December 3rd 2013 |
Gentlemen, be warned! Parenthood can strike at any time, often with as little as nine months’ notice.
With this in mind, the gent should prepare himself for those occasions where he suddenly finds himself a father. These preparations, the gent should take care to note, do NOT involve a large trunk of clothes, a recently procured passport under a false name, and a one-way ticket to Argentina. The gentleman must take full parental responsibility.
Not so very long ago, the gentleman would see his offspring once just after the birth, then pack the little blighter off to boarding school and next clap eyes on the adult version at his regimental passing-out parade, or giving her away in marriage to the Colonel’s son.
However, times have changed, and the modern gentleman is now expected to play a full and involved role in the upbringing of the fruit of his loins. There are some people who say this is A Good Thing, but they went to comprehensive schools, trendy colleges and write opinion pieces for the Guardian, so what do they know?
The modern man, then, realises that parenthood is an equal partnership, shared between himself and his partner, all under the dominance of the tyrannical screaming and vomit machine they have just produced. New-born babies are simple creatures, and their wailing is by-and-large down to two factors:
• In need of food going in at the top
• In need of clearing up things coming out of the bottom
The feeding is the easy part, especially if the child is being breastfed. It is only fair, then, that the gent takes his fair share of the nappy duties, which should NOT be passed off onto the butler, serving staff, or somebody dragged off the streets with the exhortation “I’ll give you any money”.
Luckily, 99% of nappies these days are disposable, so they are a mere matter of ripping open the Velcro tabs, wiping and drying the fall-out zone and putting on the new one.
However, the potential hazards are many. Chief among these are:
The Fountain: Exposed to the cold air, the child’s instinct is to pass water again, often at great force. If you are leaning over the baby at this time, remember to keep your mouth shut
The Swamp: The child has done number ones and number twos, then danced about like a drunken John Travolta. Have a professional grade respirator ready, for the smell will stop a rhino in its tracks. You may also need a whole packet of wet wipes.
These are all well and good in the home, but you must be prepared to carry out a furtive nappy change in public places. For example, the frozen food aisle in Waitrose, the lounge at the Athenaeum Club, or the royal box as Ascot.
However, the well-prepared gentleman is ready for these eventualities through months of training; and like a good rifleman who can dismantle, clean and re-assemble his weapon in the dark, so it shall be with nappies. Welcome to parenthood.