And so for a bit of ostentatious breastfeeding.
Well not at the moment. At the moment I am watching X Factor on mute so as not to wake Piglet from his slumbers. Michael Buble is either singing or talking to someone who may or may not be Nelly Furtado. Without the benefit of sound, they both look like they’re hosting the Eurovision Song Contest and are having a faux-hilarious conversation about the merits of Azerbaijan whilst pretending to look excited about the prospect of someone from Bosnia-Herzigovina singing a heartfelt ballad in Serbo-Croat.
Anyway, today Piglet again behaved impeccably throughout swimming, and another comment was made about how relaxed he seemed to be in the water (another star on my Public Badge of Good Motherhood). One poor child was screaming so much his parents took him out of the water, which would not have even merited a comment here were it not for the fact that I caught Piglet watching him with interest as his parents tried to take him to the other side of the pool to test to see if he could go in again without crying, and I am pretty sure that he was taking notes.
Piglet’s impeccable behaviour continued throughout the afternoon as I went to meet friends for coffee, but then sadly decided to deteriorate right at the point when Mummy and friends decided that they wanted a mulled wine at the Christmas market. The following farcical events then ensued.
1.) Piglet starts screaming. This is worrisome. Previous attempts to feed him in Costa Coffee have been unsuccessful; partly because my eyes are constantly scanning the room for any signs of Nigel Farage or Katie Hopkins come to chase me into the corner, where I will sit behind a taped-off police cordon marked with the sign “Danger! Breastfeeding woman ahead!” with a napkin draped over me; and partly because I am wearing an enormous fluffy jumper which gets in the way.
2.) Piglet is briefly distracted by some fairy lights. Thank the Lord for fairy lights! And for being born at Christmas, allowing us all to have fairy lights! This gives Mummy enough time to chug down the greater part of of a cup of mulled wine, keeping it well away from Piglet of course (remembering the health visitor’s dire warning about a baby they saw recently who had been scarred for life by a hot drink).
3.) The fairy lights are forgotten, and the crying resumes. Mummy attempts a fair bit of ostentatious breastfeeding, standing on the table yelling “Look everybody! I’m breastfeeding!” squirting jets of milk at the two other people in the open air Christmas market bar, and the five bouncers they have inexplicably needed to employ to keep those two people under control.
4.) OK that last one was inaccurate. What actually happened was that Mummy had to take off Piglet’s hat and unbutton his coat while the Public Badge of Good Motherhood fell from its privileged position on Mummy’s lapel in the cold December air, and attempt to latch Piglet onto the breast while the fluffy jumper and Piglet’s fluffy coat conspire to render such a feat impossible. Well, I couldn’t take the coat off as IT’S DECEMBER GODDAMIT AND THE BABY MIGHT FREEZE, and I couldn’t remove the fluffy jumper either in case Nigel Farage happened to be promenading past arm in arm with Katie Hopkins and THERE WAS NO CORNER IN THIS EDIFICE. I mean, it was like, in the open air! It was just a roof with some tables! And it was sort of a bar as well, which serves ALCOHOL, so what was I even doing in there with a baby? Off with my head!
5.) As things get even more fraught, I decide we may have to vacate the area, and knock back the remaining mulled wine. As I do so, some of the mulled wine spills onto Piglet’s fluffy white coat. It looks like blood. AARGH! I am terrible mother! I have done something terrible to baby!*
6.) That’s it. We’re going home. I look around. The five bouncers are looking at me in a judgemental way which says, “you are a disgrace to motherhood. Get Nigel Farage on the phone IMMEDIATELY.”
And that, my friend, is ostentatious breastfeeding.
* I must add here, before you all call social services, that the mulled wine was, by this point, cold. Piglet was never in any danger from the mulled wine spillage. Put down your phones, people.