I mean what kind of parents think that taking a baby into a heaving pub is acceptable behaviour?
I’m not sure – and we’ve just done it.
I’ve always wondered about parents of new-borns taking their kids to pubs. Is it a middle finger to all the people who have warned you that by having a child your social life is over? Is it a statement of intent that you will not let this tiny human being de-rail your idea of a good time? Or is it simpler than that – maybe you just fancy a drink with mates?
We were invited to a friends’ birthday drinks when Theo was around one month old. It was still the stage when putting on the baby holder and carrying him on our stomach was new/daunting/downright weird. There was obviously the option to just not go but we thought we’d throw caution to the wind and be ‘those parents’ – the ones not letting their baby change their lifestyle. (How Naïve)
What I hadn’t considered was how busy the pub would be. This was no sit, relax and enjoy your drink in a spacious beer garden affair. Oh no, picture a small old-fashioned pub and then picture 200 half cut yuppies trying to squeeze into it. And of course, us, carrying our prized possession.
As I treaded nervously through packed corridors with my arms stretched in front of me fending people off, my main thought was this is ridiculous. I was putting my own needs in front of my child’s. I. AM. A. BAD. PARENT.
These thoughts strengthened when someone handed me a pint of Guinness. Malcom Turnbull eat your heart out. I couldn’t see that anything good could come of the situation and with the noise levels as loud as they were, I assumed that Theo would be most distressed. I made up my mind that we would leave as soon as possible.
And then Theo fell asleep.
I couldn’t believe that this environment could allow anyone or anything to get forty winks, but there and then he showed no signs whatsoever of discomfort and nodded off. With each sip of Guinness I gradually felt that the person who was most distressed about having my child with us was me. Friends came up and chatted and were genuinely thrilled to have a glimpse of our tiny, sleeping bub.
You see, when you have a newborn, it’s not all about you and it’s not even all about the baby. It’s about how that baby fits into your whole life. Friends and family are keener than ever to see you and are well aware of your new limitations. Any opportunity they can get to check on Katie and to see Theo (Dad is clearly bottom of the list, but that’s OK) is always appreciated.
We stayed for maybe two hours maximum and once I’d stopped analysing everything, a good time was had by all. As we left, the party was just getting started – some people were pleased with this, others wanted to head off but felt like they needed to stay longer. I will say that there is one HUGE advantage of going to any party/gathering with your baby though – and that is NO ONE questions you if you want to leave early. In your mid-thirties, that’s not a bad trick to have up your sleeve.