People who know me may remember the times when I used to bring my baby to meetings with me.
The seal pup has been to anarchist bookfairs, conferences on Scottish independence, planning meetings, public meetings, meetings to wind up failing leftist sects, meetings to decide the content of workshops, meetings to deliver the content of workshops.
I’ve even taken him to day long meetings in which I have discussed social reproduction, in the abstract and at length, while demonstrating the reality of said social reproduction even as I spoke, positioning him on a breast or jigging him about on a hip.
And through all these meeting, baby has smiled and amused himself quietly with linky toys and slept peacefully in my arms and everyone has said “What a good baby” and I have been smug and complacent and thought how easy it is to combine motherhood with activism.
Well, that's all gone now.
Baby still loves meetings. He’s always happy to be taken to a meeting. It’s just that now he’s able to fully express his enthusiasm better by “joining in” with a lot of high pitched squeak’s and bashing his of his toys on the table.
People are fair put off their Trotskyist bickering.
The only reason we got away with his last appearance is that so many people present have been accused of misogyny and institutional sexism that no one was really in a position to raise an objection.
Some people have suggested I continue to take him, in order to demonstrate the need for organised childcare but I don’t think I quite have the front for it.
So, no more meetings for Jimmy until he learns to put up his hand and speak through the chair.
I’ll leave you with a picture of another baby, behaving impeccably at a meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. How has MEPLicia Ronzulli managed it? It must be some sneaky right wing trick.