Opinion

What happens when you're left holding the baby

SOUND ASLEEP: Good baby behaviour goes out the door with mum, says Frederick.
SOUND ASLEEP: Good baby behaviour goes out the door with mum, says Frederick. Contributed

MOTHERS are marvellous.

Completely self-sacrificing for their children. Loving, loyal and unashamedly blatant liars.

Too harsh? I might have thought so if a mother had not pushed her way into my home and plonked her kid in my arms.

Several backpacks and a suitcase were carelessly thrown on the polished surface of my dining room table, regardless of the pristine surface.

Possibly she was a granddaughter or niece or a sister of my wife but I was too shocked at having to suddenly hold a strange child to recall her.

Immediately the mother started lying.

"He has just been fed and has a clean nappy. Just put him to bed and he will sleep until I get back from shopping."

Here her falsehoods became more obvious.

"I shall only be a half hour, possibly three-quarters of an hour at the most."

Talk about bull dust. When did any woman ever manage to limit her spending of her husband's money to just one hour?

At this she promptly disappeared out the front door and right on his cue, her boy started screaming.

In vain I thrust a bottle into his mouth. No result.

Perhaps his mother's departure had caused him to have an accident, I reasoned, and lowered his nappy. A great mistake.

The nappy, according to the manufacturer, would hold all the baby's disposals for up to three hours. I doubt this kid's nappy had been changed in three months.

By wearing a handkerchief liberally soaked in rum to reduce the stink, I managed to change his underpants. In revenge I hid the soiled nappy in one of the mother's bags.

He continued screaming.

Another bottle was no help though I drank the rum quickly. A nursery rhyme sung by my own voice failed to stop his yells though it is capable of moving strong men to tears when rendering Jingle Bells.

I tried showing the kid our bulldog but the coward ran whimpering when the baby bit it.

After hours of lugging the kid around, convinced my arms must fall off, he suddenly stopped.

Immediately the front door opened and his mother appeared.

"I told you he would sleep at the time I was away," she beamed. "You have enjoyed having him so much I must bring him around more often."

With that she gathered up the child, her bags and was gone before I could think of a reply.

I turned about, thoroughly exhausted.

It was then I saw she left the kid's dirty nappy on my dining room table.

Topics:  columns, fred archer, frederick frankly, opinion


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