Burt, are we fuck-ups? – Verona De Tessant in Away We Go.
Pregnant Verona asks her boyfriend Burt Farlander whilst wrapped in a blanket on the sofa during a black-out. It is probably the one line that every parent-to-be will ask themselves.
It’s scary to think that our parents didn’t know what they were doing when we were born. The interesting parenting decisions they made ( seat-belts weren’t compulsory until the nineties and you know it!), the worries they had (my mum tried to sieve the pips out of the kiwifruit…), the improv they did when we still thought they knew it all.
Now we are the ones getting babies, I see new parents tapdance all the time. Classic example when my cousin and I went on a night out whilst her husband would look after the child in the morning. He fell asleep on the sofa and they got a new mural by blue crayon on their freshly painted white wall. It got even better when the gorgeous child got sick in the zoo and we had to deal with cleaning her up. A challenge for any hungover soul. Not funny at the time, so much funnier now.
Or the time that I had to baby-sit my friends little boys and we are standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive. I could just see it happening: the youngest just looked at me in such a funny way as if he had just seen something he hadn’t before… Before I knew it I had a little hand groping my right breast. Try to keep a straight face when telling him this really is not appropriate behaviour.
My flatmate’s niece had a tiny accident once whilst in her care – these playground things are dangerous- and is encouraged by her evil father to show the scar to anyone willing to listen: ‘ My auntie did this…’ Which is, I would like to clarify, most definitely not true.
Let’s remember that our parents have done it before us, and their parents before them, and we are still alive. We will be fine, the kids will be fine – if anything they bounce a bit.
Yesterday my friend Jess finally became a mummy, today is her own birthday. Happy Birthday lovely, the road has been long, but the fun can begin! I am so very happy for you both: enjoy all the magical moments to come x