Susie Verrill explains how you understand your parents behaviour more than ever since having a baby...
I hate to break it to you, but our parents were clued up. In some ways they’ll always baffle us (my own mum doesn’t agree with eating apples after drinking tea - no idea) but more often than not we’ll begin talking to our offspring and realise we were the offspring listening to it 20 years ago. Parenthood’s great for forcing you to see your parents as actual people. Here’s some examples of when I’ve come to the conclusion I should have paid attention to my mum yonks ago.
‘Don’t come running to me if you hurt yourself’. My son’s only one a half and I already find myself saying this when he’s clambered up on to his toy box for the 9th time that hour.
School being the best years of your life. OK, some people don’t have a great time but the years without responsibility, bills and being looked after when you’re poorly are really taken for granted when you’re a teenager who knows no different. And then BAM, adulthood.
‘Eat your fruit and vegetables’. I desperately try to get my son to chow down on the good stuff these days, despite his reluctance to eat anything which isn’t packed all the E numbers.
I was a shy child and my mum was forever gently coaxing me to say hi to strangers while I nuzzled in to her legs/chest/neck. Now I do exactly the same with Milo.
‘I can’t hear myself think!’ I say this all the time now I’m on a conveyor belt of questions. ‘Muuuuum? Mama? Mama?’ or ‘where’s the TV remote?’ ‘Have you put the washing machine on? ‘Where’s the car keys?’ THERE ARE SO MANY NOISY QUESTIONS.
‘Hold my hand’ was my mum’s favourite command growing up and oh hello! Now mine too.
I remember telling my mum while an obnoxious teenager that my messy room had no bearing on her tidy house because no-one would see it & it was my space to do whatever I wanted with it. Now I understand. If you *know* there’s a messy room within your abode, it means the whole darn place is messy.
‘Take your medicine’. Some medicines tasted like wrung out old man socks and I’d do anything rather than swallow it. Thrashing, the lot. Now I’m the one wrestling with the thrashee and fun it aint.
‘Get some sleep’. I was an atrocious sleeper as a child, it was my nemesis. I think that’s probably the reason the universe has gifted me my very own bedtime warrior and I now exist on a grand total of 5 hours kip per night.
Getting outside and away from the TV was a large part of my childhood. We built dens, we walked for what felt like an unnecessary number of miles and climbed trees. It makes up some of my favourite memories and I’ll totally be doing the same with Milo (although not so much fishing because that was both cold and dull)
‘Can I just have a minute?’ I used to love every single moment of being a limpet to my mum’s side and my son’s the same. Sometimes I’m keen to have a wee without pulling my trousers down one-handed and now I get why mum wouldn't always want me sat on the bathroom floor with the sticker book.