We visit the big city.
With my new family, I have not had a chance to do this recently. I have missed the buzz, the vibrancy, the lights. The shops and theatres. The restaurants. The throngs of people, the traffic, the noise and the intense urban atmosphere.
Baby Servalan stares wide-eyed as we step out into the Norwich car-park.
It is quickly decided that we should split up, the LTLP wishing to buy women’s clothes and me not wishing to buy women’s clothes. I head into a department store with the Baby.
As I walk round, I feel an unusual sensation coming from somewhere. It takes me a while to identify it, what with it being unusual and all that, but by the time I have reached the fancy stationery section I have twigged: women are looking at me in a leering fashion.
I quicken my pace. I had heard before that men with cute babies are particularly desirable to the opposite sex, but this is the first time that I have experienced it in practice. I slouch a bit and try to make myself look as frumpy as possible, but it seems to have no effect, so I go for a coffee.
“Would you like anything else?” asks the waitress girl coyly as she collects my cup. I look at her in some alarm. “No thank you,” I reply, and hastily pay the bill.
I explain my problem to the LTLP when we meet up again. She laughs at me and tells me that women don’t really leer at men with babies and that it is all my imagination, but it is pretty well exactly the same reply that I give her about looking at women’s breasts so I am not convinced. I am told to go and change a nappy, and I disappear off into Debenhams.
Not being too quick at this sort of thing, there is a queue outside when I leave the baby changing room. The two mums waiting look like they are going to drag me back into the cubicle and gang-rape me there and then, which would be a shame as it would probably break the baby-changing mat and thus spoil it for everyone. Plus I would probably get a really old-fashioned judge who would say that I was asking for it by carrying a cute Baby. I push past them for the safety of the sales floor.
I arrange to meet the LTLP back at the car. A woman sprints up to me as I am waiting for the lift. “Excuse me! Excuse me!” The lift does not arrive. I hammer the button furiously. “Excuse me!” No lift.
“She’s dropped a sock,” she announces, brandishing said sock. I take it from her with a strangled thank-you. Stealing socks off babies in order to create an opening with their fathers. She leaves disappointed and frustrated.
“Well that’s a nice day out then,” says the LTLP as we pass under the barriers and out onto the main road. I say nothing, and put my foot down to speed back to the sanity of the village.