I take charge of the Baby.

The past few days have been difficult and tiring.

Honestly, I am surprised that nobody with a new Baby has ever noticed this before. Truly, I am a master of acute and original observation.

“You look shattered,” I tell the LTLP. “Why don’t I take the Baby out for a bit?”

It is true. The LTLP’s head is lolling about with tiredness; her shoulders slump with the weight of constant responsibility and physical effort. Even though I am not feeling great myself, the least that I can do is to ease her burdon for a short while.

“While I’m gone, you can wash up the bottles and make more milks and sort out the stuff that he has been sick on and wash down the changing mat and do a bit of general tidying up, if you like,” I add. “In the meantime, I will take on the job of looking after the Baby.”

I go to the Village Pub.

The Baby has not been to the Village Pub before. It is difficult to tell what he thinks, as his face (when awake) carries a permanent expression of startled alarm and dismay. It is an expression that you only ever see on babies. We walk through the door into the bar.

The Village Pub is very busy. I am in luck. As new babies are basically exactly like those ultraviolet lamp-trap things that they hang in the corner of bakeries to lure in flies and insects, but for middle-aged women, I am soon divested of my load. I am able to sit at the bar and quietly drink cider whilst the Baby is passed around for inspection.

“Here is your bar bill. I’m afraid we are closing your account,” says the Well-Spoken Barman.

My face adopts an expression of startled alarm and dismay. But it transpires that this is only because they are moving to a new till system. I will get a new bar tab afterwards, although there is some worrying talk of itemisation.

The Baby is returned to me an hour or so later. I finish my pint and wish everybody well, as he is now screaming his head off.

Returning home, I find the milks made up and the kitchen tidied. Parenting is about teamwork; we have this sorted between us.


  1. What a great Dad you are! The ltlp must be so thankful for you!! Congratulations on the new baby!

  2. Did you show everyone your infected leg as well?

  3. You are an inspiration.

  4. *sob* so beautiful …

  5. A true “Rites of Passage” story. The very first time the little fella has taken his Dad to the Pub!

  6. Ah, a son’s first visit to the pub with his dad. How lovely. 🙂

  7. Were you actually expected to pay that bar bill, though?

  8. Now that you are an international media celebrity your parenting skills handbook is fast becoming overdue.

  9. Obviously I mean the one you should be writing, not the one you borrowed from the library.

  10. It is so important to share these wearying tasks, isn’t it? I do hope that the LTLP took the opportunity not only to tidy and make up bottles but to do some essential maintenance on household items of the pointy persuasion – seems to me they will be called into use rather often in the next few months…

  11. Not to sound alarmist/prejudiced, but there’s a name for middle-aged women who frequent pubs and take an interest in English babies – GYPSIES!

    Pretty poor judgement there, Jonny.

  12. Where’s the Toddler in all of this? What about Father-Daughter bonding? Watch Hannah Montana and learn.

  13. You missed a fairly obvious trick there, Jonny – you should’ve had the new tab opened in your son’s name, so he has the privilege of paying it off when he comes of age. It works for the welfare state, so why not for booze too?

    That would also teach him an important lesson in personal responsibility. Just ‘cos you flunked that subject doesn’t mean that he has to…

  14. It is difficult to tell what he thinks, as his face (when awake) carries a permanent expression of startled alarm and dismay. It is an expression that you only ever see on babies.

    I think you’ll find it’s only your babies that have this expression permanently Jonny. By the time the toddler’s a teenager she’ll probably look like Munch’s The Scream, poor little bugger.

  15. Interestingly enough, my party trick used to be doing an impression of ‘The Scream’. In fact, I was probably the top painting-based mimic in my town at the time.

  16. Never mind Munch, Jonny – I hear you do a pretty good Rubens

  17. I’m worried that you took an hour to finish your pint. Is this due to age or babies?

  18. No, Rufus, it’s due to having to pay cash for his drinks!

  19. I think the lengthy time to finish the pint has to do with his mysterious ailment.

  20. Hm. I don’t think the text actually SAYS that it is a single pint?

    Not that I would be drinking lots with a Baby. Oh no.

  21. If one of the gipsy ladies would have used the ancient french custom from Normandy, by dripping her small finger for a sec in a glass of Calvados, your son would have been quiet for an extra hour, while sucking on her finger…

  22. How long until the LTLP goes back to work and leaves you to manage both?

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