At some point during the day you realise you have 90 minutes before you are due to meet someone for a social event. Un-be-known to your brain it suddenly realises your baby is nowhere near ready to step out the door.
Surely 90 minutes is suffice time to get your act together. After all, this is the same amount of time as a football match; you could fly to Majorca; you could catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight…and back; you could almost drive to Birmingham from London…in rush hour; you could watch one and a half episodes of Loose Women; you could watch an entire season of Peppa Pig; you could stand in the middle of your lounge and look up to the ceiling for 90 minutes if you wanted to. These are all examples of what you could achieve in the time it takes two parents and a baby to get ready to go out.
30 minutes pass without the parents even noticing and nothing has been done — not even a nappy change. All you now have is an hour. This is where it gets tense and stressful, the ‘running-around-like-a-feral-teenager’ type of situation commences. Basically a clip board comes out to co-ordinate who is to do what, and when: “Right, you sort the bag out; I will straighten my hair”. Says the wife. Husband fails to notice the apparent unfair distribution of tasks to be completed. But he immediately embarks on ‘sorting out the bag’ as a priority.
This bag is basically a large, adult sized suitcase with enough belongings inside to travel the world for a year. Husband looks inside the bag and it appears empty; husband panics, runs upstairs to grab a few nappies and some nappy bags. Stress begins to build because husband is unable to find a packet of wipes. “Where the f*** are the wipes”? Husband shouts to himself. “Where you left them” Wife replies in a very helpful use of the English language. She is straightening her hair.
Husband is now sweating; he bundles the items in to the bag; he finds a change of clothes for baby in the airing cupboard and shoves them in to one of the remaining 27 bag compartments.
Bag is far from complete. “What’s next”? Husband asks himself. Milk and bottle. Husband walks over to the UFO looking steriliser-machine-spaceship thing, and is immediately stressed out by the fact that there are currently no clean bottles inside.
Sweat begins to pour down the side of his face. Wife’s hair is cooking from the straighteners. 11 minutes later all six bottles are washed and placed in to the steriliser spaceship thing to be..well.. sterilised. These are placed to the back of husbands mind.
Husband measures the powdered milk and places the milk in to the holding bay with a lid. Husband places this contraction in the one of the bag’s 26 remaining compartments.
Wife moves on to administering her make-up, whilst singing a Bruno Mars song. Puddles of husband’s sweat build up sporadically throughout the house. “Where’s the baby”? Husband asks himself. Baby is busy grabbing DVD’s from the cupboard and placing them on the floor, in what appears to be a very messy looking pile. Husband picks baby up to give her a nappy change. He takes baby upstairs and places her on the changing mat, he grabs a nappy and a bag. “Where are the f****** wipes”? He shouts in frustration. “Inside the baby bag…which is downstairs I’m afraid, mate.” His brain responds.
Husband runs downstairs to grab the wipes from the bag, runs back upstairs to change baby. Total calories burnt in this section: 97. Time left until departure: no idea.
Baby is now fresh. So is Wife. Wife’s next objective is to choose a pair of shoes suitable for her outfit. Husband’s mind is brewing on meltdown, literally shutting down. Sweat levels inside the house are at ankle depth. Sugar and salt levels inside husband are teetering dangerously low.
Toys are next, but these are required to be placed inside a separate bag. A set of toys are selected, usually ones which baby never even looks at, let alone plays with. In they go.
Next up: major food items for baby’s lunch. Husband scans the kitchen for items of interest – he finds some cheese, a yoghurt, a biscuit and some bread sticks. His next problem is finding suitable containers to place them in. “Where are all the containers”? Husband asks wife. “The same place they always are”. A typically aggravating comment from wife. Husband should never had asked the question. He eventually finds small containers with a large lid, large containers with no lids and lids with no containers. He meticulously plans which food item is to go in to which suitably sized container and immediately discovers this is nigh on impossible. The biscuit is too large for the large container; the small yoghurt is too large to fit in the small container and there are too many bread sticks to fit anywhere. To show his annoyance, husband simply squashes them all in to fit.
Miscellaneous items such as Calpol, Sudocrem and spoon are also placed in to remaining compartments of baby bag.
Wife still struggles to find a suitable pair of shoes – she is currently trying on her fourth pair. Husband calories burnt: 187.
“Can you look after baby whilst I go to the toilet?” husband requests. “Can’t you put her in the cot as I am busy”, wife replies. In a huff, husband picks up baby, runs upstairs and puts baby in cot. Baby screams the place down. Husband launches himself in to the bathroom almost wetting himself in the process. He rushes his wee as things still need to be completed before they head out. Baby is screaming; wife moves on to sixth pair of shoes. “I’m going to wear these ones, I think”. Husband hears wife from downstairs as he washes his hands.
Husband picks baby up and makes his way downstairs, swimming through the sweat.
Husband and wife feel as though they are ready. Husband, baby and the two bags line up for wife’s military inspection. Wife looks beautiful, as does baby. Husband looks as though he has run a marathon straight from bed. He is a broken man. He stops to attention. Wife walks over to bag and begins the inspection, “How many times do I have to tell you – nappies go in this compartment….her change of clothes aren’t folded neatly…where are her wipes?…where is her bottle? For goodness sake husband, what have you been doing? I may as well have just done it myself”.
Wife walks upstairs to grab the wipes, then walks back downstairs to grab a bottle from the steriliser spaceship and places them in to the bag. At the same time she re-arranges the bags contents.
Husband, wife and baby are now ready to step outside for their planned social gathering with someone. Wife opens the door, the sweat spills off on to the street and off they trot for that social gathering…