Someone To Care For
My friend Natalie can't see the point in you. She says that all you do is burp, fart, dribble, grin inanely and emit a series if unintelligible noises. Admittedly she hasn't seen you at your best, but I still think that's a little harsh.
The first time Natalie came to visit you were asleep on your back, gurgling little spit bubbles, a thin strand of drool running down your chin. Natalie just stared at you as if you were a creature from another planet. She made no secret of the fact that she wasn't impressed.
The second time she came to visit you crawled across the carpet towards her and vomited on her expensive new shoes. I tried to make light of it, explaining that it's mainly just liquid and wipes off easily, but she really did look quite appalled.
Natalie likes being a career woman, rushing between meetings in her power suit, clutching her Starbucks Coffee and her laptop. She's never wanted a husband or a baby, but if she could see you on a good day I'm sure she'd feel differently. If she could see the way you clap your hands and squeal with excitement when Scooby-Doo comes on the telly then she'd find you just as adorable as I do.
Instead she thinks you're smelly and have a strange shaped head. She looked revolted when I said you like putting your toes in your mouth, and finds it disturbing that you're always staring greedily at my breasts. It upsets her even more when you stare greedily at her breasts. I tried to explain that you're a man and that's what men do, but she wasn't having any of it.
If I'm honest, I think you could have made a bit more of an effort when Natalie first visited our house. I know it was the morning after Spongey's stag do, but I thought you could have at least lugged yourself into the bedroom instead of lying sprawled on the sofa in a curly wig, a pair of women's shoes and a t-shirt with a photo of Spongey's bare bottom on the front. If you'd had some trousers on it might not have been so bad. Natalie and I were comfortable enough perched on the wooden chairs, but it was quite distracting to have you snoring over our conversation, and I think Natalie was a bit uncomfortable when you started mumbling and fiddling with yourself.
When Natalie left, giving me a kiss on the cheek and a look of pity before rushing off for an appointment with her personal trainer, I removed your stilettos, covered you with a blanket and wiped the drool from your chin. Later, when you woke up screaming about a pain in your head which you assumed must be a brain haemorrhage, I gently explained that you had simply consumed an excessive amount of alcohol. I then sat by your side, holding your hand and stroking your forehead in a bid to reassure you. Three days later when you had recovered, I firmly reiterated this link between lager and suffering and said I hoped you had learnt your lesson. You looked ashamed, said you wouldn't do it again and then promptly went out and got wasted.
I'd secretly hoped that things would be better the next time Natalie came to visit. I thought she might like you better if you had your trousers on and were conscious. To be fair you didn't let me down on either of those counts, but if I'm going to be picky then I wish you'd been sober and hadn't vomited on her.
I assumed that when I told you she was coming for dinner you would come home from the pub before ten o'clock, but of course you bumped into Spongey down at the Queens Head and the two of you decided to celebrate the fact that you were wearing the same socks. I understand how important these things are to you, and I do appreciate the fact that you phoned me from the pub six times with a string of terrible excuses, but could you not have come for the Chicken Chasseur I had prepared? Instead you fell through the front door three hours late, addressed Natalie as Bob, crawled towards her on all fours and then chucked up all over her feet. It wiped off just as I said it would, but I don't think that made Natalie like you any better.
Once Natalie had left - which she did at great pace - I cleared up the mess and sat you down at the kitchen table. You clutched my fingers tightly and tried to put one of them in your mouth, mistaking it for the digestive biscuit I offered you. I should have been furious, but when you grinned stupidly at me, your mouth surrounded by biscuit crumbs, my heart softened and I forgave you. At the end of the day, however badly you behave, you're mine and I still love you.
I can understand why Nathalie thinks you're an idiot, but it's easy for her to judge. She already has everything she ever desired. I never wanted the impressive job title, the sports car or the big flashy house. All I ever really wanted was to be a mother. You might not be the most sophisticated man in the world, but you have a good heart and all the other necessary parts to help me fulfil that dream.
I know exactly why having a baby is so important to me: I want someone I can take care of. I find it incredible that another flailing, helpless human being could rely on me to look after them. Babies are so utterly incapable of looking after themselves, so dependent on others for their wellbeing. From their failure to control their bodily functions to their inability to use their tiny undeveloped brains, they are so completely useless without someone to care for them. I want to be needed like that.
Natalie says I don't need a baby to fulfil my dream. She says I'm already there.
I have no idea what she means. I just don't think these career women understand.