I remember the days when leaving the house would consist of these thoughts – my outfit, do I look good? Are my eyebrows on fleek? Will I have a glass of wine with lunch? Post Jasmine my thought process is along the lines of Do I have Sophie the giraffe? Do I have Peppa pig? Who knew such a tiny person needed a giant bag of crap like she was going for a week in Tenerife….? Nappies, muslin cloths, wipes, Calpol in case she gets sick in the next few hours, a thermometer just in case…. headshots and a resume in case she gets scouted by a top modelling agent (still waiting for that day!)
My outfit is anything I can feed in, if Jasmine has a hungry meltdown because she hasn’t eaten for 45 minutes, I need to know I can feed her without stripping in the middle of a shopping centre! My make up is as far as I get applying it in the morning without having to pick Jasmine up off the bed. Sometimes we get to mascara sometimes we don’t get past moisturiser- I apologies for those days! Plus I also have to put together an outfit for her, where as my own choice of clothes makes me look like I ran through a jumble sale covered in superglue, hers on the other hand must be just perfect, colour coordinated and accessories to match.
It hasn’t always been easy though when she was very tiny I used to panic so much when she was in her pram, I was so scared she would fall out or a giant eagle would swoop down and peck her! It was tough but I powered through and have less fear now!
When she’s asleep I keep rocking the pram, even though I’m at a standstill. During lunch I do the same, make her feel like she’s still moving….keep her asleep – avoid meltdown in pram. I look across the restaurant and there’s another mum doing exactly the same, but there’s also smug super mum in the corner with her twins, feeding them and herself, throwing together some arts and crafts as they squeal with delight, looking across at me with a judgey stare, like I should also be acting like a cross between Mary Poppins and Neil Buchanan instead of keeping her asleep. Once I no longer need two hands to eat (I’ve been rocking her with my foot) I stop rocking her so she can wake up and I can hold her. She’s happy enough until I drop Sophie the giraffe on the blinking floor! Does the three second rule apply to babies toys? Will judgey mum in the corner call social services if I give her the toy and she puts it in her mouth? Do I risk her getting upset because she wants the toy? So many dilemmas I need to answer in the space of 30 seconds. I managed the distract her with Peppa pig, phew!
Also things to prepare for is where to feed her….luckily the shopping centre in the city has a designated feeding room so I use that to feed and change her. But then I had a dilemma of the fact I now needed to pee….I have Jasmine, a buggy, a changing bag and a tiny bladder! What does one do in these situations? Obviously babies can’t be left…I know this. Do I try and get in to the ‘mother and child room’ I weighed up the options and decided I needed the get the buggy in with us, I had a hot flush worrying that judgey mummy would come storming through the doors and call me a ridiculous mother whilst speed dialling social services again….if only there were coat hooks to pop babies on while you went to the toilet! Ok so I’ve decided I’m going in this cubical as it’s extra spacious….manoeuvre the buggy and realise it’s not extra spacious at all! There’s a bloody tiny child size toilet seat next to the adult one?! How annoying! I had committed to going in there though and wasn’t backing down… so I rammed the pram in and sitting sideways on the loo seat – Which is weird in itself!
Jasmine just stared at me and became judgey baby…..and then I had to wedge it out, the whole time trying to style it out like I meant to do this and it was really effortless.
Luckily she then fell asleep on the way home so we didn’t have cry-magedon, that’s always a laugh. When the baby is crying so much people glare at you half in pity and the other half in judgement. I’m sorry for ruining your trip to Sainsbury’s but if you want to hold her, be my guest! On days I’m really tired (most days) I’m willing someone to make a comment to me, I’m actually desperate for someone to say something…. Hell hath no fury like a tired mother scorned!!
‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ – William Shakespeare Act 1 Scene 1 – A Midsummer Nights Dream