So far, I have been completely useless at buying anything for the babies – partially because I was all “let’s not tempt fate” about it and didn’t want to start shopping before the end of the first trimester, and partially because I’m totally clueless and didn’t really know where to start.
However, I’m giving some thought to buggies, cots and everything else. And – drum roll, please! – I’ve just bought a secondhand double electric breast pump from one of the other members of the local Multiple Birth Club. It was $280, which is a serious bargain: similar breast pumps retail for around $700 brand new.
When I was at high school I studied agriculture from third form until sixth form. This involved ‘farm duty’, which meant that I’d have to spend a couple of days each term on the schools farms, doing practical stuff. Of course, this has come in very handy as my life has progressed and I’ve worked in a variety of blue chip companies in London. You never know when the senior partner of a law firm will need help with crutching his lambs, after all.
ANYway, the school had a dairy farm and a sheep farm. Anybody who knows anything about farming, or possesses the slightest curiosity about where common foodstuffs come from, will know that dairy farming involves hellishly early starts – cows have to be milked twice a day, and the first milking is before dawn. So, farm duty always started with a very early morning bike ride to the farm, followed by a couple of hours washing cows’ udders, putting on the milking cups, taking off the milking cups, squirting the cows’ udders with iodine (I think – it was something like that, anyway), and then hosing down the milking shed. Such glamour! It’s difficult to understand why I didn’t become a sharemilker, isn’t it?
I’m telling you all of this because the automatic milking system, when turned on for the first time each day, would emit a loud and mournful “MOO!”, like the world’s saddest cow was warning the other cows that, by missing out on milking, she’d had seriously sore udders, so they should be sensible and stand still and get milked in order to avoid this unpleasantness.
Now, I know that my double breast pump will probably not emit a loud and mournful “MOO!” every time I switch it on, but I also know that I’m going to be totally unable to resist the urge to emit a loud and mournful “MOO!” myself at that moment. And I’d offer good odds on Tristan enthusiastically joining in as well. That’s just how we roll.