Monday, 14 March 2011

Birthday Bureaucracy

Father & Son
There’s an awful lot of bureaucracy involved with child birth! Marty had barely drawn his first breath when they passed me a little red book and told me not to lose it. This is basically the “baby book”; a catalogue of essential information such as his size and weight, his inoculations and injections, and an exhaustive list of everyone who has poked and prodded him, together with a note to say why.
To be honest I’d never realised just how much care babies get in his country and I have to say I’m very grateful. During the first week we had midwives popping over to check on us every few days, then the local GP gave him the once over, then the health visitor started visiting; Marty could barely fart without it being weighed, measured and jotted down.
The only point at which all this intensive scrutiny broke down was when we received a letter from the local hospital to inform us that they’d made an appointment on the 19th Jan for Marty to have his hearing checked. The letter then broke into stern officialdom to point out that we had failed to attend that first appointment, that this had caused great distress within the NHS and that we had better make sure we attended the next appointment or they were going to have a huff and not let us have another one. Fortunately we had a number of good excuses, firstly we hadn’t received this earlier letter and secondly Marty wasn’t actually born until the 5th of February; an event that most in the medical profession regard as an essential prerequisite for a hearing test.

Spot the difference
Health aside, the only other thing they are very keen for you to do is to register the birth as soon as possible. This is quite a pleasant little quiz where they ask you all sorts of complex questions such as “Who are you?” and “When was your wife born?” Fortunately I’d written down most of the answers already so I scored 75% first time ‘round.
Once the lady in charge was happy with the answers she passed me a fine quality ink pen and I added my moniker to Marty’s birth certificate, and there he was; officially born!
So we had a little red book, we had the birth certificate, there was just one last thing to do and Marty would be officially “Here”.... So I stopped off on the way home and bought the official “Baby on Board sticker” for the car.

No comments:

Post a comment