Things I learnt about parenting over 18 months

  1. Never, ever underestimate the willpower of an 18 month old.
  2. Distraction is my secret weapon in all things parenting. Changing a nappy? Distract the child with the mystery that is his very own set of toes. Toes are fascinating when lying on your back.
  3. My child grows faster than weeds, grass after rain, spiderwebs and definitely faster than I’d ever anticipated. Even on the harder days this makes me sad. Where did my little baby go? Just last year he was squeaking his gums on a rubber toy that, unfortunately, resembles something far too phallic to be ignored.
  4. Sesame Street is awesome, even season 1 from way back in the 1800s. Big Bird and Snuffy are hilariously sarcastic and this pleases me.
  5. My son is not afraid of pooing anywhere. Not afraid of pooing on the paving just next to the pool, and definitely not afraid of pooing in the bath juuuuuust as dad is meant to take him out.
  6. As parents, we have learned to bargain with each other for all matters. Sleep is a currency, nights off are diamonds and whoever picks up the aforementioned poo is king of the tv remote, for only as long as the other can keep their eyelids open.
  7. Date nights are rare and precious and never come round often enough. We cherish them when they do.
  8. It’s impossible to love my child anymore than I already do today. Until tomorrow.
  9. Egos and street cred fly out the window when the tiny terrorist demands twinkle twinkle in the middle of Woolies. He may not have full sentences yet, but by God will he plead with his big brown eyes and animated spirit fingers opening and closing, mimicking twinkling stars timed perfectly of the newly-acquired ability to shout “MORE! MORE! MAMA! MORE!”. Twinkle, twinkle, you will, at top volume if necessary.
  10. Speaking of Woolies, I have picked my alternative branches for when the ankle biter decides to throw an epic meltdown in the frozen aisle because he’s overtired, underfed, it’s way past lunch and nap time and he’s made a hell of a poo in the overdue-for-a-change nappy and it STINKS. I strive to be better at time management.
  11. Bed time has never been this early for me. At bed time, my body has never been so tired, my heart so full, my friends so annoyed. Jon and I were horrified when Rozz and Tash came for New Years and we found out that Rozz’s original plan was to only arrive at 7:30pm. For a braai. With firelighters and charcoal. Which takes a minimum of an hour to get going before you can braai meat. Utter madness.
  12. You can buy a fun age-appropriate puzzle, brand new tricycle, talking teddy bear that says his name out loud and sings him lullabies, and my child will always, always choose the box or bubble wrap to play with instead. Related: stealing mom’s wrapping paper is the most fun thing in the world to do and incites the biggest, loudest, head-thrown-backest giggles which literally birth unicorns and angel wings.
  13. Just as you think your child has mastered sleeping through the night, he’ll start teething (again) and it uproots the entire household, cats burrow under beds and our old Susie dog howls under the covers. Just as we resign ourselves to breaking point, he’ll sleep through the night again and we’ll forget what we were even whining about. Until the cycle starts over. Repeatedly. Ad nauseam, infinity, etc.
  14. Nothing will ever be cuter than my son in this pair of OG kicks:



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