I never wanted to be one of those parents who, with grizzled face and haunted stare, wearily intone “the things you do for your kids, eh?” As you may expect, given that I’ve started this blog like this, that’s essentially what I’m about to do.
Let’s kick off with a little light humiliation.
I don’t sing in public. Why would I? I sound like one of the deluded acts from the auditions of the X Factor who makes a noise like a strangled cat being dragged down a blackboard when I attempt to belt out a tune. I understand my limitations and, as much as I’d love to be a James Arthur (without the dodgy social media skills) I know full well that I’m a Rylan (lack of leather chaps notwithstanding). Yet all this must be set aside when Elsa decides that the general public need to hear exactly how loud she can cry.
For some reason singing is like audio Calpol to babies; it soothes them and distracts them from whatever it was that caused the upset in the first place (hunger, wind, dirty nappy or existential crisis usually). Unfortunately for me Elsa seems to react best to any of the tunes from the musical Grease (presumably picking a number from the ill fated sequel would merely redouble the tears). There are very few events less dignified than a man in his mid thirties crooning Summer Lovin’ at the top of his voice in a busy shopping street. Well, other than a man in his mid thirties crooning Summer Lovin’ whilst pretending to be a 16 year old schoolboy eh Mr Travolta?
The things you do for your kids, eh?
Next up, how about extreme sleep encouragement?
There’s probably a whole blog to be written on ways to send little ‘un off to dreamland but that’s for another day. On this occasion I’m going to focus on a recent addition to our drowse-inducing armoury.
One evening last week she was unsettled so I decided to take her down to put her in her swinging chair (a chair that moves mechanically not just 60s hepcat talk for a really good piece of furniture). Whilst descending the stairs I presumed I’d temporarily turned deaf but, no, my diagnosis was inaccurate (I knew I should have paid attention in GCSE Biology), the act of moving between floors of the house had calmed her completely. I stopped. She cried again. I continued to walk up and down for the next twenty-five minutes.
We both slept well that night.
And I dropped a waist size.
Therefore I’m almost certain that the inventor of early 90s brand-heavy exercise fad Step Reebok was a Mum with a fussy baby. The things you do for your kids, eh?
Finally I’m going to admit something that will simultaneously impress and disgust you but you’ve read through this far, you may as well push on to the end.
When I mentioned Elsa’s first cold in the last blog a couple of people told me that they had heard of some parents performing what sounded like the ultimate breaching of any personal boundaries they had ever previously considered. However, the blocked nose had become so bad I figured I should swallow my pride (you’ll see how inappropriate a choice of words that was within seconds) and make a late entry for a Pride of Britain award.
Yes reader, I sucked the snot out of my daughter’s nose.
It’s every bit as repulsive as you’d expect but I’m proud that I could bring myself to do it. It also means that I have an ace up my sleeve in any discussion over who will change the next nappy. I sucked the snot out of her nose. I win. And simultaneously lose.
If you want to know, I imagine it’s much like eating an oyster but with less Tabasco and more spitting and gagging into a cloth afterwards.
So there you are, you see why I’m fully justified in becoming the parent who, at any opportunity, knowingly utters that dreaded phrase, “the things you do for your kids, eh?”.