It’s amazing how even the most mundane everyday things change when you become a new parent; the other day I walked into Sainsbury’s – other supermarket chains are available – and was greeted with a huge stack of nappies that were on sale at a slightly less extortionate cost than usual. “Ooh, that’s a good price!” I found myself thinking. Oh dear.
It’s not just shopping, however. Oh no. In the first few weeks after Dylan was born my internet history made for interesting reading; the likes of Facebook and BBC Sport were largely replaced by Mumsnet and NHS Choices – again, other social networking, sports news, health and parenting websites are available – as every little move or noise that laddo made inspired a visit to one of these to check that everything was normal.
Then there’s doing all kinds of household chores with one hand, making a feature out of the baby sick on my favourite T-shirt and attempting to get out of the habit of swearing so much for when he eventually starts repeating things.
Going out anywhere has become like a military operation; particularly when it comes to feeding. If hunger strikes, there’s not a lot that can be done to appease him other than being clamped on to Kate and, somewhat surprisingly, it’s not always easy to find somewhere where breastfeeding isn’t either scowled upon or full of nosey sorts who stare like mad-eyed religious zealots. We were on Eastbourne seafront recently when wee man decided that it was dinner time so we found a secluded bench set back from the promenade, got out the muslin to hide him under and off he went.
The people walking past were fine; those who looked in our direction smiled at us, kept calm and carried on. Until the Dotto Train – or ‘a safari for the bigoted’ as Kate succinctly put it – came along. It seemed to be full of Daily Mail sorts who wanted to enjoy the seaside without having to mix with the rest of us.
From the plethora of thunder-like faces turning their attentions to us we could only assume that, as far as they were concerned, breast is most certainly not best – or maybe they just hate muslins. Well, sod ‘em! Have the times changed quite as much as I thought they have? Maybe not – and other newspapers are most definitely available – but Dylan has undoubtedly changed a lot lately, more on that next time.