June 20th 2017 – home

Mr P’s working away in Durham for a couple of nights but, happily, I had already arranged for Mrs W to come round on her last visit as a pregnant lady. It’s been oppressively hot here the last few days. have barely been able to stand it so God knows how difficult it must be for poor Mrs W who isn’t a great fan of heat even when she’s not carrying a baby bump around with her.

She was entertaining as always regaling me with stories about the various antenatal classes she has attended in a bid to make friends with other new mums. The first class was focused on breastfeeding therefore she didn’t advise that Mr W attend with her as, you know, that bit’s not really his department. She said there were men there though – those competitive, I’ve-read-every-baby-book-published types who revel in showing off their newfound knowledge of all things baba. The mentors were really militant, according to Mrs W, basically claiming that your baby would remain single and jobless for ever if they weren’t breastfed. There is also a right and wrong way for a baby to latch on apparently which the tutor demonstrated by suckling on a knitted replica of a boob. Mrs W peered nervously around the class, hoping to catch someone’s eye for a sly titter (pun intended) but no, everyone was absorbing this demonstration with unnerving eagerness.

Another class Mrs W attended pointed out that taking heroin whilst pregnant was very dangerous (who knew? And really, had she been shooting up on a regular basis, she was about 37 weeks gone at this so surely it would be far too late anyway), that talking to your baby was better than not talking to it (because Mrs W was just going to shut hers in a cupboard and ignore it until it reached its eighteenth birthday) and that car seats should be fitted properly (rather then swaddling the kid in bubble-wrap and chucking it in the boot).

It was great to see Mrs W and so weird to think that the next time we have a catch-up, she will have a baby in one hand and, hopefully, a well-deserved and rather large glass of red in the other. Mrs W being as efficient as she is has already worked out a method which will allow her to have a couple of drinks whilst breastfeeding (expressing enough milk to feed the baby before gleefully uncorking a bottle of Merlot – it’s called ‘pump and dump’ apparently) and that’s just one of the many reasons I adore her.

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