Friends That Poo

Friends That Poo

It’s not often in your life that you buy a house, have a baby and quit your job in the space of 12 months. All this change has left me feeling reflective and I’m drawing some strange parallels. For example, friendships, if you think about it, are just like poo…

Girly no2 is having digestive issues. At 14 months, she’s really struggling with her poo. I think it’s quite common as the nurse wasn’t at all surprised when I told her that Husband and I had spent the weekend pulling poo from her bum. Nor did the girls at nursery, though they did at least pull a slightly disgusted face, much like the one on your face now. We spoke to the doctors after two gruelling days of grunting and sweating from her, and us. It culminated in us pinning her clammy little body to the floor, bicycling her legs and grabbing hold of the big brown log peeking in and out like a tortoise head, eventually pulling it out. Yuck.

It’s just not the relaxing family Sunday you picture when you imagine what life will be like. After cleaning the carpets, towels and bath mats and scooping up nappy sacks full of skid-marked nappies, we flopped onto the bed exhausted staring at the wall and wondering what had just happened. As we laid there, not speaking just touching little fingers, my mind wondered to the three pictures we have hanging above our bed.

WEDDING DANCING IN THE MAZE

 

Then, Then and Now

The first picture is of us at our wedding dancing happily around a grassy maze (you have to see it to understand) posed, but real at the same time. The second picture is us with Girly no1 when she is about 6 months old looking baffled by life. We all were. We (I) look pretty good in this picture, mainly due to all the fake tan, bleached hair, whitened teeth and, ahem, Photoshop-ing I demanded. I needed it, I didn’t know what was going on. The third picture is of the four of us as we are now, taken on my birthday last year looking happy, if not slightly tired and chubby (again, me). It was right before we dropped the babies off with Mum-In-Law to go out with friends for my birthday. A completely different set of friends to the ones that watched us dance in the maze at our wedding. Which I think is kind of sad.

We had a small wedding in Italy attended by just 34 people. I think there are at least 10 of those people that aren’t in our lives any more. Isn’t that really sad? I voiced this to Husband and he looked up and said “they’re all pricks, it’s not our fault” then immediately went back to making lion noises with the Girlies. I later voiced it to my besty, The Northerner, who is not known for her delicacy with words – “yeah that is bad, what you doin’ wrong?”.

FAMILY OF THREE

 

It’s poo

More interested in analysing it with me than Husband, who prefers to deal in facts, figures and Twitterati, we went through the list. There were some obvious reasons for some of them, the ones that sued my Dad after our UK reception (yep, that happened), one family member that hasn’t spoken to me since our connecting family member died (obviously waiting for a reason to never have to talk to me again) and a couple of people from work who should never have been there in the first place and have since placed career over friendship (enjoy that in your old age, suckers!). Then there are the less obvious people, the ones from whom we just seem to have drifted apart.

We talked about how dynamics just change over time. Partners change, people move, babies come out. I nodded, pensively. “It’s a bit like poo really” I declared, having thought long and hard about it. Met with her blank face, I explained. “You know, sometimes a poo is really hard and difficult to get out, and you need someone else to intervene and tell you what to do. These are like those friends that are just a pain. They’re a drama. They need blood sweat and tears while they’re there, and then you’re left feeling violated afterwards.” She arched an eyebrow which I took to mean she wanted me to go on. “You need a fine white powder to fix these poos (meaning Movicol). With the friend, a fine white powder would result in a sweaty, self-obsessed fidgeting figure with verbal diarrhoea but maybe that’s what they were all along.” As my analogy drifted away from me, she laughed and urged me to go on. “The other end of the spectrum,” I continued, “are the wet, sloppy ones who just get all over the place. They come with a bit of a pain at the time and a bit more afterwards but they’re explosive. They’re your fun-time friends. Great on a Saturday night, but leave you with a hangover so you need a bit of a gap before you see them again!” By this point I couldn’t even keep a straight face but I carried on anyway. “Then there are the really good poos that slip out effortlessly. There’s no cleaning up afterwards. They’re easy. They might have some funny colours and indentations but they’re your funny bits so it’s OK. These are the Holy Grail of friends. The Perfect Turds!”

FAMILY OF FOUR SURROUNDED BY GOOD POO

Perfect Poo

We fell about laughing and I didn’t say it at the time, but I thought about how she is my perfect poo of a friend. I wish I had recognised it at the time and made her my bridesmaid. I know she’ll be around forever. As will some of the other incredible new friends we have made in the last few years since having our Girlies. People who are so close to us it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t in our lives. If we were to have our wedding again now, our ‘now’ 34 would look very different to the ‘then’ 34. Life has changed a lot. But we’re a bigger unit than we used to be, and we know who we are now and what really matters. So maybe it’s OK that friends change. Poo changes too.

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THINGS YOU MIGHT FEEL IN THE FIRST YEAR

THINGS YOU MIGHT FEEL IN THE FIRST YEAR

This list is Things You Might Feel in the First Year. You might not feel them but I sure did. 

