I have lived in pyjamas since Herbie was born, and I love it. To the point where I feel overdressed in leggings. To the point where I am considering having “day pyjamas” and “night pyjamas”. To the point where, when Herbie eventually goes to nursery and I have to wear human clothes again, I’ll probably need therapy. Because pyjamas are comfortable, forgiving on a biscuit-filled belly, and SO easy to breastfeed in. Sitting in the bay window. Which juts out onto the street. Hey, I wonder why those Mormons never came back.
2. I feel more at home in Starbucks
No longer am I the lone weirdo with a soy latte and a laptop. Now I am the neglectful parent with a soy latte and a laptop.
3. Watching Herbie change
Every day, he wakes up a new and slightly different person. He has Stu’s colouring and my face, and he shouts “OLLY GOLLY GOCK!” at anything that moves. His eyes are perfect in ways I can’t describe. His mouth makes me want to cry, for reasons I don’t understand. His feet are tiny and fat and edible. I see my husband’s grin ripple across his features when he’s happy, while in the evening, my own grandmother’s crumpled sleepy smile emerges. When he is older he will ask me why I stare at him so much, and I won’t know what to say.
“Don’t let your baby sleep in your bed,” they told me. “You’ll never get a full night’s sleep,” they told me. Well, HA! In your face, THEM. Now that I’m an (almost) full-time mother I get to spend the odd afternoon curled up around Herbie, making up my sleep deficit. It’s basically like cuddling a hot water bottle that squeaks and giggles in its dreams.
6. No one expects me to go anywhere
When I was young, my favourite part of staying out all night and doing dubious things was the 6am retreat, when we’d all pile into someone’s house, pupils the size of saucers, to get comfy and drink tea. Similarly, when I used to go out to pubs and parties and drink so much that my stomach burned, my favourite part was the next day’s hangover, when I’d spend the day under a duvet with my flatmate watching movies, eating carbs and gently snoozing. Now, that’s how I spend most of my non-work, non-active parenting time, because I live 90 minutes away from all my friends. And, although I miss them awfully, notice how I’m not complaining.
7. I get extra potassium in my diet
Because Herbie gets bored after a half a banana.
8. Dressing my son up like a tiny haberdashery
Right now Herbie is wearing grey leggings with Dia de los Muertos skulls on them, a raglan T-shirt, a stripy cardigan with Fairisle-patterned pockets, and a bib covered in Russian dolls. And a trapper hat. And fur-lined hi-tops. Meanwhile, I’ve spent precisely three seconds on my own appearance, and look like a homeless man. But it’s okay, because my toddler looks like a Gaga album cover. And yes, that was the look I was going for.
9. I have something to put my shopping in
Hooray for prams! And hooray for accidentally shoplifting from M&S. Oh, don’t look at me like you haven’t done it.
10. I get to relive my own childhood
I mean, not literally my childhood. I went to a country primary school where we had to curtsey to the headmistress every morning, and brambling was a legitimate classroom activity, and I wasn’t entirely sure what century was. And when Herbie was about two weeks old (this is completely true) I tried reading him my childhood staple, The Children of Green Knowe, and got a bit confused when he showed no interest. BUT I get to crawl around on the floor all day, growling and building Mega Blok towers for Herbie to rampage through like Godzilla. I also have a legitimate reason to watch Despicable Me 2 now, because he was recently mesmerised by the Minions. Meanwhile, Antichrist is available on Netflix now. No, thanks. We’re going to watch Inside Out again.
Jesus, have you ever had a hit of this stuff? It’s amazing. Boobfeeding half-asleep, grabbing Herbie for a 0.00005-second cuddle as he zooms through the house, just looking at photos of him – it all makes this stuff thrum powerfully through me. It feels like The Force, but for mums. I wish I could bottle it.
12. Everything is an adventure now
No matter where I go or what I do – whether it’s shopping for toilet paper, picking up my antidepressants prescription, or bundling Herbie up and heading off somewhere on the train – I always feel like a superhero, because I have a sidekick, and it’s this guy: