Public Oddity (or, the weird things you get to do in public now you have a pram)

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The babymakers. Being in possession of an infant allows one to get away with all kinds of public behaviours more generally frowned upon in polite society. So if you’ve ever wanted licence to act like a complete loon, simply borrow a baby and feel free to:

Talk to yourself!
If you’re pushing a pram and feel like having a little conversation, simply lean slightly forwards towards the buggy seat and you can babble away to your heart’s content. People will assume you are cooing sweet nothings to your little one, even if your baby is asleep or, indeed, absent. You can, of course, go the traditional baby-centric conversational route (“Who’s my cutie darling etc etc?”), but given that it will be a couple of years before you get any kind of meaningful response you might as well chat in a manner that pleases yourself, vis:

  • “Arsene’s got a mountain to climb with these last four league matches, hasn’t he? Yes he has, yes he has!”
  • “Jeremy Hunt is a vile human being* isn’t he? Yes he is, yes he is!”
  • “Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt, didn’t he? Yes he did, yes he did!”

Or whatever you fancy, really. Nobody will care or even take notice, even if you start plotting the downfall of Western civilsation out loud, which I sometimes like to do in Tesco.

*we use this term advisedly; we’re trying to cut down on swears.

Sing in public!
Admittedly, this was something I did fairly regularly before Scarlett came into the world, but now I can sing whatever I want, whenever I want, in whichever biscuit emporium I’m in and ain’t nobody can complain. Maybe one of these popular songs about babying? Or something by Joy Division, whichever comes more naturally.

Pro tip: when your husband has the buggy and you break away for a trip down to the nappy aisle, consider whether you want to keep singing “Don’t Worry Be Nappy” at the same volume you were belting it out previously. People might actually talk.

Pull silly faces!
Actually, that’s just my face.

Discuss the finer points of excrement!
I don’t know why parenting allows one to cross this particular line, but talking about poo is no longer taboo once you own an apple-cheeked little scat-machine that fills your senses with horror as often as she fills your heart with joy. Quantity, consistency, colour and what the crime-procedural Dexter calls “spatter” are all up for polite* conversation these days. Parents of newborns: if you think you talk a lot about poo now, just wait until your little angel starts on solids.

*see above

Go on the swings!
I absolutely have to, my daughter is far too young to sit on this seat alone and unaccompanied. Also this roundabout. And this see-saw, deffo this see-saw. Weeeeee! (If anybody knows of a slide I could fit onto comfortably this end of the UK, please let me know).

Make up names of wildfowl!
I’m getting in on the ground floor with this one so that my daughter has minimal expectations of her mother’s knowledge of the local fauna once she’s old enough to actually ask me what they are. Some kind of duck? Quacky McQuackface, I think they’re called. All of them.

Use generally absurd terminology!
I’m quite into the idea of promoting language development by modelling real words and phrases and all that malarkey, but what you have to remember is that Scarlett is teething right now and I haven’t slept since March. So everything is either an oopsie-mewpsie or a bit mewp right now, and you can’t judge me for that because I said so.

What nonsensical shenanigans do you get up to with your little ones? Answers on the back of a used braincell, or in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “Public Oddity (or, the weird things you get to do in public now you have a pram)

  1. Sniffing bottoms. Never used to sniff other people’s bottoms in public, but when you have a baby you hold said baby aloft to sniff whether that bad smell was just gas, or had follow-through. Intrinsically linked with talking about poo – sniffing for it

  2. GO INSANE: Einstein (my son) is regularly handed breadsticks only to throw them on the floor in disgust. Rather than learn from this, I simply repeat the process a few times. The outcome is the same, a small pile of food appears under the table and yet I persist expecting a different result.

  3. Pingback: Now we are nearly one | Baby plus two

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