Granny was visiting, and because she loves us, but in reality wanted to see Maddie she offered to take us out for tea (the evening meal we Northerners eat, not a hot beverage. Who leaves the house for a cup of tea?!). And because we love seeing Granny and the cost of having a child has left resorting to trying to pay for things with hugs, we happily accepted.
Over the last few months we have been slowly giving Maddie real food. And the current trend is not to mush up the meal into brilliantly smooth baby safe dishes, but to give them pieces of food that literally have you on the edge of your seat with terror as they eat it. Never in my life have I feared a piece of broccoli. Carrot stick….I’ve seen scarier butterflies. But in your seven month old first born’s hand they are lethal. Honestly, you may as well sit them in front of a plug socket with a knife, you would be more relaxed.
The sheer panic when Maddie was eating a banana and gummed off a bit more than she could chew turning her face bright red was not something I expected, but it has left me with an irrational hatred of that bastard Bananaman, and a reluctance to never stop Maddie’s Mummy from breast feeding.
However, a free meal is a free meal and we thought it would be a good idea to try Maddie out on some more solids. At the pub Maddie’s Mummy decided on fish and chips, reasoning that the fish should be soft enough for Maddie, and that she could hold a chip and learn some hand to mouth coordination whilst eating it.
We sat down and immediately I decide that I must try every guest ale available. Because “what if it’s not here next week and I miss it?” I moan, and Maddie’s Mummy, who instinctively takes ownership of the car keys whilst giving an eye roll Judge Judy would be proud of, declines to argue.
Several pints in and I head to the toilet. Dads, we all use public toilets, and although there is nothing in stone (unless Moses forgot to tell us) we all know there is a bathroom law that exists. An unwritten rule which every male should follow. And it is as follows:
· THOU SHALT ALWAYS ENSURE THERE IS ONE URINAL SPACE BETWEEN URINATORS
Simple! So if there are five spaces, most Males will instinctively use one, three and five, or two and four. Either combinations work as long as the rule is adhered to and nobody has to pee next to somebody. For the Mummies out there, just go with me on this one, it’s just one of those things, like your need to go to the toilet in groups of three or more. I mean seriously why is that? Countries have been invaded with less people than the average number of females in a Weathersoon’s loo on a Saturday night, (not that I have ever been in one you understand)
Anyway, I leave Maddie with a mouthful of fish and her Mummy giving me daggers and I head off to the toilet. Now these were nice toilets, you know the kind, two sinks and a random leather wingback chair in the corner should the need for a brandy and a cigar take your fancy mid shit.
There were five urinals, the golden number, but to my horror numbers one and four were taken! Who does that!! What man has gone in there and thought- Number one is taken, and obviously I don’t want number two, but three still seems close….five, well that’s too far away. What if number one nods and mentions the weather? I will be too far away to hear him. I know, number four is ideal. Because the next bloke who enters the toilet then has a decision he simply cannot make.
So I take a slow walk towards the urinals whilst my back teeth are floating because I need to piss so bad. If this were a film the camera would fade out to millions of sums and equations on the screen whizzing around whilst I decide what to do.
In reality it’s a simple decision. Pick a pot to piss in. But there is so much more to it than that. If I pick number two then number one will think I’m odd and do that weird half turn penis hiding thing all men do. But number four may think I’m favouring the other guy. He may be upset I didn’t want to pee next to him. Well let it never be said Maddie’s Daddy never made a tough choice. I settled on number three. Why? Because Screw you number four. You had the choice to keep the world in balance, but you didn’t. And besides, It’s was a nice day outside, and number one may want to discuss that.
After washing my hands and feeling smug I take a seat in the wingback, my throne now I am the king of decisions, but quickly feel a dick so I head back to the table happy to see Maddie chewing on a chip, not so happy to find one floating in my pint, and relieved that she will never have to go through a bathroom hell like the one I just faced.