My first nappy-induced panic attack came even before my baby. It was at my baby shower and was a baptism of fire. We were playing a game which involved changing and dressing a doll's nappy against the clock.
If you know me, you'll know I was never really child-friendly. I hated when people came at me with their kids and I had to act all interested and maternal.
I just never knew how to act in the presence of a baby. Do I talk to it? How do I talk to it? Is there any point? And god forbid you would ask me to hold it. The pressure. I was literally a big bag of awkward.
Excuse the quality of the photo, from my baby shower. The fear on my face.
My friends and family knew this, so the games at the baby shower were pretty much designed to stress me out (as far as I can see.) I left that day with a million gifts and the hope that they would teach you the very basics at the antenatal classes. They don't.
Things were looking up after Lyla was born, when the mid-wife cleaned her up and dressed her for me. All was well until Jamie was sent home and I was brought back to the ward with the baby. Panic set in.
I rang the bell for the mid-wife who was up to her eyes. When she arrived, I came clean and told her I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and that I probably shouldn't be left in charge of this tiny human. With a knowing smile, she assured me that it'd be grand. I wasn't so sure.
An example of my shoddy nappy work
Lyla slept the whole night (the first and last time for that to happen!) while I hovered nervously, checking to see if she was still breathing every 22 seconds or so. The next morning I watched in panic as the doctors went around to check over the newborns. I just kept thinking I've been rumbled. They will take one look at how I put her nappy on and know I have no idea what I'm doing. They would judge me and think I'm a terrible mother. I mean who can't put a nappy on?
Bizarrely, the didn't voice any such concerns. And after my fifteenth nappy that same day, I had kind of developed a knack.
An example of my seasoned nappy work
I'd have more war medals than I could fit on my chest if that were the case after some almighty poonamis and unexpected guerrilla battles, but I have developed from that raw recruit into someone who is ready for (almost) any challenge and who secretly looks forward to the odd explosion or two.
I've kind of gotten lost in a metaphor, but what I'm trying to say is I no longer fear The Nappy.