It has been three years exactly since I first joined Blogger with an obscure name about hating Peppa Pig, typed some words clumsily onto my phone and pressed post.
Fairly predictably, no one read because no one was aware that I wrote it.
The three years that followed have turned this flight of fancy into fun, friendship, and now a bill-paying job that sometimes sucks just like any other job, but in the most part is pretty bloody brilliant. It’s a world away from sitting behind a desk at the council, and right now I can’t imagine anything I’d rather be doing.
Life has changed though, in those three years.
For bloggers, babies and toddlers are the dream. They’re easy to write about because they pull ridiculous shit all the time. Every day brings something new and blog-worthy; a nappy explosion here, a public tantrum there, a bit of weaning and some learning to talk. Boom.
Nowadays they rarely do anything that is so hilariously bad that I just can’t wait to document it, and when they do pull stupid shit I’m aware that they probably wouldn’t want everyone to know about it.
I’ve changed too.
I’ve started to exit slightly from my sleep-deprived baby-haze. I’m no less ditzy and no better groomed; I just don’t really have an excuse now.
I am no longer that person wanting to punch people in the face as they offer shit advice like ‘it goes so fast’ and ‘they’ll sleep in the end’.
It doesn’t really go fast, certainly not at the time, not at 3.45am when you’ve not slept yet and you’ve promised to meet a friend at the baby weigh in at 9.20 and are wondering how the fuck people are supposed to survive like this, but I do look back and wonder where the years have gone.
In some ways, it does get a lot easier.
In others, young children are harder than babies.
Really? I hear you ask.
Really. Here you go…
My children can now communicate their wants and needs in words rather than frantic sobs and screams. I mean, the sobs and screams are there too, but they’re accompanied by words like ‘ICE CREAM!’ so I know WTF it’s all about.
Bonus: Some of the things they say are downright hilarious.
They do not stop communicating. Ever. I swear mine talk constantly from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep with the odd chatter while they’re dreaming. It doesn’t, however, mean they listen.
And oh my god, the sass.
…Plus, kids that can’t talk can’t say embarrassing things in public or tell their teacher you said a rude word…
No more nappies, no potty training. We are done with that shit, literally, and figuratively.
I now always have to note where the nearest toilets are, remember to make them go to the loo before every journey, and if accidents happen as accidents tend to do, I’m very rarely well prepared.
Oh, and of course I still have bums to wipe for the foreseeable, except now I’m just summoned like some bum-wiping slave who responds to the call ‘MU-MEEEEE. I DID A POOOO-OOOOOO’. Yay me.
They don’t have to be rocked to sleep, there are no night feeds and I rarely see long periods of nighttime unless there is someone ill.
They have a million excuses not to go to bed, and once in, a good night’s sleep is definitely not a forgone conclusion.
I end up sharing my bed a lot more than I’d like and they take up loads more space these days. Plus when they kick it’s painful.
Babies never ask to discuss the meaning of life or ask how babies are made or why people die when they have a bad dream at 3am.
No bottles to make up, no trying to find places to sit down and breastfeed… Keep a bottle of water and a biscuit in your bag and you’re prepared for anything.
They don’t make an epic mess with every yoghurt.
When they were weaning they’d both eat anything, but now they have very firm ideas of what they will and won’t eat ie. anything beige and anything green. Of course being kids this changes from day to day, although we never make it far past a Pizza Express without pleas to go inside.
I don’t have a monster double pram to squeeze into the back of a car, I can use public transport without worrying there won’t be space, or go on days out without the fear of having to rely on the kindness of strangers to assist me with bumping a buggy down an escalator.
I won’t lie; I miss the buggy. Times were much simpler when I could just strap them down and get on my way. They couldn’t wander off in the wrong direction or give me a heart attack by stepping into the road because they were not looking where they were going.
Plus I now have to actually carry my shopping.
With preschool and school, I no longer have the dreaded mum-guilt if we don’t do a hundred different baby groups.
I get some time to myself now (even if I do spend it working) and I can drink as many cups of tea as I fancy!
It can get really lonely being at home with no structured day time activities. Plus once they’re off into the wide world, you have no control over who they socialise with plunging you into a whole new world.
No more Peppa Pig!
Paw Patrol. Endless Paw Patrol.
It’s easier, and harder, at the same time, as I’m sure it will continue to be for a long time yet.
So that’s it.
Three years, in a nutshell.
Before I go, I really just want to say thank you.
I bloody love doing this, and every post you read, every comment that gets left here or over on Facebook, make me smile. Big love to everyone who’s reading this, and a huge special snog with tongues to anyone who has been here since day one, if you exist.