I've landed myself with the night shift. After we had tea earlier, Mrs J took G off to the bedroom with the idea they'd both get some decent sleep. But, when after a few hours had passed and I heard the already too-familiar sound of G squirming and whining and went in to check on them, Mrs J said she'd only managed to drift off about 20 minutes before. Even in the half-light I could make out the sort of thousand-yard stare common only to new mums telling you they haven't had any sleep, and deranged Vietnam veterans telling you about the time they led the assault on Gobbler's Ridge. So I took G for a nappy change and have managed to get her back to sleep in the living room, in the hope Mrs J can pile up some Zs. As you can see from the picture, we're now well into the wee small hours.
It's not as easy as it seems for the dad to help out in the early days of a newborn's life. G's only main interest besides sleeping is feeding, and until Mrs J can start expressing milk in a week or two feeding remains firmly her department. I can try to calm G down when she wakes up and starts crying, but although it sometimes works for a while, there's really only one thing (or, if we're being honest about it, two things) she actually wants. Which means the long-suffering Mrs J has to be pressed into service again.
I suppose this leaves me feeling a bit left out. But even if I could do it, I think male breastfeeding is a gender equality step too far. It's the sort of thing you don't see outside such classic Hollywood movies as the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy Junior (actually, I'm only guessing as to whether the movie features male lactation; I haven't watched it and, it seems, neither has anyone else). There's a whole Wikipedia page about the idea, but then there's also a Wikipedia page about series 11 of Last of the Summer Wine (check out the one-line plot summary for the third episode), so I don't think we should read too much into that. In fact, the chances of male lactation catching on are probably about the same as the star of Junior doing something outrageous like, say, going into politics and being elected the governor of somewhere. As if that would happen.