There are so many things in life that we do almost without thinking and have absolutely no control over – like saying “mind your head!” just AFTER someone’s knocked themself out, or automatically apologising when some eejit bumps into you in the street…

Since I’ve had Miss O I’ve found that, even when we’re not actually together, like when I’m at work or she’s managed to escape to Grandma’s,  I seem to be on some kind of permanent parent autopilot:

  • I find it physically impossible not to say “WEEEEEEEEE!!!”  when a child goes down a slide. If the child in question isn’t yours (and you’re not even WITH your child at the time!!) you run the very real risk of being labelled the park odd-bod…

 

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“Come away from the scary lady darling…”

  • The same goes for getting massively over-excited when a fire engine drives past, or shouting “LOOK!!! – DOGGIE!!! at some poor sod walking his Cocker Spaniel (it’s funny, we don’t see him round here much anymore).

 

  • I have to give chairs a quick once-over before I even think about sitting on them. When you know that there’s a 90% chance of walking away with a soggy bottom / playdough bum-collage / the cast of Bing stuck half-way up your arse crack, you learn to play the odds.

 

  • A friend told me that they were a closet fan of Justin’s music. Having confessed my own secret penchant for ‘the instrument song’ and ‘monster movers’, it transpired that she meant Bieber, not Fletcher. These days, if you’re not on CBeebies, you’re not on my radar…

 

  • If I catch the scent of something pongy in the air, I’ll instinctively whip my head around in search of Miss O, before remembering that there’s no-one in the immediate vicinity whose bottom I’m obliged to sniff (thankfully).

 

  • I’m also guilty of using ridiculous expletives in completely child-free zones. Question: if you cut your finger in an empty room, and no one’s around to hear you scream “FLIPPERTY DUCK!!”, did it actually happen??

 

  • We’ve gotten into the habit of shouting; “Ooooooh – FARTY BUM!!” whenever Miss O lets one rip (I know, you can’t move for comedy gold like that at our house). She finds this absolutely hysterical; the person in the toilet cubicle next to yours at work is unlikely to be as amused by your observation…

 

  • Whenever we stop at traffic lights, I blow wildly enthusiastic kisses into the rear-view mirror at her, which she absolutely loves (I’m guessing she won’t always be this easily impressed). The key is to try to remember NOT to do this when there’s nobody else in the car, as this can lead to a really awkward misunderstanding with the pensioner using the zebra crossing in front of you…

 

Do you have any ‘mum reflexes’ that you just can’t seem to shake?

2 thoughts on “The Mum Reflex

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