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Tuesday 3rd May 2016


I’d been looking after Phoebe for a few hours so was looking forward to dumping her off at nursery so some other poor sap had to take care of her. But her morning nap went on for ages and we were already over an hour late for the afternoon slot when we set off from home. It’s a good 25 minutes walk and I sang to my daughter to try to keep her spirits up. She has a bit of a nasty cough and every now and again looked like she had stopped breathing or like she was doing a poo. I hoped it was the former so I wouldn’t have to do the nappy (this is a lie. Not only do I want my daughter to keep breathing I actually pretty much enjoy all the wee and poos. Especially when my tiny daughter lays an impressively huge turd in her potty. It’s the proudest of her that I can possibly be). If she waited a bit longer I could pretend I hadn’t noticed the poo and the people at the nursery could deal with it. But if she stopped breathing I’d probably have to try and deal with that myself. We did a First Aid course a few months before Phoebe was born, but I am not sure I really remember much of that. I think I have a vague idea what to do if she is choking on something, but not if she just conks out.

But again I was now only a few hundred metres away from leaving her in the hands of people who hopefully knew how to do first aid and in any case, she was still breathing, so I was dad of the year.

She coughed again and I spotted a bit of phlegm in her mouth, so hoped that she might have brought up what was bothering her. So I got out a hankie and told her to spit it out. She seems to understand most things now, even though her own babble isn’t really distinguishable as words (though she occasionally seems to pretty much count to five) and indeed seemed to make an effort to empty her mouth. But a bit of sick came out too and then a bit more and then a lot of sick. We were maybe four minutes from the nursery and freedom, but my baby was covered in puke and I had no spare baby costume (as I like to call her clothes) and indeed found out that I’d also let the wipes at home (this morning I had forgotten to bring any hankies and so used a wipe to clean up some snot, but then left them on the table at home). I had two hankies, but that wasn’t really enough to clean up the vomit. And I couldn’t take a puke covered baby into the nursery. I had to take her home. And by the time I’d got her home and cleaned her up it wasn’t going to be worth bringing her back to the nursery. 

You have to pay for the nursery even if you don’t show up or your kid is too ill to attend. It’s the gamble they play. They might have to look after some babies, but if things go their way they just get free money. Like Steve McQueen in the Great Escape I had got my motorcycle (pram) to the border (pub near the nursery) but I was not going to get away.

So you win this time nursery. I had to clean the sick off the pram and in doing so discovered the seat is detachable and all sorts of stuff (as well as vomit) had seeped down the back. It wasn’t as impressive as an adult sized poo emerging from a tiny baby. 

Luckily Phoebe seemed OK once she’d hurled her lunch up and I could hear her squealing with delight as she played with her mum downstairs. Tiny idiot. Only 17 years to go and I am free of this nightmare.

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