When the baby was a few months old, it took a five second lapse in concentration for the toddler to drown my beloved iPhone in her water-filled activity table.
I was pretty annoyed about that, as you can imagine. Not least with myself because usually if I’m not watching her it’s because I’m staring at my phone so how I managed to miss this happening I have no idea.
It gave me a scare because I’d had that phone for over a year and it contained so many memories. Photos of her brother the day he was born, my bump as it had grown throughout my second pregnancy, photos and videos of the toddler growing from a little baby into a confident technology-trashing toddler, and lots of text messages from Domino’s Pizza. Fortunately, with the help of Google and a Tupperware box full of rice, I managed to salvage the photos although, alas, the phone itself was unusable. We have since bought an external hard drive to store all of our photos and videos, and have begun the painstaking process of going through everything we have stored on the family computer and categorising each one individually.
There is a lot of it to sift through and it goes back a very long way, to a time of 35mm film, when mobiles were for actually phoning people and Facebook didn’t even exist. Photographs got printed and displayed in a home rather than shown to friends and disinterested colleagues on a three inch screen.
|Me, as a teenager.
You are most welcome.
Digital cameras have spoiled things really.
When I was a teenager you had one chance to get the shot you wanted – none of this taking hundreds and picking the one where no one was blinking or stroking their chin – and when you had them developed there was a two week wait to see the final, surprising, outcome. No cropping, no Instagram filters. If you were a crap photographer as I was, there was no where to hide.
So they may not be great pictures, but there are a lot of memories contained within them. Looking back through these photos taken ten (OK, fifteen. Whatever) years ago, when I was a carefree student, devoid of responsibility and a world away from dirty nappies, mortgages and toddler groups, I am amazed at just how much my life has changed. For the worse, in some ways; the hangovers I now suffer if I overindulge, the lack of ‘me time’ including privacy when peeing, the inability to eat whatever I want and not suffer horrendous heartburn, and of course, being able to sleep in occasionally… but, being dreadfully soppy for a moment, mainly for the better. I have two small people in my life who make me laugh every day and no amount of snakebite and black could be as good as that.
I bring to you ten reasons why having small children is a bit like being a teenager or student. See if you agree!
- Whole establishments have probably seen your boobs. Of course, according to Daily Mail readers across the country it’s much more socially appropriate to show off your cleavage than to feed a baby.
- You get to watch daytime TV. Homes Under the Hammer anyone?
- It takes you forever to leave the house, although when you’re a parent, you’re less likely to spend that time straightening your hair and drinking cheap fizzy wine from Ikea glasses and more likely to spend it changing last minute poo explosions and locating shoes.
- Given the opportunity, you could sleep all day.
- You can survive all day on biscuits and caffeine alone.
- You probably drink too much alcohol. Although being a parent, this is less likely to be £1 shots at 11pm in a sweaty nightclub and more a nice glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc at 7.01 the instant the kids are in bed.
- Your house often looks a bit like a bombsite. You’re less likely to be the culprit and more likely to care about it now, though. Although it’s probably still true that you only really tidy up properly before your parents come to visit.
- You probably get a lot of unsolicited advice from the older generation, particularly in response to bad behaviour in public (although it galls me to realise that, to a teenager, I now am the older generation. What the hell happened? And do they have to be so loud? What’s the headphone slot in a phone even for if you aren’t going to use it?).
- There is a higher than average chance that you were up at 3am stroking a crying person’s hair.
- …And woke up with vomit on your bed.