The First 6 Months

Half a year in.  How in the world did that happen?  There are some things I expected to learn as a new mom and other things that came as a complete surprise.  I’ll let you decide which is which.

I have learnt:

  • I can pretty much make a song out of anything.  Of course, if you are a seasoned silly song composer comme moi (puffs out chest) then you can make up your own songs, but if you struggle to create a song, why not make bathtime that much more exciting by singing a song to the tune of Golddigga:

             Wash the toes, the head, then elbows

             Wash the toes, the head, then elbows…

I most recently sung The Duchess a song to the tune of an old church hymn, it was unfortunate that the only 3 words to the song were: A, Sore, Butt.

  • I’ve come to accept smelling like sick.  The Duchess is especially spewy and I’d say that if I get through a day without being splattered, it’s a success.  So, hey, who cares if we’re walking through town and a stranger next to you says to his wife, ‘I smell cheese. Did you open that pack of camembert we’ve bought?’   That’s life.  The only exception is when you run out and are sans baby. It’s always when you’re in the supermarket queue that you become keenly aware that you reek of baby sick.  Aaaaawesome.

    It tastes so good. It smells so bad. Photo via:

  • Calling your husband or partner ‘Daddy,’ sounds a bit creepy if you are childless.  Seriously.  Don’t do that.  But it’s something that I do anytime I ask The Native to do something for The Duchess.  Maybe I feel that if I call him Daddy, he will feel the request is from her and will then be more likely to oblige.
  • I have learnt that the best laid plans, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Example #1, we were pretty set on using reusable nappies.  Six months and tens of packs of nappies later and we have strong opinions about every disposable out there and the wipes.
  • I’ve become way more interested in poo than I ever thought I’d be.  Ever.  I briefly examine every nappy after I change The Duchess, and I don’t really know why other than I’m simply curious.  Concerning on one level, intriguing on another.  Hey, don’t judge.  You might be surprised to find out what you learn.  (Okay, I just heard that aloud.  Judge me.)
  • It is possible to change a baby’s clothes when she is rolling away from you, on her belly, crawling towards a toy, flinging said toy into the air erratically and hanging somewhat upside down off of her changing mat (don’t worry, that mats on the floor).  It just requires a little bit of flair and sometime an exciting song (see #1).
  • Do not ever feed a baby broccoli at lunchtime.
  • I have had to become familiar with atleast 5-7 British nursery songs that I have never heard in my life.  Songs about bobbins and some horse with a cart that spins, amongst others.   I have also learnt that British people say ‘Peepo’ not ‘Peek-a-boo.’
  • A baby’s poo can go farther than you’d ever think was possible.  I honestly believe that once The Duchess hit the 6 foot mark. I was cleaning little spots of it for weeks.
  • That leads me to don’t have only a change of clothes for the baby in your changing bag.  Unless you want to go to the play group with poo down your jeans (not that I’m speaking from experience ::clears throat::), bring extra clothes.  Always bring extra clothes.
  • Poo isn’t the only thing that can spray.  Sorry guys, but the power of milk letting down can rival the strength of a top of the range Super Soaker.  Sometimes I feel that I could stand in the middle of the fountain in Trafalgar Square and blend in.

    I could beat that. Photo via:

  • The cavewoman instinct is for real.  I anticipate what I’ll do if a car jumps the curb.  The nicest dog in the world becomes a potentially vicious animal that I scrutinize intensely for any signs of aggression.  I am Mommy–  Comforter, Provider, Protector.  I will tear you to pieces if you mess with my child.

For all of you parent readers out there, what have you learnt along the way that might have been a bit of a surprise? 


12 thoughts on “The First 6 Months

  1. Grams

    OH MY GOSH!!!!! This made me laugh HARD for at least five minutes. I feel like I’m reliving some of my FIRSTS from my early mother years.

    I think you get your creativity to make a song up for everything from your dad. He had the ability to make everything rhyme some how and seems like had a song for every situation.

  2. LittleMe

    That’s great ! What’s the reason for the broccoli though?

    I have learned that milk can fester in the creases in baby’s neck. And that it starts to smell very quickly. So wiping of the neck at the same time I change the nappy has become a habit. That wasn’t in any of the books!

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      Yes, I remember seeing that on your list! Who knew that babies necks got so freaking crust-a-licious? This girl didn’t. We are doing baby led weaning with TD and man alive when she has broccoli the seeds pull away and find every crack, every space, every free area they can hide in which they can disguise themselves. It is so hard to clean her and the floor and the table relatively quickly. We do broccoli for tea when we can just plop her in the bath afterwards.

  3. Deborah

    Your Poo stories about the duchess crack me up. 🙂 I mean we have had the occasional poo-splosions, (more when they are little babies it seems), but it sounds like you still have a LOT of them! Maybe there is a link between the force of your let down and the launching power of her poo…. just a thought… because my let downs aren’t that powerful, and my kids have never sprayed poo anywhere close to six feet. You must be a really good milk maker. 🙂 Lucky Duchess!
    What hymn did you use for the sore but song? We often use hymns as tunes for made up songs… When Landon was little and would always squirm uncontrollably during diaper changes I sang Lay down, lay down for Jesus quite a bit… (Chad told me it was sacrilegious to sing it like that, but you do what you got to do).

  4. A Frog at Large

    That’s good to know about the brocoli, we’re going to start weaning in late January and I’ll take all the tips I can get!
    We ended up using disposables as well, there is just that little bit of guilt at the back of my mind that I am too lazy to do it.

  5. Alicia J Duffy

    The poo! The endless poo!
    My tip is to keep some reuseables in the house, even if you don’t intend to use them. They can be a lifesaver when you realise you have run out of disposables in the middle of the night. Also, use any old terry nappies you might have as floor spill mopper uppers. The amount of times I have been singing a nursery rhyme, mopping a spill with a terry nappy and my foot, breastfeeding a child and cooking food for the other one is beyond counting.

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      You sound like the ultimate multi-tasking mama. I don’t have that gift, but I appreciate and admire it in others. I also appreciate the foot mopping tip. I am still (naively?) hoping that we can move to reusables after we have visited America and can afford the upfront cost.


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