21st Century Families  ‘Boyfriend’ seems too small a…

21st Century Families: ‘Boyfriend’ seems too small a word for the father of my child.

I answered the phone, wedging it into that underrated nook between jaw and shoulder as I simultaneously washed a baby bottle. “I’m a nurse,” said the lady’s voice. I got that sucker punch of worry in the gut. I was about to start work, and my boyfriend had taken our baby daughter for her routine injections. “Is the baby OK?” I said. “Oh yes,” she went on. “I just wanted to check you knew she was here. We have to ask.”

I affirmed that it was fine, thought the call was slightly weird, and went back to chiselling what looked like dried Horlicks off the kitchen floor.

It turned out the nurse had seen that the baby’s parents had different surnames, asked why I hadn’t brought her in, and said that she would need to get my permission for the vaccinations because we’re not married. If it had been me who had brought her in, no phone call would have been made to anyone else.

A shame that “He’s the kid’s Father” doesn’t carry legal weight anymore.

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