There is an NHS advertisement orbiting social media at present. It features an image of a high-heeled shoe and a tube of red lipstick next to a picture of a baby’s dummy with the question “Would you give up this? For this?” The ad continues: “You can still get Emergency Contraception up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. And it’s FREE.”

Walsall Integrated Sexual Health Services has been kind enough to lay on a male equivalent as well, with the same questions next to a video game controller and a dummy, carrying the warning: “Bware [sic] da baby trap – use a condom.”

Do be careful then, gents. There’s probably a baby right now, lurking behind your TV, just waiting to pounce and steal your video games.

As every parent knows, the thing about babies is that they grow up. The sleep deprivation and the lack of freedom will come to an end relatively quickly. You will always love your children to death but as they become increasingly independent, so will you and that’s a relief.

Spare a thought then for the parents whose children never advance and who depend on their mum and dad for the rest of their lives. Every time I look at my toddler developing at the speed of light and mournfully think, “I never want you to grow up”, I then remember a married couple I know and tell myself to shut up.

This couple’s morning starts every day, weekday or weekend, around 7am. The mother’s first task is to change, wash and dress her 27-year-old daughter, while the husband’s is to prepare their daughter’s breakfast and anti-epileptic drugs. Their daughter is heavy, surprisingly strong at times and uncooperative, and so the process is challenging – especially pulling on her leggings at the very end, as she doesn’t have the physical or mental capacity to make it any easier for them. Once she is dressed, they lift her together and wheel her into the lounge where she is fed Weetabix, and her drugs and freshly squeezed orange juice are administered through a nasogastric tube.

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