Just because they're small doesn't mean that babies won't let you down in public. In fact, your baby will probably do several - or all - of the following embarrassing things...
1. STEAL SOMETHING FROM A SHOP
Babies start developing what's known as a 'pincer grasp' from about three months onwards – it's a key stage of development. Unfortunately, this means they can now 'grasp' things you haven't paid for.
And it's not just the easy-to-reach sweeties and chocolate bars displayed around the till area in supermarkets they'll go for – no, basically anything within reach will be considered fair game by your baby.
You probably won't notice what they're up to until you get home and find half the stock of the corner shop shoved down the side of the buggy. What fun you'll have going back round all the stores you've just visited, trying to explain that your baby is a shoplifter. Take a moment to check out the expression of the store detective – do you think they believe you?
2. SHOW UP A FRIEND'S POOR HOUSEKEEPING SKILLS
The day your baby starts to crawl is really momentous. You'll probably find yourself rushing around to a friend's house, ready to show off about your child's 'advanced gross motor skills'.
And it's here that the embarrassing moment will occur. You'll set baby off across the kitchen floor like a little wind-up toy, clapping your hands in joy at how clever they are. And then when your friend picks your little one up at the other side of the room, you'll both clock it – the thick layer of grease on baby's hands and knees, the dust bunnies on their tiny little feet.
And you'll both look at what baby's just retrieved from under the table – a mince pie. In July.
3. SCREAM AT THE PERSON YOU MOST WANT THEM TO SMILE AT
There's an unwritten rule that your baby will scream irrationally at the very people you most want them to smile at. These tend to be people like grandparents, potential employers, close friends who have been invited to be godparents – in short, people who may be a useful source of free babysitting, employment or valuable gifts in the future.
The person in question will try to laugh it off and so will you. But that awful feeling will hang in the air – the feeling that babies, like dogs, instinctively know when someone is evil.
Even worse, the man with facial tattoos and piercings who comes to read the gas meter is absolutely fine – in fact your little one will probably reach out for him shouting ' daddy, daddy.'
4. ATTACK A VISITOR
Even a newborn baby has a strong grip. Everyone goes on about it and one of your visitors is bound to say they've read somewhere that a two week old baby can support their own weight if you hang them off a washing line. (Very sensibly, no one ever tries this out to see if it's true.)
The trouble is, a newborn baby's grip is also quite unpredictable. It's one thing them wrapping their strong little fingers around your finger and giving it a little squeeze but quite another wrapping their strong little fingers around a visitor's dangly earring and giving it a pull. Long hair and necklaces will also be considered fair game.
5. GIVE SOMEONE A BLACK EYE
It's lovely seeing your friends and family spending quality time with the beautiful child you have brought into the world. Just watching them bouncing baby on their lap while singing 'this is the way the ladies ride' or playing peek-a-boo can really bring a tear to your eye.
Unfortunately, when your child wallops said visitor in the face with a TV remote control, toy car or iPhone, your visitor will start crying and saying things like 'I can't see, I can't see.' Of course, this will frighten baby and they'll start screaming so loudly you won't notice your visitor leaving for the doctor's.
6. DO A WEE IN A BALL PIT
No need to hang around in the house just because you're starting to potty train your child. So long as you sit your little one on the potty just before and just after you spend 10 minutes in the ball pit at the indoor play centre everything should be fine – shouldn't it? Don't be silly. Your child will be sitting in a pool of yellow liquid within moments of climbing into the Fun Zone.
Shame you have to climb back through an overhead Perspex tunnel to get out again – it's tricky doing that while holding a wet child.
And you'll have to climb back through it again a bit later when the sulky girl at reception gives you some paper towels to mop it up. Unless you're one of those mums who scarper before anyone notices...
7. BE SICK IN A HOUSEPROUD PERSON'S HOME
There's a lot of preparation to be done before you make an outing to a house-proud person's home. You'll spend ages getting baby ready, ironing their best Bayboro and ensuring there's only water in their beaker. Even though you make sure you take off your shoes at the front door, your child will still manage to upset your host by being sick.
Of course they won't do it on a hard surface which is easy to clean up. No, it'll be on the brand new 100VIRTUAL-Gallery-120006%