Once upon a time, all a young girl had to do to find a spouse, was to have a quick walk around the village and pick out a boy who still had his teeth and wasn’t too closely related. Then, when the baby came along, she’d find herself tripping over competing grannies, aunties, and nieces, all willing to babysit so she could nip out for a quick cider.
Nowadays, however, having your first baby is more likely to coincide with your sister volunteering for the VSO and your parents retiring to the Canaries. This can make finding a babysitter troublesome. But don’t worry – if, as the year drags by, you lower your criteria for a babysitter to include anyone who isn’t electronically tagged, you should finally be able to arrange a well-deserved night out.
This may seem like a girlie cliché but, to be fair, it’s probably been a while since you last wore your little black dress (possibly not since that fateful night when you slurred lovingly into your partner’s ear, ‘Yez, lez do it… Lez go make a baby’). So, in all likelihood you’ll need something at least one size up.
There are two options. You could take a risk and buy mail order, or you could use one of those rare, ‘just fed, just changed, don’t need feeding again just yet’ windows of opportunity, and take your baby with you to go clothes shopping.
For the latter, the following points are worth bearing in mind. Whilst choosing to carry Baby in a sling does make for better manoeuvrability when cruising through densely packed clothes rails, it doesn’t make for a very fashionable accessory when trying on those little black dresses.
Opting to take the pram, on the other hand, means unintentionally knocking a good third of the shop’s stock onto the floor and then reversing over it when backing up to let some other less encumbered shopper pass.
In fact, due to the instant gridlock that one pushchair in a clothes shop is prone to cause, it is easier to just keep moving. In which case, grab anything in passing that doesn’t look like it’s dry clean only, and head for the changing rooms.
Once at the changing rooms, either:
1. Leave the pushchair outside the miniscule cubicle and proceed to undress, try on garment, glance in mirror, take off garment, redress – all in 3.5 seconds whilst your baby perfects his howls of abandonment to the consternation of the other customers.
2. Wedge the pushchair into the cubicle with you, then proceed to follow the above procedure whilst Baby uses the security tag for a teething ring and threatens to projectile vomit all over the optimistically skimpy silk blouse you grabbed on the way in.
N.B. Beware the ‘Nothing to Declare’ Syndrome: As you leave the cubicle, try not to dwell on the fact that pushchairs have previously been used to conceal stolen goods.
You may remember a time when getting ready to go out for the evening involved such things as, a long bath, a glass of wine and your bedroom elegantly strewn with costume options. Aim lower.
On average, the time left between Baby finally settling with the babysitter and your partner beginning to pace up and down by the front door like a demented lab rat, is about 30 seconds. So be prepared to start applying makeup in the back of cabs whilst passing under street lamps, and turning up at your destination in Little Black Dress II with a not-so-matching handbag full of half eaten rusks, teething rings and your child’s favourite comforter that she’ll realise is missing – just about now.
Don’t get a hangover – no really, don’t get a hangover.
Hi! I'm Lori, I love being a mother. Becoming a parent basically means unleashing your inner superhuman. While it may seem like rocket science, everything can be learned in time. It may not be the most glorious job you can perfect overnight, but it’s the most rewarding job of all time.