You’re going on a date – can I come too?

By Andy Moore

You’ve had your teeth whitened, bought some new clothes and removed any stray facial hair with the scrutiny of a mum who suspects her child has been in the sweet jar (again). You’re set for your date with that interesting 45 year-old ‘ish’ date you found.

The babysitter’s scheduled to arrive at 6.50pm, no boy/girlfriends are allowed, the answerphone is on and you’ve written precise instructions on how to look after mini me. The date is at 8pm.

Everything’s arranged to such military precision – what could go wrong? This: The babysitter calls off, there’s no stand-in and you don’t want to cancel the date. But before you can think on your feet, little Johnny pipes up: ‘Johnny come,’ he utters in wistful cute tones. Yikes. It’s not a question either.

little-girl

So, where do you go from here? Here’s a few do’s and don’ts on how to handle the situation:

Do…

Phone your date immediately and tactfully explain that little Johnny will be coming with you as your plans have changed. Fib that he’s very self-reliant and won’t wear spaghetti on his head (not much), whilst pointing at the date and uttering the word, ‘funny’ throughout the date.

Don’t…

Forget to change the date venue if need be. Remember your child will be very difficult to smuggle into an 18 certificate Tarantino film, even if you dress up him like up like an adult school boy Tom Hanks in the film, Big . Likewise, taking him to a nightclub may provoke a sterner response from the bouncer than: ‘Is name’s not down, ee’s not comin in…’

Do…

Refrain from asking your date if he wouldn’t mind changing Little Johnny’s nappy. Sure, you may want the date to see the real you – but asking he/she to clear the remains of semi-digested sweetcorn could create ice between you rather than break it.

Don’t…

Put baby in the corner (or older infant) of the room, hoping he will ‘mix’ with other guests if you’re going to a party. Chances are, the Ibble Dibble game will take on an entirely new meaning to him, whilst playing hide and seek amongst any long skirts is likely to get him banished to the naughty step. Outside the party that is.

Do… 

Understand that the conversation during the date will frequently be interrupted by shrieks, cries, giggles, burps, sneezes, snorts and overt yawns – and that’s just you!

Don’t…

Forget to bring along some light entertainment to amuse your mini me after he’s finished his spaghetti. Books, toys and fun games to play on your phone can help break the boredom – but probably not for your date if they’re on the 10th rendition of Ba Ba Black Sheep.

Do…

Remember (and talking of sheep) that Little Johnny will not follow the adult flock when it comes to social etiquette. He will say anything that pops into his little head – from asking your date out loud why he has white (or no hair), can we go now, I’m bored – or, the ultimate, ‘I don’t like him/her – he smells!’

Don’t…

Assume your date will accept your invitation for coffee back at his/her’s at the end of the night, especially after they have had endure: a change of date venue; changing a nappy: being shamefully embarrassed at a party and have spaghetti flung at them.

All this complemented by adopting the role as surrogate mum/dad for the evening, not to mention receiving a character assassination!

And lastly

Do…

Tell us about your dating encounters where ‘two’s has been a company and three a crowd (or even a proud experience) in the comments box below. It’s all part and parcel of the other person getting to know you. Warts and all.