Saturday, March 11, 2006

Wetting the Baby's Head

It has long struck me as completely unfair that when a baby is born, the person who has done all the work, is totally knackered and is now going to be up half the night gets left out of the party, while everyone else has a ball.

When no 1 was born nearly ten years ago, we were still very much in a babyless/be wild mindset, and so were most of our friends. Spouse did get to the pub the day she came, when frankly I was so out of it I couldn't have cared less, but hadn't really had a proper celebration. He more then made up for it the night before I came home which happened to be a Friday. It therefore seemed entirely incumbent upon him to invite a few mates to come back after pub closing and have a drink. My mother was coming in the morning, and Spouse had promised her he would be up and the house tidy. As if.

Everyone was from the sounds of it in very high spirits, (probably due to the volume of high spirits they had consumed) and much fun was had by all. In the course of said fun a sofa got broken, much alcohol got spilt and I dread to think what state the lounge was in by the time Spouse had shoved the funsters out of the door. Needless to say he wasn't up when my mother returned, and when I rang to politely enquire why he hadn't pitched up at the hospital as promised, it was to discover that he had only just crawled out of his pit. My miraculous mother then blitzed the house, so when I returned with baby in tow, all was calm and rational. I meanwhile was left to reflect that while he was having fun, I was breastfeeding. A somewhat less then reasonable exchange I felt...

Next time around the baby was born after pub closing time (good move, Mummy), and I got home the next day, so wetting the baby's head was a somewhat more sober affair.

With no 3 it is all such a blur I can't quite remember what happened, although I seem to remember sending Spouse to the pub at about 9pm the night before she came, on the basis that I had to be there, he didn't, and the wretched baby was taking so long to come he at least may as well enjoy himself. So the baby's head was wet even before it was born...

No 4 however, was a different story, being as she came on the same day as our pyrotechnic builder's mate's son. He was born somewhat earlier in the day, and we heard about it from the midwife, who was all agog about the behaviour of one of the dads who'd gone out to the pub in the middle of the labour. It wasn't our mate? we asked. Yes it was, how on earth did we know? Oooh, I don't know, lucky guess, perhaps?

Given that it is a fairly rare occurrence to be able to go and celebrate the birth of your fourth daughter, and even rarer occurrence to do it with a mate who is also celebrating the birth of his son, it seemed only right and proper to send Spouse straight from the hospital to the pub. The midwife's eyes nearly went through the ceiling when I suggested if the baby came before ten Spouse would still have time to get there. As it happened she arrived at 10.20, so after hobbling to the shower, I sent him on his way, as quickly as I could. He had to ring up to order his pints, but get there he did, and departed somewhat later, and less soberly then when he entered.

With each baby, by the time I wasn't breastfeeding/was feeling like a drink/getting some sleep, the moments of euphoria had all but departed, so I have always felt slightly cheated that I never really got to raise a glass properly to my offspring's arrival.

So it was with great joy that I was able to do so for the arrival of my great niece, who came into the world earlier this week.

Spouse and I went to the hospital to see her, both enjoying the moment of it not being us this time... and were greeted with the rather unusual sight of my bil cradling his new grandaughter, looking more then slightly bemused. Neither Spouse or bil are particularly baby-orientated but it was highly amusing to watch some latent caveman protective tendency coming out in them, as they seemed to be more besotted then we girlies were. (Mind you, we girlies know what it's all about and they really really don't).

After the baby was duly admired, we went home to pick up the big ones from Brownies and report back to mil on the beauty of her new great-grandchild. And then it was down to the serious stuff, and we all raised a glass or two (or three) to welcome the new arrival, which was all fine and dandy, but probably not the best move in the middle of the week.

It was only when I woke up late the next morning with a very sore head, and in a rush to get the offspring to school, that I finally came to realise that perhaps this wetting the baby's head thing isn't all it's cracked up to be...

For Ruth and Imogen, with lovexxx


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