Trips out are pretty dire. Firstly, my parents have got this kind of grotty old estate car so I never get to arrive anywhere in style; there’s all this faffing about with the car seat and the seatbelt. And then they’ve put one of those mirrors right up in my grill, so that rather than admire the views all I can see is Mum looking at me through her mirror into my mirror and I want to shout, ‘Don’t worry about me love. You just keep your eyes on the road, thank you.’ I mean, Mum’s driving – blimey! She seems to think that the car seat is this magical sleeping device but the truth is that her hurtling is so bad that I usually just keep my eyes closed so that I can concentrate on not vomiting.
And once we’ve diced with death, it never seems to me that we actually turn up anywhere good. One day Mum took me into work – I mean, of all the places. I thought the whole point of having a baby is so you don’t have to actually go there. But oh no! It turns out the point of having a baby is so you CAN go into work, but not to actually do work, just to swan about, handing the baby round to absolutely everyone and grinning about the fact that you’ve got a year off.
Anyway, on this occasion, the man-handling went on for about half an hour before Mum finally put her coat back on. It was only then that I thought, ‘Thank goodness. We might actually leave this place.’ But then, from out of nowhere, this older women piped up:
“Going so soon? Are you sure you’ve passed her round enough? Has everyone had a cuddle?”
Just like that she said it. As if everyone had a right to a cuddle. And then as if she was some kind of oracle, my mum meekly took her coat off again and handed me to a whole other table of women. I mean, you wouldn’t let just anyone grab your dog, would you? Maybe babies should learn to bite.
Then there was the NCT reunion. I didn’t get passed round at that, thank God. I guess everyone had their own baby to hold so there wasn’t quite the same need, but they did do this really twee thing where they lined us all up on a picnic blanket like prize cheeses or something and all the parents stood round trying to take photos that made their baby look the cutest. And while all this was going on, this one kid started nuzzling right into me and all the adults were like ‘Oh look at those two. How sweet!’ and I was just thinking, ‘Can whoever owns this kid just pick him up and get his nose out of my hairdo?’
But the most ridiculous day of all was when Mum and Dad took me to meet Santa. We had to queue for what felt like hours in some village hall and then, when we finally got to the front, the old guy looked like he was going to have a heart attack. It was literally as if he had never seen a baby before in his life. Mum just kind of plonked me on his lap, he absolutely froze in fear and I ended up getting my leg caught in this really uncomfortable position while everyone took photos. Santa just sweated away, worried that if he moved my head might fall off or something. Then he handed Dad a chocolate selection box for me. And I thought, ‘How stupid!’ I’d heard Santa was supposed to get you something you wanted and I’m clearly not on solids yet.