When I was a baby, I used to be taken into my parents fashion store and put in a basket on top of the radiator behind the till so that they could get on with running the shop. It was absolutely fine (except for the time I rolled off the radiator. Health and safety was far less in vogue in those days).
So, in keeping with family tradition, young Hamish has already been introduced to the world of work. On his first day, he attended a book fair with me and Trotters’ head book buyer, Sian.
Well, he earned his keep. Not only was he a great icebreaker with the new suppliers, I am convinced he helped us with our price negotiations. On one stall we immediately bonded with a rep whose wife is a breastfeeding counsellor and on another we were told (only half jokingly) ‘Don’t worry about trade references, you’ve got a baby with you, you’re obviously trustworthy!’
Day 2 he began his modelling career at the Trotters’ Spring/Summer photoshoot. He was a little sleepy – he may have been doing the whole ‘I won’t get out of bed for less than £10,000’ thing and he just lay there yawning. This was in direct contrast to his sister, who had the most fun ever running around screaming when she was supposed to be being photographed. I don’t think the people with the photography equipment were overly impressed. I had literally zero control over her but luckily someone had the bright idea of making her hold a basket of strawberries and that grabbed her attention for long enough for a couple of quick snaps. Despite her behaviour, Lauren did have the advantage over Hamish of not being slightly jaundice (that’s what photoshop is for!)
Days 3, 4, and 5, he’s been round the stores with me. I’ve found out a lot about buggy friendly routes – basically that there aren’t any and so I have reverted to sling and backpack. Luckily, he’s still in the sleeping a lot stage and when he’s awake I seem to have a lot of volunteers who want a little turn at looking after him. I have had a few strange looks from customers but mainly just lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.
Taking a newborn to work may be ultra modern (or so I tell myself) but it’s obviously not the easiest way to work….a couple of examples….
*Day one in stores. About to leave the house and Hamish does a poo that goes through all his clothes and on to mine. Next 45 mins are spent wiping, scraping, rebathing him and changing my clothes. Not ideal. Definitely better at home than once I got to work though. I can’t really imagine changing that lot on the floor of the stockroom.
* Breastfeeding. Where do I start?! Just doesn’t really go well with work in any way. One word. Leakage!!!
Whatever the downsides though, it’s great to be able to get back in, even if it’s for a few hours. I’d miss Trotters far too much otherwise and besides, I need to choose which items I want from the new collection. I get to look at the girls AND the baby boys now. Hooray!!! (Top pick so far is the cherry dress. Beautiful!)