The first in a series of Single Income No Kid observations
One of the unforeseen consequences of a friend having a baby is that you will never again have their undivided attention.
You will never be able to chat about work over a coffee or men over a bottle.
No, a baby ushers in the era of the Uninvited Third Person.
“So we decided that she really should have the operation,” you say as you and your friend and U3P walk along a country lane.
“Did you drop your glovie? Did you drop your glovie?” comes your friend’s high pitched, less-than-considered response.
Er, no, you answer in your head. And what’s that got to do with pacemakers?
“Yes, you did. Shall we find it?”
The 2ft gatecrasher grins up at you. He has robbed you of her attention because his glove is of a thousand times more consequence than your mother’s cardiac arrhythmias.
It just wasn’t 15 months ago.
Your harried friend whose life now revolves around poo and food fights the latest fire, retrieving said small glove from 10 feet behind.
She tries to remember what you were talking about but she can’t and so fills you in on how the better gloves which attach to his coat are in the wash.
Oh that’s good to know. I’ll pass it on to the cardio nurse.
The other unforeseen outcome of a friend having a baby is the Uninvited Fourth Person – your friend’s husband.
Such is the burden of childcare that to keep up with the poo/food demands two parents often have to be in the room at the same time.
But there can be few things worse for a single girl than discussing her love-life with smug marrieds and their child.
“So he said he didn’t know what he was doing right now with his life and wasn’t looking to be with someone,” you confide.
“Oh forget him. He’s a tool. He’s just after a shag,” says U4P as he retrieves Piggy from the log basket.
But U4P hasn’t chatted about men with you for 14 years. He doesn’t know the drill.
He doesn’t know that we’re supposed to analyse the “tool”, consider the predicament thoroughly and resolve that a better one is out there somewhere.
Now is not the time for the brutal black and white of Planet Man, especially from the man wearing my friend’s wedding ring.
I look to my friend for her input.
“Have you lost your sockie?” she says.
I look forward to the day we lose the interlopers.
I just hope we’re not both so old and barmy by then that our time is spent throwing off our own gloves and socks and trying to remember who the other one is.