I have been asked not to include any more poo stories in this blog. This is a blog about a new baby. Excluding all mentions of poo is going to be like writing about Nixon without mentioning Watergate - after all, what are new babies other than factories for processing breast-milk and turning it into by-products - 50% of which are poo?
The fact that there is nothing one can do with these by-products other than add them to the general bulk of the city's effluvient is, I think, more of a indictment of the general human imagination rather than any failing on the part of new babies. After all, they do what they do very efficiently...
I will, however, endeavour to keep poo references to a minimum... after this post...
My Mother is here, has been for the past two weeks and has the best part of another week to go and it's been lovely. She's cooked, cleaned, babysat and force-fed me fluids throughout the day. Once she leaves, the whole place is going to hell in a handbasket. The upside of her leaving is that I will no longer be regaled with stories of what a truly horrible infant I was, how I wouldn't sleep, wailed all the time and generally escaped Sudden Infant Death At The Hands Of my Parents by otherwise being 'a darling little fat cuddly thing'. She's also changed a few nappies. I wish they had had more poo in them.
While Mum adores Charlie, she is a little disgusted with him as he is not the hell-raiser I deserve after my own behaviour at his age - or D's at the same age for that matter according to his Ma. In fact, both our Mothers visibly rubbed their hands together with glee at the thought of us getting our come-uppance and much to their disappointment we've landed Mr. Cool Bird who only really grizzles when he's hungry or has a full nappy.
The downside of little Charlie is that he's inherited the worst of both my brother's and D's combined cleanliness obsessions and cannot stand the slightest mess in his nappy - he won't feed or be calmed until he's got a dry one on. The bad side of this is that he starts complaining the instant poo hits bottom and so is often not finished when the new nappy is on, resulting in either projectile-pooing during the change (and the resulting question 'how did I get poo there?) or a long, noisily satisfying second-stage poo moments after a clean nappy is attached.
At the moment it's all a dream as breast-milk poo does not smell - the baby just gets a little more milky-scented. Once he starts eating real food and having real poos however the situation will change but at the moment clearly I cannot think about that. It's a great trick by old Motherhood, this business of non-stinky poo, it's obviously designed to makes one imagine that nappies for the next 2 years won't be that bad and therefore prevent one from putting the baby into the washing machine with all his nappies in a moment of madness - and the story from my friend L about how she vomited and had to leave the house for five hours after changing her daughter's first baked-bean poo nappy seems a million miles away.
In fact, while the idea of changing pooey nappies for two years may have seemed inconceivable prior to the arrival of little C, it's amazing how much it actually doesn't bother you when a) it's your own baby and b) it doesn't actually smell. You see, Motherhood is completely suspect.
The downside of all this poo ('what' I hear you say, 'there's a DOWNside?') is the incredible number of nappies one has to change... 7 to 9 in a 24 hour period. The magazines I've read estimate that every baby goes through around 7000 nappies in their life. If you imagine standing beside a pile of 7000 dirty nappies and then multiply that by the number of babies on your street and the number of streets in your city, suddenly it's a fairly alarming picture. Add to that the thought of carrying that many nappies home from the shops plus the cost - around £2000 - and suddenly all my cloth-nappy laundry doesn't seem so bad.
Washing them at 40 degrees every three days does put somewhat of a strain on the environment but use the right detergent and dry them on the line and it's not that bad. In terms of cost, we paid £150 for enough to get him through the first six months. Add incremental detergent and electricity and we reckon it'll be well under £1000 to get him through to toilet training - possibly £750 or less. This is a saving of £1000 to £1250, or enough money to keep his parents in vodka for the duration... something which I'm sure is going to come in handy once we hit the baked bean poos.
A final note on poo. Some parents seem determined to spell it 'pooh' as if one's baby is ejecting lovely little fuzzy bears into his nappy instead of the reality of liquid yellow turds (this last sentence specifically dedicated to Hoto). I feel I must rebel against this spelling but I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps it's something to do with the Disnification of the world and the appearance of Pooh bear on everything from mobiles to wet wipes.
Anyway, while I cannot promise to refrain from inflicting more poo upon you during the course of this blog, I will do my very best to give you only the more inciteful and humourous instances of what, it has to be said, is the main focus of my every day.