Blame it on the baby….

We had friends over for dinner recently. People we don’t see as often as we should. They have a new baby so it was nice to catch up.
Dinner did not last long. Infact the whole evening was over by 7.30pm.
We waved goodbye and as I closed the door it dawned on me like a slap in the face, that we had just been hit with The Gottago
The Gottago is an excuse used by new parents. Available whenever and wherever. To be used and abused. When you want to leave somewhere earlier or get out of a situation quickly then use the Gottago.
The Gottago excuse is blamed squarely on your baby.
“really sorry we gotta go. Sophia is really unsettled at the moment.”
“Sorry we gotta go – little Charlie is teething…..”
“how disappointing we gotta go….I  was really enjoying myself…..but wee Jonny is due for a feed and I left his bottle at home”
It is the gift that keeps on giving. The never-ending get out of jail free card.
The Gottago is a great bonding moment. Forget about the first smile, first word, first laugh. The moment you get your child into the car after a Gottago is a precious one. Your son or daughter has just bailed you out of an unwanted situation. You have a new wingman. Your tiny little bundle of poo and spew had your back. The family unit gets tighter. The bond grows stronger.
The Gottago does have a time limit. Generally it can be used until they start to talk. Then it is time to consider another child. There is an argument to have a child just for the Gottago. Perhaps that is why there are some families with 10 + kids.
We took full advantage of the Gottago. Just like my father did and his father before him. I am sure my children will do the same.
While the Gottago has a shelf life it is important to realise as a parent you are entitled to ‘use’ your children while they live at home.
Cleaning and tidying are the obvious ones. Taking the bin out to the road on a weekly basis is one I have just added.
Gardening, sweeping, hoovering and all the other chores are slowly being introduced. We mask it under the veil of “teaching them responsibility” but really it is all about not wanting to do them yourself. I will milk it for a few good years yet. I don’t think you can call it slave labour if they are your own kids?
My boys always forget to lift the seat when they pee. Or if they remember they forget to put it down. So on the odd occasion when I am guilty of the latter and then hear the inevitable shriek from mum complaining about the selfishness of others…..I have to admit I do nod to her in the boys direction. Their cries of innocence fall on deaf ears. Another good use of (boy) children…….
When the Gottago was used on me and I didn’t pick up on it, it got me worried. If I miss this trick will I miss others.  I need to lift my game. I have 2 boys and they will run rings around me if I am not on the ball.
Infact I am fully prepared for the day one of the boys come into the house glassy eyed, reeking of deodorant and stale smoke, avoiding eye contact  and heading straight for the fridge.
 “what’s wrong with your eyes?”
“eh….contact lenses dad.”
“you don’t wear contact lenses son. You are busted. Now hand over your stash.”
At least that is how I think it will go down. Now I’m worried I might miss it. Maybe I’m not quite as streetwise as I thought.
Thankfully I still have a few years to go before I worry about that kind of thing
But for now my advice to new parents is;  if you need to leave a boring event, party, dinner or situation remember Michael Jacksons famous words…..
Don’t blame it on the sunshine
Don’t blame it on the moonlight
Don’t blame it on the good times
Just blame it on the baby