18 clues you may be the parent of a Precious First Born
Precious First Born-ing (verb): an intensive state of parenting in which the afflicted adult becomes alarmingly obsessed with (among other things) the safety, nutrition and intellectual development of their offspring. While the condition is in no way limited to those with just one infant, it nevertheless frequently strikes hard with the first child and disappears entirely thereafter. So widely recognised that it achieved its own acronym - PFB - on Mumsnet many moons ago, recovering victims describe here how the syndrome manifested with them.
1. "I tested the 'no more tears' shampoo by putting some in my own eye."
2. "We have a clip of my husband chatting to my son in his highchair. The microwave pings and I appear with some warmed cucumber sticks. Too cold straight from the fridge for my Precious First Born."
3. "I was so paranoid about giving my daughter formula or cows milk that I would pour her cornflakes then get my boob out and spend a good half hour squeezing my milk directly on to her cereal. Weird and gross. Not to be repeated."
4. "I made everyone hold my first son on a pillow in case they hurt him."
5. "When anyone babysat my son I used to write out the lyrics of a song that I would always sing to him so he would hear something familiar, and run through it with them to make sure they had the tune right."
6. "We have a great photo of PFB in the pool on holiday, wearing a nappy, a long sleeved vest, a whole bottle of sun block, a baby wet suit and a hat, under the sun umbrella - with a similarly aged Spanish baby splashing about nude in the sunshine just behind us."
7. "I have woken my sleeping daughter many a time to check she is still breathing by giving her a little push, then a bit more, then actually waking her up just in case."
8. "I exchanged a book that my daughter had been given for her first Christmas by an old aunt, as the content 'was too dark' for a four-month-old. It was Come on, Daisy."
9. "When my mother-in-law first babysat PFB overnight at six months old, I wrote detailed instructions re his care ... and laminated them."
10. "I'm normally not PFB but we did mark an escape route out of our son's bedroom on the carpet with sellotape as the bloody floorboards were so creaky."
11. "My worst PFB moment was when she was two weeks old and I started watching a programme about the First World War. Switched it off again hurriedly in case the descriptions of the trenches gave her nightmares."
12. "I put baby sunglasses on her. In April. It wasn't even that sunny."
13. "A friend used to use her child's potty downstairs when her PFB was asleep upstairs so she didn't wake him by using the loo."
14. "My brother and sister-in-law have gone down in family history with their PFB-ness. They brought a pair of sterilised scissors in a ziplock bag to a family gathering to cut open my nephew's milk. Plenty of other pairs of scissors available, just none that were clean enough evidently."
15. "I seriously had a conversation with my husband about how maybe I should stop taking our son round to see a friend with a very slightly older baby as it wasn't fair on her when he was so much more alert and better looking than her baby. Looking back on the photos, my son looked like a cheerful potato."
16. "For the first two months of my daughter's life we filled a thermos flask with warm water for night-time nappy changes, so that we didn't have to use cold water on her oh-so-perfect-and-sensitive newborn bottom."
17. "I pulled the pram backwards for two miles to avoid a little bit of mild afternoon sun because I had no Factor 40 sunblock on me."
18. "I washed my nipples before every feed (would have sterilised them if I could) because I thought I had to."
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Last updated: 2 months ago