I consider myself to be a rather laid-back person, y'know, pretty chilled out.
I'm not completely horizontal, though. There are certain things that bug me: crunching, for example. I detest the sound - whether it be cereal, lettuce, apples, or whatever. I also hate sponges, but that's a different story for another time.
Since becoming a father, the list of annoyances has grown.
The same things, I've noticed, happen time and time again, and really wind me up. After talking to other parents, it seems I'm not alone: so, I've decided to share them with you, in no particular order.
1. People Won't Return Your Child
I have no problem with other people holding my baby, as long as I know who they are and they don't run off with him. But I'd like to think that if I was holding someone else's baby, and that baby started crying, that I would return the aforementioned infant to his or her parent.
Bizarrely, this logic is lost on some people, who insist on keeping hold of your baby even when he's screaming his head off, trying desperately to soothe him by bouncing him up and down and cooing in his face. "He doesn't want you," I scream in my head, "he wants me! Give him back!" And then I spend the next 10 minutes resisting the urge to rugby tackle the offender to the ground and wrestle my baby from his/her arms.
2. Making Your Kid Laugh During Discipline
We're trying out the naughty step system of discipline with our three-year-old at the moment, with limited success. The first time I tried it, he laughed hysterically for the full three minutes and was largely unrepentant. Since then, though, he's twigged that when he's on the naughty step he needs to sit quietly and contemplate his misdemeanours.
Which is why it really doesn't help when someone else – usually a doting family member – comes along and starts messing around with him when he's on the step, when he should be utterly remorseful. In one fell swoop, your discipline has gone out the window and you're left seething as your kid forgets all about why the naughty thing he did was naughty in the first place.
3. Rubbing Perfume on Your Baby's Face
We've all got them; the elderly female relative who gives your baby a bear-hug, trapping him in her cavernous cleavage while she shrieks about how gorgeous he is. This is fine: nothing wrong with showing a bit of love and affection.
What I do object to, though, is having a baby handed back to me that has been rubbed so much against a liver-spotted chest and neck that it reeks of Eau de Arthritis and the faint whiff of wee. It literally takes days of washing and three bottles of Febreze to get that smell out.
4. Allowing Their Kid to Crawl All Over You
I don't have a phobia of other kids or anything. But as you watch on and snigger as your snotty-nosed, sticky-fingered little brat toddles up to me and crawls all over my lap, I think I'm entitled to wrinkle my nose and make little kicking motions to try and dissuade it from slobbering all over my thigh. I don't let my kid vomit all over your jeans, and would appreciate it if you did the same.
5. Talking to You Through Your Kid
Parents and in-laws are the worst for this one. When you decide that you're not going to take your baby out for a walk, or swimming, for example, they tell you off. But instead of having to go through the awkward rigmarole of doing it to your face, they do it through your child. "Isn't daddy a big meanie?" they say, or: "Daddy only wants to watch TV, doesn't he?" Well, yes, I do want to watch TV. But that's only because I need some rest after being up in the night with him for three hours. So stuff you, judgemental expletive.
Do these ring true for you?
Any other irritations and things that leave you fuming?