The parenting classes have come to an end. There may have been a few moments when I may have drifted off and been woken by a little panicked impression that I have missed something important. Of course there is the back up of the lovely Sharon with her expanding presence. Surely she would have been concentrating hard due to her more pressing (literally) reminder of soon to be responsibility. But I know the lovely Sharon a little better than that, we shall have to trust in our wisdom and a little common sense to fill in the gaps. Dont get me wrong, we were attentive (as attentive as anyone can be after over 2 hours).
For a lot of the classes we were split up into two classical husband/expectant mother groups. This enabled us to deliver clichéd lines to exercises such as brainstorming our worries; “what happens if our tea is not ready by 5pm anymore?” – no seriously, it was said. Laughs all around, oh those hunters boys! – *sigh*
There were moments of entertainment. While we were shown how to top to toe wash I looked over at the lovely Sharon and we both laughed at the same reflexed thought; “4 bits of cotton wool used already and we have only started the face? Are we really going to need a mountain of cotton wool?”. The moment when we were shown a 5cm dilation (gasps all around) and then a 10 cm dilation (GASPS all around) was another humourous moment, but for some strange reason the lovely Sharon did not reply my chuckles.
It is inevitable that I will feel helpless at times. For example, the opening times at hospital do not allow the father to be there all the time. Maybe this is a throw back from the days when the men were kept well away from it all and it was a bit of a hidden dark art. I have heard stories from days long ago, when the mere presence of a man on the wards (even a doctor) would halt some womens labour. And it saddened me today when we bought a car seat and I was told by the shop that it would be my job to pick it up when the time came. Really, will I not be in hospital? Would I have time to pick up a car seat? Apparently I need to be given something to do. That does not feel right at all and I will refuse to follow that stereotyped role.
To sum up the lessons I think I can conclude that we are not to panic at every little thing and we should rely on nature and the wisdom of those around us. We can find no better teachers than our own parents who we both agree, did a fine job (and they still are doing a fine job). Although we must be selective about the lessons from all around us; at the market this morning we overheard a nurturing and loving mother interact with her precious cherub, “get inta tha pram befora slap ye”. Can children not be reasoned with a little more eloquently?