Friday, 6 September 2013

PUB + NEWBORN = A COCKTAIL OF DISASTER

OK, I was misguided. Taking a two-month old to the pub on a Sunday was ambitious. Doing it two Sundays in a row (in hindsight) was stupidity. On the third Sunday, we rested.

But here’s what happened on Sunday #1.


The plan was to meet at the pub with the bubs. Pots and Tots we joked; I knew we’d be drinking pints. We were all new dads – the point of the Sunday afternoon catch-up was to get out and about in our new roles and to give our partners a break.


With feeds and sleeps in mind, the whole day was calculated to the point where I was confident the boy wouldn’t wake up, and wouldn’t need a feed while I was out. (I did have a bottle of expressed milk with me, just in case). I got on and off the train, to plan, walked to the pub’s door, as scheduled, arriving on time.


But from that moment the experience was nothing but humbling. My first challenge was getting in, and to the bar. I chose the pram option, so he could remain horizontal as he slept, but it didn't take long for me to r
egret that decision. The pub’s ground floor was closed and the only bar open was at the top of a flight of 30 steps. My mates were running late so I hung out the front trying not to appear desperate and pathetic. I could have asked a fellow punter for a lift, but ... well, the pride thing, and I didn’t want people to think I was that desperate to get into a pub.


The pub ... upstairs.
When we finally made it in, the little man’s eyes snapped open. It was like his time had come, his destiny. His one moment to shine. It was the noise. Too loud. The soothing babble of beer-soaked bruisers and their wine-dot friends was not so soothing. I was drinking with disaster. It was witching hour.

... downstairs.
He stayed awake. He protested being imprisoned in his bassinette which meant I had to hold him. The. Whole. Time. Without the random tipsy young woman coming over for a touch and a squeeze I might have been able to settle him. But that didn’t happen. He squirmed, grizzled, complained – his eyes told me he wasn’t enjoying it. He was sweaty, clammy and sick of it. I felt pre-occupied and distracted from the conversation my mates were having (their children were either asleep or left at home with their mum).

After 90 minutes of jerky rocking and obsessive shooshing it was approaching feeding time. Blame my stubbornness for staying at the pub for my allotted time (three hours), but I was intent on convincing myself that my son had a rightful place alongside me at any social event. And so, empowered by my own misjudgement, I went to feed him. I needed a coffee cup of hot water to warm the milk to room temperature. Not wanting to interrupt the ‘old-times’ conversation my mates were having, I absented myself and carried my son to the bar with me. I hoped his public disdain for the situation would help me get served first and it worked. It was a rare triumph for the excursion.


... and everywhere stairs.
As the bottle went into his mouth, my wife phoned. ‘How’s it going?’ She had been excited all afternoon, both for the fact I was going out to catch up with other dads and also for the opportunity to enjoy a rare hour of therapeutic swimming. ‘Great’. I sounded confident. The others laughed. ‘Where are you at the moment? If you happen to be driving past, do you want to pick me up?’ It was a plea. She could sense it. She turned the car around and came to rescue me.

I got in the car. ‘Well that was a fucking disaster.’ She laughed, but didn’t seem surprised. ‘I couldn’t follow the conversation. He was awake the whole time. Yeah, the whole time. I couldn’t even finish a beer. I think we had three rounds and I just couldn’t keep up. It was ridiculous.’


...and then she said it. The four words that brought me down to earth. ‘Welcome to my world.’
 

I vowed: ‘Never again'.

2 comments :

  1. Hahaha. Good on you for trying. I love that phrase" Welcome to my world"-my poor hubby has been on the receiving end of that line so many times now. Just keeping him on his toes. Did bubba sleep well on the drive home? or did he scream his lungs out from over tiredness? It can go either way...

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    1. Mummy Manifesto, he screamed his lungs out. There is a silver lining though - he was so tired as a result of being awake for such a long time, that he slept for 9 hours straight. The same thing happened the following weekend...disastrous pub sesh, followed by an 8-hour sleep.

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