Its a holiday, but not as you know it. Taking your baby out into the cuds and just expecting to survive is a fools mission. You need: Special Weapons and Tactics. Your basic tactic is this: Low expectations, do not expect your holiday with little baby humperdink to be the same as a holiday without him, this could lead to HUGE disappointment on your part. Your best weapon is your team – a team is only as good as its weakest member. Every team member should be able to strip, clean and reassemble the baby in under a minute and should be familiar with all of the associated baby weapons. If separated from other team members and left solo with the baby it will be very imortant to think ahead.
KNOW YOUR BABY, KNOW YOUR TERRAIN
All babies are different, some respond better to various weapons than others – time spent with baby trying out different weapons and tactics before an expedition into the cuds is essential for all team members. Research into enemy terrain is also highly important, will you be able to pick up food and supplies? Probably. Will all of your weapons be appropriate and deamed socially acceptable? Not always.
I will now explore some common problems and worst case scenarios encountered during the “holiday” in enemy terrain.
Scenario 1 On the Plane
Your baby starts to cry on take off and continues to make the noise of the apocalypse throughout the entire flight, kind looks turn to annoyance, then pure hatred. The flight attendants hand you a parachute and order you off the plane. Richard Branson gets to hear about it and the whole team is banned from air travel for life.
Weapons: There is a huge arsenal of weapons to choose from to combat the “take off and landing cry” They mainly involve getting your subject to suck on something. Take your pick from dummy, bottle or boobs, however, be aware that on smaller planes there may not be enough room to breast feed, as your baby will be attached to you via a small uncomfortable belt, if you leave him to hang into the isle don’t be surprised when twenty people walk past and knock him in the head. You may also be sat next to an elderly Asian man who looks like he might puke when he sees the perversion that is going on next to him. (See tactics for dealing with disapproval) Tactics: When crying continues there are two main tactics to choose from, distraction and a zen-like calm. Your baby, depending on its age may be distracted by all sorts of things, a walk around the plane may be just the ticket. Zen-like calm – just relax, your baby is just doing its job. Its meant to cry, just chill and smile beatifically at the other passengers. When faced with disapproval just think, fuck it – a baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do, bet you did it once.
Scenario 2: Your baby is possessed by evil spirits while you are trying to do a lovely relaxing holiday type thing, like have a meal in a restaurant. It flings food, screams, knocks things over and looks angry, then manages to direct a poo outside of its nappy. The British consulate is called, but nothing can be done to take back the offense to the visited country, the whole team is sent home under a black cloud and their passports are permanently removed.
Weapons: Your main weapons in a situation like this where you want to do something nice and not be constantly playing with your baby are toys that the baby can play with on its own, or at least chew – this is where knowledge of your own baby will come in. If the baby has already been possessed before the introduction of these weapons it will be necessary to affix them to a table, buggy or even the baby itself, lest team members and members of the public become victims of friendly fire. Many chew toys can be attached to the baby with a small ribbon and a safety pin. This will avoid the baby throwing it on the floor and rendering it useless. Secondary Weapons will be needed for the poo situation, obviously spare nappies, wipes, muslins, plastic carrier bags and clothing should be carried with baby on expeditions lasting more than an hour or so. All team members must be familiar with the organization of the poo bag. If they are not poo could end up in the wrong place, which we all know is a bad thing. Tactics: Before attempting a bold maneuver such as having time where the baby is not center of attention prepare carefully, make sure baby is fed, has been striped, cleaned and reassembled and has had a lot of attention. Before food arrives take the baby around the restaurant so it can familiarize itself with its surroundings. Or use timing to your advantage. Be alert and make sure all team members are ready to go. When the baby goes to sleep – activate! Run to the restaurant and have your meal during nap time – this, of course, only works in places with fast service – research into your terrain will tell you if this is a good tactic for you.
More Baby Holiday SWAT Team next week.