One of the things that has gone the way of the dodo as a result of this whole child raising gig is menace. I mean, I never had oodles of it laying about - the odd scary book or movie but not lots. It all began when I was preggers when even the news could reduce me to a sobbing mess.
Nearly eight years later and I have never really recovered.
I was recently loaned a book by a friend about a 12 year old who kills someone. I read the back of the book and that was creepy enough. I decided that whatever had happened to the character to make him decide to kill people by the time he was 12, it was not in my interests to find out. If my children get arrested in a few years with a sneer and a smoking gun I may well regret it, having completely missed the early signs.
I remember the day when I realised I had probably changed forever. I was on leave from work looking after the first baby. At that time I was working in an area that dealt with some - ahem - pretty dark topics. I had visited a friend at work and was on my way out of the office struggling with the secure entrance door. Some older bloke was coming in the other way and he held the door for the pram and he said, in an avuncular manner, "Ah, a future employee, I assume". I said, "No", quite sharply, with a "over my runny corpse" undertone.
I could not imagine my wide-eyed little pip, who didn't even know how to keep a mouthful of mush from sliding sideways out of her mouth, working in such a terrible field. It is not as though the work is not necessary but I just couldn't stand the thought that she would one day know the things I learned at work.
When I returned to work I swapped jobs within a couple of weeks and began working on climate change - a much cheerier issue all around.