If you were so inclined, you could spend the entire 9 months between conception and birth reading book after book, each of which ‘guarantees’ to give you the authoritative and complete lowdown on the whole baby ‘experience’.
They are, I am sure, a positive thing – I’m not a fan of these manuals myself, but that’s just personal preference; I think there’s a point where preparation can teeter into obsession. That said, there’s a topic that none of these baby books devotes so much as a word to:
THE ‘POO FACE’
We all have a ‘Poo Face’.
Sorry, but it’s true; it’s the face we pull when we poo.
The thing is, before we become parents, most of us never see a ‘Poo Face’ in our day to to day lives.
In our society defecation is a solitary activity, so we don’t get to see others pulling their poo faces, and since we don’t, generally, poo in front of a mirror (if you do, you’re a bit weird) we don’t get to see our own either!
Essentially, we’re not familiar with ‘Poo Faces’ at all.
Where am I going with this?
Simply that parents are prepared for all aspects of life with their little one when it arrives, except for how to react to the ‘Poo Face’.
You’ll be eating dinner, with your extended family, making quiet conversation and agreeing that the baby does indeed look a lot like Great Uncle Arnold when suddenly, in your midst, you’ve got a gurning ‘Poo Face’ that would make Les Dawson proud.
What do you do?
What is the etiquette around the ‘Poo Face’?
Do you ignore it and carry on chatting?
Do you draw attention to it and turn the tide of conversation towards the uniformity of your child’s bowel movements?
Or do you laugh at it?
I must admit I fall into the latter category
I just can’t believe that our society, so heavy in its emphasis upon the hard work parents must endure, doesn’t say to prospective mums and dads:
“It’s all bloody hard work, but don’t worry you’ve still got the ‘Poo Faces’ to look forward to. They’re like a mini oasis of comedy dropping into the drudgery of parenting each and every day.”
OK, so some will say I’m puerile.
Perhaps I am. I do enjoy watching YouTube clips of people falling over – I’m not proud.
But I’m also proud of the laughter generated by the ‘Poo Faces’ I’ve experienced since becoming a dad!
It just surprises me that I’m the only one!