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Inside room, some mystical being ran around room telling all of mums that a ‘father-alone’ was out and about! Upon entering heads swiveled in my direction, a series of forces pushing bodies towards me and unwanted advice started to escape from mouths. Once past I could hear whisperings, stories being generated and past on; a fictional myth growing in reality to become truth in mind! I shut myself off, warded off numerous hands that where heading towards my sons cheeks like locusts, barged through with forced smiles and “no thanks”, and managed to get to water machine. I smiled politely to lady who showed me how to press button for hot water, grimaced when told that milk I had made was too hot (how did she know?) and nearly barked when asked “is wife in not well dear”!
These kindly mums, whose husbands obviously knew nothing about how to change a nappy or feed a baby his milk, had my son crying within five minutes. He doesn’t like attention in form of searching hands. He especially doesn’t like getting his cheek pinched or chin chucked! I felt like shouting “give him air” or wading in with elbows to rescue him but they were all so well-meaning, these poor mums! Needless to say that as my sons screaming and bawling intensified to maximum pitch mums turned to me as one as if to say “look at poor man, doesn’t know how to look after his baby”.
Naturally as they confirmed their belief that I was totally inept and useless, wandering hands gained purpose and started to lift my baby out of pram to offer him comfort – my son hates strangers holding him! Well, I made a run for it, I grabbed baby in mid-air, swiveled pram around on a sixpence, closed my eyes tight and charged for door, throwing aside mothers like pins at bowling alley!
I went to men’s toilet to change my son’s nappy! At least in sanctity within, nobody talked to me, no advice was freely given and no insects to ward off. Naturally, looks of sympathy and confusion were issued freely, stories would abound later as husbands rushed to tell their wives about “poor sad man with baby” – but who cares, just don’t talk to me about it.
I suppose all is not so bad! A new dimension opened up, one that it would be best if my wife knew nothing about! I have never in my life had so many young ladies (ones who wouldn’t know what inside of a baby changing room looked like) surrounding me; albeit they were cooing at my son but ……… something about single men with babies must be an attraction. Anyway, I always enjoyed their reaction when saying loudly, “ah, here’s my wife coming now”, desertion was abrupt and complete! I know how to handle that one; it’s rest that bothers me!
Author and Webmaster of Seamania. As a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy he has sailed the world for fifteen years. Now living in Taiwan he writes about cultures across the globe and life as he sees it.