Jon Richardson does a very funny sketch about putters and leavers. He does it much better than I ever could – so if you haven’t seen it I would like you to all watch the video below.
See there you go – yes very amusing – and so now we are all on the same page, we’ll crack on. Oh okay for those of you who are at work and can’t have any volume on (naughty, naughty – though if you are already being workshy then why you can’t put your earphones in and thread it up your sleeve and hold it in your hand like any normal 13 year old I don’t know) here is a quick potted history. Basically there are two types of people in this world putters and leavers. The definition of a ‘putter’ is that they will ‘put’ things down in a designated place. Whereas ‘leavers’ just shed their belongings around the place like dandruff from a flaky old dog.
I would hope at this point that you are nodding along in agreement and deciding which pot you fall into. By nature I am a leaver – I am genetically predisposed to this and can’t fight it. Both my parents are leavers and as such it is a miracle that they managed to bring five children (yes I did say five, more about this in later blogs) up in the world and that we have all survived. My parents managed to leave all seven passports hanging in a jacket on the end of the bannister once when driving off to the airport, only realising after paying for long term parking. This was impressive but beaten by the effort of leaving the front door wide open whilst disappearing off on another holiday.
So my genes are against me and on my own holidays in Canada I managed to lose my passport on a night bus crossing the border to the States. This is not a good border to turn up to at 3 am without your passport I wouldn’t recommend it – apparently not even charm or tears work with these people! The information was received by my parents with obviously a fair amount of panic but also a sigh of understanding. The fact is though, that my friend had held my passport for four months for me without incident at my parent’s request. But we were dividing company and so I received my passport in the queue for the bus and had had it in my possession for only 2 hours before it managed to go missing. I am aware this is a very poor show.
So I am a leaver but my husband is most definitely a putter. This can be a successful balance in a couple as the putter can help the leaver steer through life avoiding most major disasters whilst the leaver by gentle and constant niggling can save the putter from significant anal retention. But it’s when this balance is upset by say – a tiny new lifeform in your lives that suddenly the differences become magnified. Part of this is down to the fact that the differences between you that seemed like charming quirks when you had great tits, a social life, a disposable income, the potential to have sex whenever you fancy and a reasonable quantity of sleep – seem fucking irritating when you have none of these things.
Then there’s the baby itself. Putters particularly can tend to struggle with the fact that babies are basically self-motivated anarchists in a tiny little package. They don’t care about your plans, they take your plans and shit all over them, quite literally. The new parents that you see who look really shocked – you know the pale faced, shaking hand ones that sort of look straight through you whilst saying things like – ‘they just won’t get off my tits – not ever, surely this can’t be normal’, or ‘but how do you leave the house?’ or ‘how do you get anything done’ – tend to be the putters. Because not only have they been physically and emotionally new baby steamrollered as everyone is to some extent but also the fact that their brain is constantly thinking of ‘the list’. This is the mental list that all putters have – which is basically all the things they really want to get done – not just today, but for the rest of their life.
Leavers on the other hand may find it easier to cope emotionally with the moment to moment survival of new baby life. But generally the problem with leaving stuff is that it doesn’t really matter that much before you have babies. But the consequences of say.. forgetting nappies and wipes the one time your child decides to literally fountain crap all over a Costa coffee changing table, off the end and on to the floor – are quite significant. You could also potentially lose your phone for a couple of weeks before eventually finding it in the dirty nappy section of your changing bag. This one particularly concerns the putter other halves as you basically have no means of calling them in emergencies. And basically what they are most concerned about in the world – is you leaving the baby. For me literally the only thing I can forgive David Cameron for is the whole baby leaving thing.
The thing to hold onto is that things do get more normal over time. Your tits may never be quite the same but life does start to even out. And with such alternative parenting viewpoints there’s even a cat’s chance in hell that you might end up with a fairly balanced child. So if there are two things I want you to take from this blog, They are that if you get through this without killing each other you will get through anything, and to never, never trust anyone in my family with travel arrangements.