5 mins post delivery: Elation, disbelief and tears. Shit. A human just came out of me. Did anyone else see that?! Other than the 45 people that were in here at the time?
30 mins: Exhaustion, awe and gooey mushiness. Look at it. Just look at it. Wow.

3 hours: Disbelief. Slight concern that Baby won’t be quiet and I don’t know how to look after it. Where’s the thing you press to call the midwife? Can she come home with us? Feed it more. Pain killers wearing off, down below feeling a little bruised.

6 hours: Uncomfortable. Fanny and arse on fire, can’t sit down. Shifting uncomfortably from left bum cheek to right helps. Want to go home.

12 hours: Drained but excited. Babies in ward waking up constantly. Mine slept, I got 5 hours! I’ve got this Mum shit down! Can’t wait to get home.

12.5 hours: Embarrassed. Just been told off for not waking Baby up every 3 hours. How was I supposed to know?!

1 day: Impatient. Still waiting for going home papers. Still can’t sit down.

1.5 days: Panicked. Just had midwife spiel on all the things you should and shouldn’t do, the appointments you have to make, the legal requirements you’re supposed to remember. What have I done? Who thought this was a good idea? Lower half of body in excruciating pain after jumping up to gather leaflets in eagerness to demonstrate how good a mother I’m going to be.

1.7 days: Delighted. Walking (shuffling) through the double doors out of the hospital with sleepy little baby. This is going to be marvellous!

1.75 days: Sluggish. Wondering who drove a bus into your vagina and whether you’ll tick over to 24 hours parking since that’s how long this 200m walk to the car is going to take.

1.8 days: Overjoyed. Home! Back into gooey mushiness and gazing wonderment, especially as all it does is sleep! I love it!

2 days: Terrified. What the fuck? Who let me bring this thing home? I don’t know how to look after a child! Why does it keep making that noise? Oh….the Baby has gone green. It’s covered in poo. That’s ok. I can handle poo even if it does go from ears to toes. Cleaning is fine. Pretend it’s a dirty frying pan. What’s next? Don’t worry about what’s next. One thing at a time. Deal with the shit.

3 days: Worried. Unable to remember the last time I closed my eyes and that high pitched wail didn’t pierce my ear drum. Arse and fanny swollen to the size of a house. Just want to sleep for 12 hours like before it got here.

4 days: Tearful. Boobs swollen to watermelons. Wondering when I might not feel like I’ve been run over by a bus forwards, backwards and forwards again.

5 days: Mortified and Irritated. Wet patches on my top. Milk keeps seeping through in front of my father in law. Sick of the smell of flowers, they keep making me sneeze. Baby sleeps on all visitors then does nothing but wail for me. Go away! It’s my Baby!

One week: Annoyed. Thought “sleeping like a baby” was a thing?

Two weeks: Shit! Got a cold. Fanny stinging constantly and only relieved when crab walking naked round house. Found all the leaflets from the midwife and haven’t done any of it. So, so tired. And Husband is a dick.

Three weeks: Amazed. 4 consecutive hours sleep last night! New. Woman. Still feel like eyeballs have been sandpapered but can survive on this. Only 40 minutes late to friends house today. Winning! Bits are itchy but bearable. Love Husband, he’s so great.

3.1 weeks: Disappointed. Aaaaargh! Must have been a one off. Back to 3 90 minute blocks of sleep. Why hasn’t stupid Husband got boobs?! Think I might die of sleep deprivation. Cuddled the checkout boy in Tescos by accident. Call mum begging for her to take the Baby away. Call back 10 minutes later to cancel, guilt set in. Such a bad Mother. Didn’t mean it. Promise. Missed doctors appointment altogether as caught in a poo-eat-sick spiral. Begged for new appointment. Fanny relief came in the form of a cream. Why didn’t they send me away from the hospital with this?!

4 weeks. Defeated. Can’t take this. Babies shouldn’t have such stupidly small stomachs. Whose idea was it to have a baby anyway?

5 weeks: Elated! Baby smiled! Love it so much! It’s so cute, look at this!

6 weeks: Hopeful. Black clouds are clearing. Last 3 nights had 2 lots of 4 consecutive hours’ sleep. That smile…

6.5 weeks: Delirious. Doctor talked about sex at 6 week check. Laughed all the way home. Then cried when saw Husband. Please don’t run away with Hot Receptionist with her stupid in-tact fanny.

Things you feel in the first year

8 weeks: Furious. Why the fuck are you stabbing my baby with all these diseases? I’m not coming back for the next set of immunisations, this is ridiculous.

9 weeks: Ashamed. Tried that thing the doctor said about. Fanny is a cave. It will never be the same again. Cried during sex. Husband will never touch me again. Just take him Hot Receptionist…

11 weeks: Satisfied. Tried “it” again in spare bedroom after Baby fell asleep on our bed. It was ok. Bit like being 16, but ok. Will leave handcuffs and lingerie in the drawer for a while longer yet.

3 months: Knowledgable. Researched immunisations and decided to go back. Resisted punching doctor. Gave advice to another Mum in docs waiting room. Feel like a hero. I know stuff! Feeling brighter. Accepting of new life. Wish I could get back in my jeans for date night.

