When you find out that you’re with child you start looking at websites and reading articles that you never thought that you were ever going to need nay be interested in. I had barely peed on the stick when something came through the door for the previous owners of our flat. It was an NCT mag. Now, usually I would have returned to sender or forwarded it like a good girlie but I have to say that this was nicked and read, with interest. I had heard of NCT but my friend had told me that the C didn’t stand for Childbirth, it stood for something else beginning with C. She didn’t have a great experience. We didn’t have tonnes of mates in the area and knew nothing about rearing a child so we thought, “Why not?”. What’s the worst that can happen? I had heard horror stories about NCT. People not getting on, being forced into a group of parents to be with no sense of humour or sense of irony. To say that we were nervous before our first meeting was an understatement. We arrived early as I am a time pedant. Well, I used to be before I had a child. One other couple were there before us and Annie, our lovely NCT lady. We sat down and the nervousness started to come through. Whenever myself or my husband are slightly apprehensive in a situation the comedy comes out, whether it’s appropriate or not. My husband said something truly offensive and then the session ended and we came away thinking that all the other couples hated us and thought we were knobs.
However, as we went to more sessions we relaxed and met up with our group socially and realised that we were bloody lucky with the people that we had been put together with. They all had sense of humours, were scared like we were and bloody good company to boot.( The only time I stepped over the line really badly was when I started talking about prolapse and likened it to a tumble dryer hose being hung out of a utility room window). We had lucked out with our group. Another couple joined too from a coffee morning that some of the other girls had been to, so our group was complete. A bunch of rather good folk.
Over the past couple of years we’ve all been through a lot. Good births, bad births, babies in hospital, babies with allergies, rashes, unexplained tummy upsets and there have been very sad moments too. Everyone pulls together and supports the one that is going through it and the love and kindness from this lot is astounding.
Every year, around the time of the kids birthdays we go away for the weekend. We all book a big house in the country and fill it with travel cots, baby wipes, booze and pasta. This year we all went to West Sussex. The weather was balmy and the children all whizzed round the massive garden and narrowly missed tennis balls on the court as the Dad’s and me smashed them into the foliage. My small person loves the outdoors. She spent all afternoon pushing her dolly round in its buggy, kicking footballs and hitting stuff with sticks. She also discovered that eating grass is a really shit idea.
All the kids had supper, my little lady had a bath with her gentleman friend and they were pretty much down for 7:30. Boom! Dinner was in the oven and just as I sat down with a glass of red the bars on our monitor started flexing up and down. Bugger. I went up and administered a tummy rub and removed the duvet as the temperature was not to her liking. She went back to sleep but there were lots of unsettled noises. In the end I moved her into the day bed covered in pristine white sheets that belonged to the holiday let. At half past ten the monitor bars were going bonkers so I said my goodnights and retired upstairs. I walked in to a scene that all parents dread. My small one on all fours, crying with a dark pile of something in the bed sheets. She had chucked up all of her dinner. At these moments one is faced with a dilemma: do you remove the child or do you deal with the pile of regurgitated fusilli and half eaten carrots from the sheets. I went downstairs and got my husband. This situation needed back up. He took child out of pukey situation and I started the process of stripping the bed. The other problem was that we were also in a room with a very thick, shag pile carpet in a lovely shade of cream. Brilliant. My poor little one had been truly poisoned by something so proceeded to throw up throughout the night. I couldn’t sleep as I had to listen to her stomach going and then had to whip her out of her cot into the cavernous Dirk Diggler bathroom. The last episode finished at 3am and she slept until 6:15. At that point I brought her into the Queen sized bed, her hair smelling of sick and her pyjama bottoms with some collateral damage on them. They actually weren’t her pyjamas either. We had to borrow a pair as I didn’t bank on her getting through three pairs of pyjamas. I mean, spag bol goes everywhere and it’s an absolute bugger to get out. It’s bad enough at home but when you’re away and the owners have taken an £800 deposit, that gives you focus! My friends who were sleeping below us could hear me running several times across the shag pile into the Dirk Diggler bathroom.
In the morning, it was like a scene after a battle. The sun shine through the blinds, the birds were in full song outside the window and there was a bin full of vommy tissue and used baby wipes. All was still. My small one was sprawled across the bed snoring away. Poor little thing. What a ruddy awful night for all concerned. Luckily there was some industrial strength carpet cleaner that removed most of the offending stains. We had got away relatively lightly. Tescos Extra of Fishbourne did extremely well out of me. I spent £50 by panic buying anti bac spray, wipes and hand gel. Also, a twin pack of PJ’s, bed sheets and baby wipes.
All our mates were brilliant. If it been any of the other kids I might have been hinting loudly that they bugger off home as not to spread any bugs but I think that it was pretty obvs that she had been poisoned by something that she had shoved in her mouth from the garden. Who knows? Who knows what makes a toddler empty the contents of their supper on a crisp white bed sheet. Anyway, we had an amazing weekend surrounded by good friends, good wine and good food. Oh, and anti bac. Lots of anti bac.