Just as my son gave me a cuddle yesterday, almost crushing my windpipe as he did so, it struck me that this parenting mullarky is dangerous work.
It is an indisputable fact that baby fingernails are the sharpest things in the known universe. When they catch you on your forearms or on your eyelid, it’s very hard not to see your baby as the heir to Freddy Krueger’s stripy jumper, as your cut face bleeds you to death.
As your baby grows and decides that it wants to wriggle on the change mat, after the bath, while it’s covered in baby oil, you can spend hours bent over and moving, in positions even Yoga instructors would think are damaging to your spine. Wrestling a full-grown octopus is easier. Believe me, I know.
When you try to pick up your baby under the arms and they decide they don’t want this, put their arms up and arch their backs, instantly turning them from a 20 pound baby into something heavier than France, it also puts some strain on the back and arms. How do they do that?
I held both my children on my right hip while they were young, which they loved as they could reach across with their superhuman pinch grip and pull at my nipple through my clothes. How did they always find them? Fuck knows, but it flipping hurt.
“Bounce me on your lap daddy” which you do, which they love, and then they headbutt you full on the nose, or bash you under your chin causing you to almost bite your tongue off.
All these things, on top of the pain of childbirth, the agony some endure when breastfeeding, the trapping of your fingers in collapsable pushchairs, scalds when trying to make a bottle at three in the morning, treading on Lego when barefoot, the possible risk of slippage and breaky ankleage when you suddenly slip on some spilt water, milk, or baby piss makes me come to the conclusion that this parenting mullarky is an extremely dangerous bidness.
Parents. We do our own stunts.
Has anyone acquired any injuries through parenting? Answers in my usual pigeonhole.
Thank you for reading.
First published April 19th, 2012.