The First Two Months Over

To celebrate our son being on earth for 8 weeks, poor young Theo is spiked twice, once in each thigh, by a nurse. Ouch. I was not there at the time he had his first inoculations, as I was at work, but Willy emailed me later to say how brave he had been (and her as well) and not cried for more than a moment. I was a basket case at work, worrying about both of them, picturing horrific images of needles and blood and screaming.
It is a big milestone this one: we can safely say as parents that we have succeeded in keeping our baby alive and well, and the first month wasn’t just luck. Theo did not starve; was not dropped or in any way damaged by an accident; did not contract any deadly or nasty diseases; was not neglected in any way, shape or form. A round of applause I think is necessary at this point. I know what you are thinking: big deal; and I suppose you are right, but not being naturally maternal or paternal people, we have tried harder at this than anything we did in the past… and we did not fail.
Also during this time we did our first big supermarket shop. Since Theo was born we had using online shopping for our weekly food shop, but in order to get back to some sort of normality, we attempted a Sunday morning big shop. Before Theo, this was not a thing to worry about, but now it took on the shape of an expedition.
The first issue is getting all three of us ready to go out. I have touched on this before, but in a nutshell you need to ensure baby is clean and fed. If he isn’t then within the next 30 minutes he will tell you and everyone else in the shop about it. You also need your bag of baby paraphernalia, containing things for every possible eventuality: nappies, changes of clothing, wipes, bottles, milk, cartons, change mats, muslin clothes, terry clothes etc.
Driving is no longer a problem. Theo doesn’t mind being confined into a carseat and likes to look out the window or be rocked to sleep. Willy now even sits in the front seat, rather than in the backseat next to Theo. Proof that she isn’t worrying quite as much as she used to.
Parking is the next hurdle. Not normally a problem as there are dozens and dozens of spaces, however, there are only perhaps twenty parent and child spaces, and these are usually full. Sometimes by bona fide parents and children, but generally by transit vans, business men and people so full of self-importance that they believe the world owes them a big space near the door… not thinking that the reason the big spaces are there is so people with babies can get the pushchair or carseat out and get a trolley with an appropriate anchoring system or babyseat with a bit more ease. I wish sometimes I could pour paint all over these cars as a badge of their utter inconsiderate ignorance. Another point is even if you park in a normal space, that is away from everyone else and has a space either side, when you get back to your car, some sod will be right next to you, blocking the door you need space to get in. This is sod’s law.
Trollies. If supermarkets have a heart, then it is in the right place. They have learned that families with babies still need to shop and have now provided trollies with a babyseat, or a shelf on which you can place your carseat. Thank you. However, all is not always well. Often you find these trollies are broken, or the strap is missing, or the wheel is twisted, or there are just not enough of them. I wish they took more notice of broken trollies, so you don’t have to sort the good from the bad while your baby waits, on the verge of hysteria (or this is what you think they are doing, which leads me on to the last hurdle…)
Getting around the shop before he goes mad. As you shop, you have one eye on the food and household stuff you are buying and the other on your baby. You think that at any moment he will get sick of being strapped to a trolley and will cry and scream and generally make a scene. Being a sensible English man, this is my worst fear; not just that my baby is upset, but that I am the centre of unwanted attention and everyone is looking at me, shaking their heads and questioning my parenting skills.
As it turns out Theo is relaxed and content the whole way round. The only attention we get is focused on his amazing giraffe slippers.

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