4 months: Organised. Routine established. Days have structure. Baby wakes up at 3am then 7am. Do-able. Joined gym. Have the occasional thought about going back to work, throat swells up.

5 months: Confused. Weaning? Is like weeing? Thought potty training was ages away. Must talk to other Mums.

5.5 months: More confused than ever. Buy blender. And bananas. And rice. Basmati?

5.6 months Wrong rice. Return it and buy Baby rice.

6 months: Exasperated. Routine lost. Spend all day feeding. Shit stinks.

6.5 months: Betrayed. Dada?! Are you kidding me?

7 months: Trepidation. Err….it moved. WTF? This house is a danger zone.

8 months: Anxious. Why must everything go in the mouth?! You can’t eat Babybel wax! Wish it would lie still again.

9 months: Heartbroken. “Keep In Touch” day at work. Cry on train. Cry in toilets at work. Call home seven times. Run back to the train station and snap heel on new shoes. Don’t care. Don’t let go of Baby for 3 hours. Re-do finances and research working at local nursery.

10 months: Pained. Back killing from holding baby upright so it can walk. Can’t you just crawl again?

11 months: Focused. Spend all day on knees with arms around Baby making a cage to stop it falling on face. Bump on head from last week. Am waiting for Social Services to knock on door. Finally able to do button up on pre baby jeans. Now to lose muffin top.

12 months: Proud and Reminiscing. Made it to a year! Baby is so big and so clever! More so than every other baby at nursery. It’s gone too fast! Remember how cute it was? Remember that sniffly noise it used to make? Big sigh. Maybe we could go away for the weekend and drink and lie in like grown ups. Remember when we used to lie in? Remember how much fun Friday nights were? Remember when parents used to say all those cliche things and we’d roll our eyes but now we know they’re all true? Don’t care….love new life.

Recognise any of these as things you feel in the first year?! Send yours in via the Making Little People Facebook page or on Twitter (@makinglittleppl). More blog posts available here. 

Things you feel in the first year
List of Parent Games

List of Parent Games

Is your new baby causing some tension in your relationship or family? Try one of our top 6 parent games for some light relief. Share your own games with us via Twitter (@makinglittleppl) or on the Facebook page

1. Curry or Poo (multi-player): 

Impromptu game best played in first 6 months of baby life, when baby poo and curry have been present on the same day (which should be at least twice weekly in first three months)

Objective: Be the first to call “curry or poo” and avoid being the taster.

Instructions: Identify specimen and call “curry or poo”. Name the taster (whoever you hate most in the room, often likely to be your partner). Taster calls it while everyone else hopes it’s not curry.

Parent Game curry or poo

2. Sniff the Wet Patch (multi player): 

Works with any wet patch.

Objective: To avoid sniffing the patch

Instructions: First to spot the patch calls “sniff”. The loser has to name it and clean it up.

3. Breast Milk Roulette (2-3 player optimum): 

Requires frozen breast milk. For health & safety reasons, we recommend milk is no older than 6 months.

Objective: To avoid the consumption of sour old boob juice.

Instructions: Defrost frozen breast milk (best done in 1oz cubes). Take it in turns to taste milk to see whether it is “off”, you will know because it will taste like cat sick. Loser is anyone that tastes an “off” one.

 

4. Poonami Rumble (for one player, personal challenge): 

Best played in first year when poo consistency and frequency are unpredictable.

Objective: As few nappy changes as possible in a 24 hour period.

Instructions: Use child’s chalk board to record number of nappy changes achieved each day.  Note that for health and safety reasons, nappy must be changed at least every 4 hours between 7am and 7pm (this is par). On hearing the Poonami Rumble from your child (sounds like blowing down a straw into a milkshake), decide whether to wait for more poo and risk seepage, or to change there and then, adding to your nappy count. Best played over a 30-day period. Reward PB’s with prosecco.

5. Who Can Pretend to be Asleep for Longest (2 players): 

Traditional new parent game most frequently played in the first 12 months of life. Nobody knows the history but it is estimated it was invented with the dawn of civilisation.

Objective: To stay in bed from 11pm to 7am

Instructions: On hearing baby or child make a noise, both lie as still as possible for as long as possible while maintaining sleeping breathing pattern. Loser is the first one to jump out of bed growling.

6. Sick Patch (multi-player):

Good game for breaking tension in the first 6 months after birth. Provides opportunity to inflict revenge on another player so choose competitors carefully (e.g. partner, mother-in-law, neighbour).

Objective: To find the source of the sick smell and have another player clean it up.

Instructions: Pick one player to call “ready, steady, SNIFF”. All other players sniff all fabric items (including carpet if relevant). Winner is first to shout “Sick Patch!” without gagging (any spittle/bile leaving the mouth disqualifies player). Winner selects cleaner (loser), who cleans it up or does washload, as appropriate.

 

So there you have it. Our top six parent games for bringing laughter back in your world. Share your games with us via Twitter (@makinglittleppl) or on our Facebook page

More blog posts available here