I’ve never met a nicer, more smiley woman than our Health Visitor. But do you know what? She absolutely terrified me. Why? Simple. I saw her as a smiling assassin; judge, jury and executioner. If our son wasn’t at the correct weight, it was our fault. If he wasn’t tall enough, it was our fault. If he wasn’t taking to the nipple properly, it was our fault. If he pooed all over her weighing machine, it was our fault. And thus every time I heard her name, my blood pressure rose and every time she came for a visit, I would descend into a quivering, paranoid wreck. ‘Is his nappy on okay?’ ‘Has his rash cleared up?’ ‘Where is his bib? I can’t find his bib. OH MY GOD, WE DON’T HAVE ANY CLEAN BIBS!’
Obviously, I was being irrational, and it got me thinking. Am I alone in fearing the lovely happy lady with the weighing scales, or is it a ‘man’ thing? A very small focus group of friends makes me think it’s the latter. I say this, because one of them got so obsessed with being a good host, he brought her a cup of coffee despite her insistence that she was fine. And another one got involved in a lengthy conversation about his son’s penis without every using the word penis – whatjamaflip, thingamebob and dingle were mentioned, however. But the best/worst reaction of all? My friend who decided to change his daughter’s nappy during a visit. So far, so dull, but halfway through said change his little one decided to ‘do potty’. Unsure of the protocol, sweating profusely and unable to think straight, he did what any panic-stricken man would do. And by this I mean, he began trying to catch it in his hands. Don’t try that at home, folks.