It’s safe to say I have found myself in some pretty weird situations over the years. Hurtling through Belize’s countryside on a big yellow school bus situated next to a lady with a chicken, accompanying six drag queens on a night out to Ibiza Old Town and wondering if people assumed I was the seventh, my first PR job promoting paper plates and calling up magazines dedicated to potatoes. Just a few of the shining examples which immediately spring to mind. However, none of these come close to the total weirdness I have experienced over the past five years. Even more weird is that I now don’t even find these situations particularly weird…they are the norm in the bizarre world of babydom….judge for yourself:
1. Attempting to suppress labour pain noises whilst located in a hospital assessment room next to a very frightened looking lady not in labour, and only in her 12th week of pregnancy. In between howling like a dog and shouting profanities throwing back the curtain and apologising profusely in a way that only British people can do. Repeating this pattern for approximately 1 hour.
2. Being taught how to breastfeed by a 60+ year old woman who demonstrates the art of ‘latching on’ by slurping on a Frube.
3. Being taught how to breastfeed with the assistance of a solitary knitted boob (this example is borrowed from a friend).
4. Encouraging your partner to perform a perineal massage because that’s what ‘the book’ suggests (what the hell?! He didn’t just to put your mind at ease…)
5. Milking yourself like a cow with the aid of a loud machine and feeling immensely proud of the pathetic 5ml which looks about as useful as the annoying milk cartons commonly found in hotels and cheap cafes.
6. Sitting in a group physiotherapy session with 5 complete strangers discussing the inner workings of your pelvic floor muscles and anal incontinence (not mine I hasten to add).
7. Examining the contents of nappies closely and discussing their consistency at length (remember those first nappies??) in the manner of poop-obsessed madwoman Gillian McKeith.
8. Getting excited about a cr*p performed in a potty and clapping / cheering as it makes its debut like one of the performers emerging through the smoke on Stars in their Eyes.
9. Getting excited about a new soft play opening and the lure of a limp panini. Friends without kids would run in horror from what’s essentially a large holding pen of feral kids with poor air circulation, dirty toys and almost definitely something nasty lurking at the bottom of the ball pit.
10. Re-enacting birth positions in ante-natal classes with a confused looking partner, and wondering what role silk scarves could possibly play in the proceedings..(still don’t understand).
11. Organising a family portrait with a bunch of people who do not want to be photographed or smile, shouting and swearing at them in between the camera clicks to end up with a lasting momento of a “perfect day.”
12. Being utterly, physically, unable not to share your birth horror story with anyone who tells you how bad theirs was. Nodding thoughtfully whilst harbouring strong suspicions that they are exaggerating, because surely no-one could have had a worst time than you?
13. Engaging in a daily game which involves the 2 year old pretending to be a baby called Frederick, and the 4 year old being the shopkeeper who sold him to his new family at the charity shop. Disturbing on many levels due to the 2 year old’s willingness to act like a baby, connotations of human trafficking, and the fact that I secretly love it because I can pretend for a minute that he’s still a baby (he’s not, he’s a big two year old who walks and talks). Total, utter, weirdness, and I’m pretty sure we’re alone on this one……anyone???