was often the case with Baby Lighty, sick? Of course, there was always the occasion when Baby Lighty combined both when we were at his six week health visitor check, and added a wee in the scales to boot. Well, what do you expect if you’re going to get me naked and pulled about at 6 weeks old, Mummy?! And did I have a decent set of spare clothes to change him into? No I did not, because that would of course go against the parenting laws of sod. Good job it was a summer of about 700 degree heat when Baby Lighty was tiny and he could therefore get away with a vest and little cardi until we got home.6. Then there’s the realm of eating. You’re going over to someone’s house for dinner. They ask what Baby Lighty will eat. “Oh he’ll eat anything”, you casually reply. After all, this is the child that had smoked samon and baked camembert as some of their first tastes. Not today Mummy! Nope, today I have decided that I no longer like cheese / carrots / potatoes / cake / anything that I usually like / life! Sigh.
7. What about those rare occasions when you get a night off from being a parent, too? Like when it’s your wedding anniversary, and it’s your first proper date night in the 10 months since Baby Lighty’s arrival? Isn’t that just the night when your normally very content, very smiley baby decides that they’re going to scream for the hour before you leave them with the baby sitter and nothing will console them?! But I don’t want you to go Muuu-uuu-uuu-mmmy!!! (And let’s not forget that prior to that you’d also sat in traffic for an hour trying to get home from work, doing your make up on the bus because you wouldn’t have time when you eventually got in to do it, but that’s less of the parenting laws of sod and more of the M25 laws of sod!)
8. And you know those aforementioned milestones that sometimes our offspring make us really proud with by hitting them early? And you know those times when you really want to show them off? Usually at the 9 – 12 month check, or when you’re going for gold in the Mummy Olympics? Yep, you’ve guessed it. I am not going to play your game today, Mummy! I’ve been waving for weeks! Clapping? Easy peasy! Crawling? Well I only go where I want to go… And so I’ve decided that today, I am only going to perform when I want to perform! Of course you are, darling. Why would I expect anything else from the parenting laws of sod?!
And what makes it worse?! That the above are only the first eight commandments of the parenting laws of sod. I’m sure there will be many more to add as Baby Lighty becomes Toddler Lighty.
But surely, there are always exceptions to the rule, and the parenting laws of sod must’ve been made to be broken?! We can only live in hope…and perhaps film all of those milestones in the meantime as evidence?!
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