Why The Consciously Incompetent Camel?

After feeling the need to put my evidencebasedtitsandteeth blog to bed, I decided that I shall be known as….


Ok. Now let me explain as I imagine I have induced many ‘meh’ sounds amongst you.

I first came across the term ‘consciously incompetent’ when I was at dental school. The course director revelled in delight in outlining the four stages of competence and placed us all firmly at the first stage: unconsciously incompetent. This meant, not only were we exceptionally incompetent but we had no idea we were. In order to move onto the next stage we had to recognise our own stupidity, give ourselves a slap in the face and pledge to perpetually cram our brains with knowledge for the next two years and beyond.

If we were lucky, we might one day reach the dizzying heights of stage four: unconsciously competent. Things will be so easy that it’ll just be muscle memory. No thought or concentration required. Our sickle scalers would be expertly scything scum from crevices all over the place without a wisp of gingival trauma. Or in other words, the gums wouldn’t be hacked to pieces with the sharp crochet hook thingy.

Zoom forward a million years to becoming a parent and I’m back in the realm of stage two: consciously incompetent. It means that I know I’m a bit useless at times but I’m willing to try and learn ways to not be. I haven’t done this parenting shit before so I don’t expect to be an expert and I’m learning not to be so hard on myself about that. I’m happy with stage two.

Now the camel. Well, thanks to my number one fan, who also happens to be my beautiful cousin, I wiki’d camel and found out a lot of stuff that weirdly relates to motherhood.

First there are the humps – I am a women. I have two humps. Not including the third massive hump I sit on. I am also known to be in a hump from time to time especially during the madness of menstruation. Tick similarity number one.

They provide milk and are working animals with tasks ranging from human transport and bearing heavy loads. I bear a heavy three-year old load on my shoulders most days and spend up to 74% of my life ferrying humans around to various locations. I also provide milk. Once upon a time from my humps. But now mainly from Tesco. Tick number two.

There’s even more:

The Hebrew meaning of the word gāmāl is derived from the verb root g.m.l, meaning (1) stopping, weaning, going without; or (2) repaying in kind. This refers to its ability to go without food or water, as well as the increased ability of service the animal provides when being properly cared for.

The connections are ubiquitous. I regularly go without food or water…or going to the toilet…or sleep for that matter. But give me a cuddle and a dazzling smile that suggests that one day, I may move onto stage three and I’m your camel; unequivocally serving you till the day I die.

But really what sealed the deal is this: I have a daughter called Alice. And there is a song called Alice the Camel. BOOM! IT’S IN THE BAG.

So that’s it. Evidencebasedtitsandteeth is no more. From now on, I will mostly be called The Consciously Incompetent Camel.

3 thoughts on “Why The Consciously Incompetent Camel?

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