Uh oh, it has happened. I have officially turned into that person. You know who I mean: the adult who seems oblivious to the fact that their screeching infant is not the most adorable thing to crawl the face of this Earth but an out-of-control noise machine. That person is the previously sensible and self-aware friend of yours who beams every time their perfect progeny farts or grunts, and acts like it is the cutest thing they have ever seen. “What happened to you?” I used to think, when I was childfree, and hung out with friends who had procreated. “How do you not realise that your child is sort of annoying? What did parenthood do to your brain?”
I do not have the scientific answers to this but I can say that parenthood has undoubtedly done a number on my own brain. I have 100% been baby-pilled. My eight month old will be screeching like a banshee and, instead of finding it irritating, I will look at her perfect little face and my heart will melt. I find myself googling things such as: if my baby screams a lot at an unusually high decibel level, does it mean that they are gifted? (The jury is out on that but my kid is obviously brilliant).
As well as being the smartest child ever, she is also exceptionally adorable. Everyone says so. The only time I have wondered if they might be politely lying is when I recently looked back at pictures of her as a newborn and realised that she was actually kind of funny-looking because, let’s be honest, all newborns are funny-looking. They are hairy, wrinkly, little gremlins. I can see that now. Eight months ago, though, I was convinced she was nothing like other newborns; I was sure she was unusually perfect. Which, to be fair, she is. Hormones, eh? They’re crafty so-and-sos.
Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist