The health visitor came today to check we hadn’t broken the kids already.
I get slightly nervous when people I don’t know come to the house. Not in a sit-in-the-corner-rocking kind of way but more in a shit-I-should’ve-hoovered-that-carpet-on-the-stairs kind of way.
I’m no Hyacinth Bucket but the house definitely wasn’t as clean as it normally is. To be fair, we’ve only been home 10 days and our routine is still more freestyle than an Eminem battle rap. But it was only as I heard her knock at the door I started noticing all the filth. Dust in the corner of the hall floor, a cobweb behind the mirror. And what’s that dubious brown stain on the living room rug? I was worried she’d think we were the real life Twits from the Roald Dahl book.
She came in and we talked about the lads and how they were feeding and then she asked to weigh Zac. As we stripped him off he whazzed all over the sofa, probably trying to shed a couple of ounces like a prize fighter making weight before the big card. Smart man.
I started to mop it up with the sleepsuit he’d been wearing because if nothing else, I’m good at improvising. Well, I call it improvising - my wife has a different word for it.
As I was wiping it up (or smearing it everywhere, to be more accurate) the health visitor innocently commented that kids tend to ruin your furniture. I then chose to share with her the comprehensive and tedious details of the insurance policy on the sofa that covered any accidental stains.
Her eyes glazed over like Joey Essex reading Nietzche when I came out with the line that woke her right up.
‘It’s handy to have though because we drink LOADS of red wine.’
Why was I saying this? For a start, we don’t drink much at all (especially now) and even if we did, why would you volunteer this information to a children’s health visitor? After lifting my foot out of my mouth I lifted Ben out of his Moses basket so he could get weighed.
I was struggling to get his sleepsuit off and the health visitor observed that it was an interesting design and one she’d not seen before. Then it dawned on me that his legs were in the arms and his arms were in the legs - I’d dressed him upside down.
‘Oh god,’ I thought. ‘She’ll probably think I was squiffy on red wine when I dressed him and that’s why I couldn’t even dress my own son properly.’
No wonder he was crying and wriggling with extra vigour this morning. He was trying to tell me something. You’re doing it wrong you stupid man. How can you get legs and arms mixed up you idiot. Imagine I was going to a fancy dress party as a centipede? I’d have 100 arms hanging off my back if you dressed me, moron.
Obviously the real reason for my incompetence was the fact I still haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, but she wasn’t to know that. In my head at least she was definitely noting me down as some dropout booze hound who doesn’t know what day it is.
‘Oh, you’ve dressed him upside down I think’ she politely informed me, a beaming smile on her face. ‘Loads of fellas do that.’
Thank god for that. And what a nice lady.
I looked at the stain again. Was it nutella? I’ll check it later.