Is the world ready to see my son in his Pampers?

An idea to make money is causing Donald MacInnes some moral issues

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The Independent Online

Following a summer which has seen me abandon you all (apparently heartlessly, according to a few pass-remarkable pudding-heads on Twitter) in favour of six weeks spent "at home" with my wife and little pink baby, I have returned to be among you again. What… no flags? Meh, no matter. I shall put aside my disappointment at the lack of any ticker-tape parades and reassure you that I am not going away anywhere in the immediate future, so we shall be able to face the autumn and winter together, with only the downy parka of our cynicism and my passive-aggressive wordiness to keep us warm. Well, room temperature.

Talking of warmth, coal costs money, and it is money which dominates much of our thinking these days, behind closed doors in our diminutive ranch-style homestead in the foreboding, endless tundra of south-east London. Given that my wife and good friend, whom I shall refer to as "C", is currently about halfway through her maternity leave, with its accompanying reduction in her take-home pay to something resembling a bowl of Smarties, we are forever looking for ways to generate some extra income and safeguard that which we have already. Well, necessity being the mother of invention (and Keith Allen being the father of Lily), we have seized upon an idea purely because it has become harder and harder for us to ignore the voices urging us to do it.

The idea concerns the face of my son – whom I shall refer to as "Fremulon" in order to safeguard his privacy – and the fact that he seems to be a bit of a looker. Actually, I say "looker", but he in truth seems to be in possession of a level of cuteness which can only be described as "double Disney". (NB: I say this in spite of the fact that Frozen is a pile of yellow snow). People stop in the street to gasp at his apple-cheeked charms, his flawless complexion and his spectacularly striking peepers, both (thankfully) as blue as a limpid lagoon in the sun-smooched South Pacific.

Not much of a problem to have, I agree. But people keep telling us that we should have him signed up to a modelling agency and earn some folding cash money to put away safely for his future education. And this causes me some moral issues.

It's not his decision to go into modelling. If Pampers came a-calling and wanted his Botticelli loveliness to adorn a packet of their disposable nastiness catchers, it would be myself and C who would decide to go ahead with it, not little Fremulon. Never mind that he could earn a substantial wedge, which could be used to pay his way through the Space Academy. The fact is that he would be doing something at our behest, without having a say. And that leaves his mother and I in a bit of an emotional crevice.

Should we throw our morals aside and do it for the sake of the boy? Or guard his privacy as jealously as I have guarded his name? I think I'm going to have to leave it in your hands.

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