When our first child was born, the stars twinkled and all the flowers blossomed. It was spring; our promising future filled the air. We were in love, we had cool hair...and a brand new baby daughter.
The infant girl was perfect. I dressed her up in old fashioned baby clothes, kinda vintage, with lace dresses and Victorian bonnets. She never cried, except when she wanted feeding. I used to joke that “sleeping like a baby” actually meant “waking up every two hours”. Hur hur hur.
After two months of Sleepus Interruptus, reality kicked in. Life as we knew it was OVER. Forget about cool hair.
We were living in London at the time, and it happened that we drove down to Penzance in Cornwall to visit my mother-in-law. One evening, The Huz suggested we go out to the pub and have a civilized pint. I wanted to go... but I couldn’t leave my baby alone with anyone, not even my MIL. I just wasn’t ready yet. So we decided to see if the pub would let us in with our baby.
Out we went with our tiny daughter in her pram. She’d just been fed so she was quietly blissed out.
We walked along until we came to a really nice old pub called The Admiral Benbow. And in we went with the pram. The barman marched right up to us and said we couldn’t come into the pub with a baby. The Huz looked him right in the eye and said,
“That’s not a baby. That’s a doll.”
The two men stared at one another.
The Huz raised one of his eye brows.
The barman glanced down at the pram.
What he saw there was a Victorian bonnet with tiny silken eyelashes resting on a pink porcelain cheek, perfect rosebud lips mutely dream-sucking, and an impossibly dimpled hand on the lace blanket.
The barman turned back to us, and said:
“What a beautiful doll. Please have a seat.”
Judge me if you want, but I'm sure a fair number of you have snuck your baby into a pub.
She's twenty-one today. So much more than a doll, and able to go to pubs all by herself. Happy Birthday !