My other half seems to think that a large proportion of my maternity leave is spent having ‘lunch with the girls’. He thinks that this is a very relaxing way to spend my maternity leave! Here are my top tips I shared with him so that one day he will be able to bask in the relaxation that is lunch with the girls with baby in tow.
Every single time I am about to leave to go somewhere nice, I can guarantee she will spit up on her little outfit as soon as I open the door. For this reason, I recommend bandana bibs. The main reason for this is that as soon as she spits up on the way out of the house when I’m already running 15 minutes late, I can whack one of these on over the wet patch and she still looks presentable.
Generally-pre baby-if someone said where would I like to go, I’d reply with something along the lines of “Any cafe with food and coffee and preferably cake will do!”. Now, if you are meeting “mum friends” then usually it will be somewhere pram friendly/baby friendly. You might be able navigate the buggy through to your table no problem. If not, you might have to say “excuse me, sorry!” a million times whilst trying to look suitably apologetic as people stand from their seats to move so you can pass through. If you are not meeting mum friends the chances of having to sit in an achingly hip bar with loud music are dramatically increased. Inversely, this may mean your chance of the baby napping through lunch decreases… I now always suggest a venue.
I am kidding myself if I think she’s sitting anywhere but my knee or hip at the minute. I do like to pretend she will sit in a high chair but she will inevitably end up on the table or in my arms. For this reason I like to choose something that I can eat using one hand only. One hand on my sandwich, one on a wriggling baby. As the baby grabs a handful of sweet potato chips from your friends plate with a saliva covered hand, extol the virtues of baby-led weaning. Ignore the fact that the sweet potato might be deep fried. Also ignore the fact your friend probably isn’t as immune to having baby saliva on her food as you are.
When your baby, who has been passed around like a parcel throws up on your horrified not-a-mum friend’s gorgeous new jacket/shirt/face, smile nonchalantly and pass a muslin as you remove your child from their frozen-in-mid-air arms.
Face screwed up, my darling girl will audibly do the king of poos. To me, it smells of dairy. To others, it smells of rotten cat food. Off you swish to the baby change. “Character building!” you say to baby as you lean into a baby change station equivalent of a festival portaloo…I’ll refer to my previous point-always suggest the venue!
Crying in public
When the baby realises that she is having a relaxing time at ‘lunch with the girls’ and not at home/baby group and starts to scream a piercing scream of screams, simply gaze into the middle distance as inside your embarrassment burns with the intensity of a thousand suns. “Maybe she’s hungry” a stranger will say. Eat a second bite of your sandwich. Instagram what a lovely time you’re having. #girlslunch
relaxation level= A flotation tank. Followed by full body massage. On a beach. In the tropics.