Aside from having a small being who vaguely resembles your grandfather — at least, according to your mother — there are a handful of signs indicating that that you might be a parent. These are the rites of passage that lead to the other side.
1. You develop a poo obsession
There’s no other way to say this: You become obsessed with your kid’s poo. It starts off as a quick Google search to see whether the consistency is normal, but before you know it, you’re keeping a “poo diary”, chart and schedule and nonchalantly sniffing your baby’s butt in public.
2. Alone toilet time is a reason to celebrate
Doing your business unaccompanied is so rare that, when you’re out on the town, you can’t stop talking about how you’ll get to go to the toilet alone and how you never get to pee alone. “I’m going to the toilet!” you announce emphatically when the time is right. You display so much enthusiasm that your friends wonder whether they should accompany you.
3. You can’t resist the urge to share pics of your kid — constantly
You can’t wait for alone time, but the second you’re away from your child you feel an overwhelming desire to show everyone her picture. You find the first person to glance your way and pull out your phone. “There she is looking up,” you hear yourself say, “And — see — here she is looking straight at the camera. Oh, look, she’s looking up again.” You are powerless to stop.
4. Everything *could* be a medical emergency
Your child runs a particularly high fever or bumps their head harder than normal. You smile and comfort them, silently going through emergency numbers and CPR procedures in your head. Your child is fine. You, on the other hand, need about 10 shots of tequila.
5. “Clean clothes” becomes a relative term
“Clean” becomes entirely relative and now includes any item of clothing that only has a bit of spit-up or baby food on it. Need an outfit for Sunday brunch with friends? You dab at mystery stains with baby wipes, before heading out the door feeling like a successful adult.
6. You’ve mastered multitasking like a boss
You now have a new superpower — the ability to do anything and everything one-handed. Scrub the kitchen while juggling knives, mopping the floor and playing a tambourine? No problem! You would not be out of place at Cirque du Soleil. ?
7. Your body inherently sways, baby or no baby
You’ve become so used to rocking your baby that you can’t stop — not even when they’re not around. Any time you come to a halt, you automatically begin swaying. You are the crazy person at the bus stop putting the air to sleep.
8. You probably talk to yourself
So much of your day is spent talking out your actions and thoughts (to make sure the baby is exposed to conversation) that you forget to internalise it when you go outside. “Laundry then dinner. But what about tomatoes? I’ll have to pick some up on the way back home. Yes. We’ll go to the supermarket. Woo! Supermarket!” you ramble as you pass the concerned citizens of your suburb.
9. Milestones are celebrated and mourned simultaneously
Whenever your kid hits a new milestone, two things happen: 1. You celebrate their latest achievement. 2. Your mind races 20 years into the future and you cry about how fast they’re growing up. Then you turn the crazy up a notch and imagine what it would be like for future you to no longer have a baby. “Everyone was a baby once,” you sob. Your partner stares blankly, wondering whether you’ll do this every time your kid loses a tooth.
10. You learn what it takes to get some alone time
Every so often, you just hit your limit. You need a break. Do you calmly express this to your partner and negotiate a fair arrangement so that you both get equal time off? Hell, no! You drop your kid like it’s a hot potato, shout that you’ve got crazy diarrhoea and lock yourself in the toilet before they have a chance to question you. Then you hang out in the bathroom, enjoying the quiet, checking your Facebook and laughing in the manner of an evil genius.