Once upon a time I ran a little blog called Life of The Bear’s Wife, until my babies stopped sleeping for a year and my brain-power went MIA. As a big part of YNK (in it’s current infant form) is content writing and family/children’s photography, I am going to occasionally revive some of my old blog posts here on YNK. They are mainly about children and family life, coming as they did from my poor frazzled brain at that wonderfully exhausting time, but I hope they bring a smile to your face.
REWRITING THE DICTIONARY
It’s not exactly breaking news that having kids changes your life in ways you never even anticipated. Sleepless nights, curtailed social life, all the clichés. I have realised though, that as well as daily life taking on a whole new form, even words have come to have new meanings, with thoroughly different definitions found in the Before Children (B.C.) Dictionary versus After the Deluge (A.D.). I have taken the liberty of articulating a few extracts from both dictionaries….
TEA noun /ti:/
B.C. A drink made by pouring hot water onto cut and dried leaves of the tea plant. A stereotypical staple of the discerning Brit. Always offered within 30 seconds of arriving to any social situation. Usually enjoyed steaming hot out of a favourite mug with two digestives to dunk.
A.D. A drink made by pouring thrice boiled water (because you keep forgetting to actually make the damn cuppa) onto cut and dried leaves of the tea plant. Either reheated in the microwave several times, or gulped with a grimace when lukewarm. Usually just out of reach of the breastfeeding mother, alongside the T.V. remote, snacks and her phone.
DATE (meeting) noun /deɪt/
B.C. An occasion when two people who are married, or who are in a relationship, go out together in the evening to enjoy themselves, participating activities such as drinking, eating, going to the cinema, bowling, music gigs, etc.
A.D. An occasion when two people with children organise a babysitter, spring-clean the house to escape judgement from the babysitter, buy the babysitter a nicer pizza than the one they will eat in the restaurant and bribe the children to be little angels for the babysitter with promises of limitless treats and TV. They finally escape the house after over-explaining every possible bedtime scenario to the babysitter, and double checking that they have the list of 78 emergency phone numbers. They spend their entire child-free evening talking about their children and that they should probably eat up and get home for you guessed it….the blinking babysitter.
CLOTHING noun /ˈkləʊ.ðɪŋ/
B.C. Items such as dresses, trousers or shirts, used to cover, protect or decorate your body. Usually chosen for the shape, cut or colour to flatter your body shape and/or features, or to suit a task, activity or situation. Stored neatly folded in drawers or hanging in wardrobe. Bi-annually cleared out and rearranged according to changing seasons or fashion trends. Regularly updated with exciting leisurely shopping trips or online splurges.
A.D. A rotating selection of holey leggings, saggy tank-tops, oversized plaid shirts and various items of mens’ clothing. Chosen purely for their elasticity and whether or not they pass the ‘sniff-test’. All items feature an attractive range of stains, including but not limited to: milk, spit-up milk, full-blown vomit, yogurt, pasta sauce, and on really bad days, human excrement. Mainly stored unfolded in washing baskets or on the clothes horse. Never ever cleared out, resulting in a thin layer of clothes that actually fit and are worn, on top of a foot of items that are now too small, too young, too outdated or too impractical. Despite being fully aware of these items and feeling mildly irritated by them on a daily basis, they will not get thrown or given away for a number of years as you hold on to a small sliver of optimism that they will one day come back into fashion/fit again/stretch/be needed for that huge glitzy party. Know deep down that the only thing they will ever be used for again is for your kids’ fancy dress box.
SHOPPING noun /ˈʃɒp.ɪŋ/
B.C. The activity of buying items from shops, for example food. A food shopping trip will typically follow this pattern: Drive to shop listening to Radio 2. Arrive at supermarket and take seven sturdy reusable shopping bags out of the boot. Push trolley around supermarket at leisurely pace, working your way methodically through sensible shopping list, based on healthy and budget-friendly meal planning. Add a couple of packets of posh biscuits and a case of craft beer – you only live once. Pay for shopping, remembering to use loyalty card. Load shopping into reusable bags according to food group and refrigeration needs. Load into boot. Drive home. Unpack quickly, thanks to pre-sorting at the till. Have a cup of tea. Have a little nap.
A.D. The activity of buying items from shops, for example food. A food shopping trip will typically follow this pattern: Spend an hour packing the changing bag, persuading the toddler to put her shoes on, and strapping the children into their various 63-point harness car seats. Completely forget shopping list and bags. Drive to shop listening to Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom at top volume in an effort to keep the toddler awake. Arrive at supermarket and change the baby’s diabolical nappy and entire outfit on the front passenger seat while the toddler whinges that she wants to get out of the car. Strap baby into front carrier and coax toddler around the shop while she whinges that she wants to get back in the car. Eventually wedge her into the trolley seat that she is too big for and open unpaid-for snacks in order to buy yourself 5 minutes peace. Seriously regret lack of shopping list, and start speed-grabbing random items off the shelves as baby starts making his hungry noises. Throw food onto checkout to a cacophonic symphony of crying and whinging. Curse toddler for rearranging your wallet yet again. No hope of a loyalty card, bloody lucky that the debit card is still there. Purchase yet more reusable bags that will be used once and then forever reside in the bulging bag cupboard in the kitchen. Throw food and children into car. Drive home. Dump food bags on the floor. Hope there is nothing frozen in there – that lot’s staying put till the hubbie gets home. Plug screaming baby onto boob. Give toddler free rein of the remote control. Vow to do an online shop next week. Have a little cry.