This weeks #FessUpFriday is written by ‘Baby Anon’ over at ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’. Baby Anon previously spent nine months in ‘Babyland’ before arriving in the World, she apparently uses her blog to capture her daily observations upon strange people in a very strange land.
A Humiliating Day All Round.
It had started relatively well. Father’s snoring had obviously abated as Mother was looking considerably less tired that morning. ‘I feel as if I actually managed more than twenty minutes sleep last night. Maybe even a whole hour,’ she remarked, looking directly at me in a slightly accusatory manner which befuddled me. If she couldn’t sleep because of her noisy bed partner then that had nothing to do with me. She needed to raise it with him. I, meanwhile, had an excellent night, fuelled by a few pit stops for milk which Mother had been happy to provide.
That Mother was looking a little more human that day wasn’t something unnoticed by Father either. ‘You do look better,’ he began. He should have stopped there but relentlessly, my Father carried on: ‘I thought you’d been carrying two big bags around, y’know, to get out of paying for your carriers when you go shopping,’ he added, pointing to her eyes. And then he chuckled at his own joke. It was just as well that he did because no-one else was laughing – I didn’t, mainly because I didn’t get it but also because I hadn’t yet mastered that particular skill. And Mother? Well Mother’s face was frozen, her lips a thin, fixed line and her eyes were steely. She didn’t need to say anything, the anger exuded from her. My Father gulped visibly as he realised his faux pas, particularly when his eye line darted south to the heavy, solid phone gripped within her white knuckled hand. For a moment or two it looked as if she was going to throw it at my Father and I think we all held our breath. But, that moment passed, and in a slow and steady voice, Mother said: ‘I am hormonal. I’ve got a week old baby who is behaving as if she’s at a 24 hour rave in Ibiza and I don’t need an imbecile husband making gormless remarks which aren’t funny at all.’
Father screwed up his forehead and I wondered what approach he was going to take to extricate himself from Mother’s wrath; Mother really was looking quite exasperated. ‘Sorry what?’ He asked, his face a study in confusion. ‘Did you say we needed some shopping?’ he added, pretending that he hadn’t heard Mother’s comment at all and, brazenly, changing the subject entirely.
‘Errrr, yes,’ she replied. ‘We actually really do need some food,’ she added, looking bemused herself, as if she couldn’t work out what had just happened. She narrowed her eyes as she started to run through: ‘Crisps. Bread. Cornflakes. Chocolate. Pesto,’ she stated, tapping each item off on her fingers.
To date, Father hasn’t done much to impress me; I share Mother’s view that he can be gormless at times. But I must confess to being rather inspired by the creative approach he took when in trouble; I am glad that I made of a note of it here as I am sure that it will stand me in good stead when handling Mother in the future.
‘Potatoes. Cheese. Pitta bread. I’ll see you in a bit.’
‘Wait. Where are you going?’
‘The supermarket,’ stated Mother, her leg half out the front door.
‘But what if she needs feeding?’ He asked, gesturing to me.
Mother looked as if she might cry. ‘I just wanted to feel what outside felt like,’ she mumbled, pitifully. ‘I miss it.’
Father, meanwhile, was beaming. ‘I’ll probably be a while,’ he shouted as he bounded down the path as if his shoes were made of springs. ‘I’ll have a good, long shop. Stock up, love’ he offered. ‘I’ll be a couple of hours. Four. Five. Six, max.’ He nearly ran over a cat in his haste, the tabby leaping back and emitting a loud ‘Miaow!’ in protest.
‘I’ve never seen him so excited to go to sodding Sainsbury’s. He’s never once offered to do the shop. He’ll probably end up going for a coffee and a cake in the cafe. Maybe even read a-‘ and then Mother had to stop talking as her voice began to break. I tried to pat her shoulder in comfort – they must do incredible cake – but my motor skills not being too advanced, I managed to smack her in the mouth which seemed to upset her even more.
Soon though, my attention was taken by my own concerns. I had been aware all morning of a slight gurgling in my tummy as if something was building. As Mother laid me down in my Moses basket, still bemoaning my Father’s sojourn outside: ‘He’ll probably even get to go to the loo in peace, without the accompaniment of a screaming baby,’ I became aware that the something in my tummy was ready to exit. I let out a screech as the feeling began to build.
Mother stopped her pitying monologue and looked at me in alarm: ‘Darling?’ She began, warily. ‘Are you ok?’
‘Fine, Mother,’ I cried. ‘I’m just going to the toilet.’ And I let out a little screech to emphasise my point.
The colour drained from Mother’s face and she scooped me into her arms. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she screamed. ‘Can’t you breathe?!’
I tried to roll my eyes but couldn’t coordinate both eyes together. ‘For goodness sake, Mother, I’m just having a number two. Please lay me back down to go in peace.’
But Mother clearly wasn’t listening and began rubbing my back and putting her hand under my nose, ostensibly to check I was breathing. Satisfied that I was, she then pulled out her phone. ‘That bl**dy man!’ She shouted. ‘No bl**dy reception in the pub I bet!’ She began fiddling with her phone again, her hands trembling I noticed. Success. ‘Mum! Come quick! There’s something wrong with the baby!’
Mother lay me down on the carpet and said: ‘Don’t worry darling.’
‘We just need to stay calm.’
‘You need to stay calm.’
‘Help is on the way.’
‘I think that’s a good idea. You certainly look as if you need help.’
It was a matter of moments before we were joined by the vaguely familiar lady my Mother referred to as Mum, moments which had been peppered by Mother’s panic stricken yelps to match my own.
‘Where is she’? demanded the lady, who looked a lot like my own Mother.
‘Hmm. Is she eating ok?’ asked the lady.
‘Naps in the day, awake all night.’
‘Hmmm. Let’s get her undressed and have a look at her,’ suggested my Mother’s mother, as if she was a highly qualified member of the medical profession rather than a lady with a bad perm and heavy eyeshadow.
I don’t know how you would feel if you had an audience examining you whilst you were on the toilet but I can imagine you wouldn’t enjoy it very much. I certainly did not and I expressed my annoyance vocally.
‘Shall I call an ambulance?’ asked Mother, looking faint.
‘No need,’ replied the lady, happily, holding up my soiled nappy as evidence.
Mother looked as if she might collapse with relief. ‘I thought there was something wrong with her,’ she muttered pitifully and pulled me close to her. I was going to tell her off, tell her what a silly woman she was, embarrassing herself like that but actually it was quite nice being cuddled. So much so that I drifted off to sleep.
Later, when I woke up, I heard Mother say: ‘You can’t go out again, not yet. We need both of us here. In case something like that happens again.’
‘But she just had a poo,’ replied Father, perplexed.
‘That’s not the point. It could have been something serious. And then what would have happened? She needs both of us.’
I looked at Mother, her face still strained from her earlier fears, a milk stain down the front of her top, and at Father, his expression dazed whilst he twiddled a pen in his ear, and thought: ‘With this pair in my corner, what could possibly go wrong?’
Whilst BabyAnon tends to write fictional pieces upon her blog, this particular story is actually based upon a real life experience. I had to laugh when I read this post from ‘Baby Anon’, I would like to thank her for sharing this story with the #FessUpFriday series.