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Living: CLARE Will Ideal Dad-to-be really lose his bottle when baby appears?

Byline: CLARE McVEY

THERE'S a lot of talk in our house at the moment about doing things for the last time before the baby's born.

Things like enjoying a good night's sleep, for example, or going out for dinner and - in The Ideal Husband's case - getting plastered. Initially I was quite pleased that he was displaying such a responsible attitude in the sense that he understood things would be different when he became a father and that he was preparing himself to play a supportive Ideal Dad-type role.

But actually I've realised it's just an excuse to go out and get very drunk on lots of occasions in the run-up to the birth.

Last week it was some sort of corporate entertainment evening. This is a euphemism for drinking with business contacts and getting your company to pay for it.

But to appear bona fide it has to have a theme. The particular form of getting drunk was, in this case, whisky tasting.

And just to prove my point that it has very little to do with serious business networking, Single Bloke went along.

Purely by chance, I heard The Ideal Husband mention that they'd be staying in a hotel in the city centre that night rather than making the trek home.

Me on overhearing this: 'Fine. That's absolutely fine. No, really it is. Our first child isdue any day and you've decided to miss the last ante-natal class to drink whisky and you won't even bother coming home that night.'

Obviously I was planning to phone him halfway through the evening to say I thought I was having contractions and that he'd have to get a taxi home.

But as it turned out he worked himself into a panic when he phoned me three times and didn't get an answer. I was out at ante-natal class but he'd forgotten that. He imagined me in labour on the bathroom floor.

I was very pleased that it wasn't actually necessary to summon him home in the end because at 2.30am the pair of them were still roaming Birmingham looking for an open curry house.

Turning up at the maternity ward with a husband who is completely inebriated and reeks of a mixture of whisky and curry wasn't actually part of my birth plan.

He's now saying that this Saturday will absolutely definitely be his last night of drinking before he becomes a dad. I'm not terribly impressed by this since it's highly likely that the occasion of actually becoming a father will involve another round of lengthy drinking sessions to wet the baby's head. I sincerely hope if he does have a few celebratory drinks that he doesn't do what one man told me he did: on returning to the ward, a little the worse for wear, he went to kiss his wife and was rather shocked when she screamed at him.

When he pulled away to ask her what was wrong he noticed it wasn't his wife after all. She'd moved beds.

Embarrassingly he was escorted from the premises. And when I say embarrassingly, I mean for his wife.

CLARE McVEY
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2002
Words:522
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