I don’t know much about parenthood just yet but I’m fairly sure that teaching your little ‘uns to tell the truth is a predominant part of the process lest the path they follow in life leads them towards something despicable. Politics, for instance.
That being the case it seems odd that the entire process is littered with conjecture, half truths and, let’s face it, downright lies. Of course the intentions are generally innocent and, it could certainly be argued, in the best interests of all concerned but it does leave you feeling a little, you know, ‘Jeffrey Archer’.
Even worse, just think about the people who make their living from the deceptions of prospective parents; I’m talking about the manufacturers of non-alcoholic wine. Take it from me, no one would even consider it as their ‘refreshing’ beverage of choice were they not expecting. The only reason to consume the sickly brew is to pretend to friends that you’re not pregnant before you reach that all-important milestone of the twelve-week scan and you can shout it from the treetops. Or stick it on Facebook, whichever you prefer.
My usual entertaining style is “mi casa es su casa” (ie. help yourselves) but I suddenly became the host with the most during those early weeks. I didn’t let a glass run dry so that I could jump into the kitchen first, fill three up with Sauvignon Blanc and one with Sham-pagne (I’m actually hugely proud of that pun; if you are a non-alcohol wine producer you certainly may call your next nasty concoction that for a small percentage of the profits. With the population boom, this time next year we’ll be millionaires).
Many pubs and bars now offer a fine list of non-boozy cocktails but I invented my own to throw suspicious pals off the scent of our pregnancy: a Virgin Gin and Tonic. The recipe is fairly simple; place the ice cubes in the glass, pour over the tonic. Serve. Pretend you’re a little squiffy when, in fact, you’re stone cold sober and having to spend the evening with three others who are talking increasing nonsense with every glass of the full strength stuff they imbibe.
This was Jill’s experience, anyway, as I threw myself into the all-important role of ‘drinking for two’.
It’s not just the booze either; she had to invent a sudden aversion to blue cheese, sushi and bungee jumping. The latter easier than the two former.
These are little white lies, though, and entirely justifiable. You just don’t want to let on to too many people that you’re ‘in the club’ before that magical time comes when you have your first peek at the grainy ultrasound images of your child and you can relax a little.
I guess you just need never let on to your son or daughter about the lies that Mum and Dad told and if they do find out you can simply explain that, in the words of my Grandad: “I’m a signpost, I point the way but don’t necessarily go there”. That should buy you some time.