The Pumpkin Soup Incident

Fran Jorgensen Photography

By Anna Rose

While our first introduction to the world of newborn faeces technically involved my husband removing the inaugural nappy only to find meconium pouring forth as cement from a truck, it was the Pumpkin Soup Incident which really made an impression on us.

For the first two weeks of our son’s life, we were on a high. Family, friends and interstate guests celebrated so enthusiastically that we were entertaining two or three separate groups each day at our home.

We went out and about too, venturing to an outdoor symphony concert on Day 3, then church the following day and a tearful Nanna farewell at the airport. After a week, my husband rounded up his gang of mates to help shift a bevy of vehicles from an old family shed to our place and I ended up simmering up a pasta feast for eight.

By Day 13, I was flagging, yet the courtesy calls continued. Many were lifelong friends of my husband’s, growing up together in youth groups then sharing family life as they procreated rapidly through young adulthood. These seasoned parents were on their way to becoming grannies and granddads, while we were just starting out. Moreover, I was new to this crowd, having met many of them only once, at our engagement party one year prior. 

These visits made me nervous. 

The morning of the Pumpkin Soup Incident was bright and clear. After a generous breakfast breastfeed, we dressed ourselves and our son in fresh, clean outfits.  

Rookie error. 

Our guests were due to arrive. The house was in order, carpets recently steam-cleaned, kettle and coffee machine warming. I began my final preparatory task: the nappy change. 

In those days, we used our dining table for everything. And I mean everything. It was littered with ribbons and cards from recent gifts, softened with a folded blanket up one end for impromptu tummy time and boasted a sculpted change table cushion down the other. The latter is where I laid my son on his back, kissing those irresistible cheeks and poking that deliciously round tummy before undoing his damp nappy.

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