Burps, Bums and Boobs: The Language of a New Parent

I had to laugh when I caught up with a friend of mine for the first time since having a baby when she commented:

‘isn’t it funny how your conversations now revolve around the colour of poos and the amount of nappy changes in a day?’

And it’s true. I giggle just thinking about the fact that I’ve emailed my husband at work to report on the contents of nappies. I would never have believed that I would discuss the bowel movements of another person with such openness and regularity and consider it normal…well somewhat normal anyway. Added to the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever discussed any part of my body as much as I now talk about breasts and there is always something to say about feeding, weight, length and sleeping (just to name a few) at catch ups with other Mums.

I always had a lot to say before becoming a parent but for the life of me I can’t remember what I used to talk about – an alarming realisation that I made when I caught up with my old work friends. I realised fairly early on in the piece that while there was definitely genuine interest in how my son was doing and they wanted to know what it was like being a Mum, there were limits and apparently the gory details of nappy and feeding habits were not an entirely welcome addition to our lunch time conversation. And I can completely understand. Under what other circumstances is it considered acceptable (or palatable) to talk about the inner workings of someone else’s digestive system over a meal? But I just couldn’t think of anything else to talk about…babies that is, not bowels!

Conversation has always come easily for me and I don’t generally have to think too hard to find something to talk about, but it really did hit me that I actually need to give this some thought these days. Like a lot of other Mums-to-be, I remember when I was pregnant, thinking

“I’m not going to be one of those Mums who can only talk about her baby!”

Now when I think about it, I realise of course that’s what I’m going to talk about and why wouldn’t I? Let’s face it, my entire day happily revolves around this little human being who is so delightful, charming and challenging and it’s his antics and development, in all it’s glory, that come to the fore when posed with the question ‘How are things going with you?’ And yes, I have become desensitised to the wonders of poo and vomit as it plays such a significant role in my new routine… although I do hope that doesn’t last forever!

Having said that, I am fast realising how important it is going to be to maintain some connection with my former self so that I don’t completely lose her in this wonderful transformation. Surely there’s still a little room left for the old Dee in the exciting world of Burps, Bums and Boobs?

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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