parents

Parenting before Google. How did anyone actually do that?

Once upon a time, people had babies without Google. Chances are, you were one such baby. How did you survive? How did I?

PART 1: Parenting pre-Google

There’s a 2am poonami. It is green. Sea glass green. It has squelched half way up her back and pooled in an armpit.

This is bad. You’re a regular at the dog park, so you know poo is not supposed to be green. It is supposed to be brown and turns white if you leave it there too long.

The midwife said something to you about the black tarry poo—what’s that shit called again?—but she’s done that already. Nobody said anything about green.

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Are six week olds supposed to poo green? You look it up in the baby book you borrowed from the library. Seriously? Who rips pages out of library books? And about infant faeces of all things.

You resettle her, change the bassinet sheets and pop her back in.

Jessica with her daughter Josie. Image via Facebook.

It’s 2.14 and you’re adding the manky bassinet sheets and the now pink and green onesie to the soaking pile. You’re out of Napisan. Can you use normal bleach on coloured clothes? Hang on, can you use normal bleach on baby clothes at all? What if she gets some hideous skin condition?

You wake your husband. “Can you use normal bleach on colours?”

“What?”

“Normal bleach. Can you use it on colours? And do you know anything about green poo?”

“You don’t need to bleach poo,” he says. “Just flush it.” He rolls over and recommences one of his more hideous snoring patterns.

Maybe that’s what turns dog park poo white.

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Oh great. Señor McSnore woke the baby again. Maybe he has apnoea. Is that how you spell it? Looks weird.

Another feed, baby girl? You’re kidding. Was it right boob or left boob? You feel around to see which one seems fuller.

FARK. What is that?

You’ve discovered a lump. It’s the shape of a peanut. What if you’ve got breast cancer? Your aunt had breast cancer. Maybe you have the gene. Obviously, you don’t want your baby drinking cancerous milk, so you stop feeding.

“Babe,” you try waking him with a gentle shove.

The baby’s screaming now. She’s hungry. What’s that smell—she’s done another green poo!

The cancer has turned her poo green.

“BABE!” You smack his arm until he wakes up.

Is this domestic violence? Are you causing your baby irreparable psychological damage?

Once upon a time, people had babies without Google. But how?

Husband stirs. “What?”

“Sorry,” you kiss him better, now beating yourself up.

“That’s okay.” He rolls over again.

“BABE!”

“Yeah?”

“I think I might have cancer so you need to mix a bottle of formula.”

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He sits bolt upright. “Huh?”

“Look, I have this giant lump in my boob and—”

“Oh my God!” He stares at lady on the right.

The screaming intensifies. Hers. And his.

You try not to panic. “Go mix her a bottle of formula while I change her nappy. Her poo’s all green.”

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“Do we even have any formula?”

“It’s in the pantry.”

He jumps out of bed and runs downstairs. Five minutes later he comes back empty handed.

“Where’s the bottle?” you ask.

“It says you have to wait for the water too cool from boiling before you mix it.”

“Can’t you just add cold water?”

“Nah, it says on the tin you have to wait.”

“But she’s starving! Ask someone if you can add cold water.”

“It’s 2.30 in the morning.”

“Ask my sister! She’s in LA!”

“Oh yeah,” he says, looking at his clock radio. “What time is it there?”

“JUST CALL HER,” you shriek, wiping the mossy slurry from your forearm while contemplating mortality.

PART 2: Parenting post-Google.

2.05am Why is my baby’s poo green?

2.06am What’s that black tarry newborn poo called?

2.14 Can you bleach coloured clothes?

2.15am Can you bleach baby clothes?

2.18am What turns dog poo white in the sun?

2.23am Does my husband have sleep apnoea?

2.25am Why is my boob lumpy?

2.27am “BABE!” How come my husband doesn’t wake up when the baby’s crying?

2.29am “Oi!”

“Yeah?”

“I think I have mastitis. Go heat up a wheat pack—and put a cup of water in the microwave. I’m going to feed her and then I’m going to get some shut-eye in the guest room. By the way, she’s pooing green. Don’t worry too much. We’ll take her to the GP in the morning. I’ll book you in too. We have to sort out your snoring.”

2.33am The wheat pack is helping but goodness the guestroom bed is uncomfortable.

2.35am Sleep.

00:00 / ???