Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Elementary, Mrs. Watson



INT: WINCHESTER PUB, Early evening.  SHERLOCK HOLMES and JOHN WATSON are settling into a booth with two full pints. INSPECTOR LESTRADE walks over to the booth, pulling on his overcoat.

LESTRADE
Bang-up job again, you two. As per par for the course. I'll head down and book the scumbag. I never did get what he was doing with all those bendy straws, though.

SHERLOCK
(keeping his eyes on his mobile as he types in rapid-fire)
Of course you didn't. Your mastery of rote procedure and protocol in no way prepares you for the kind of incisive insight I bring to the table. I would have thought by now that was more than clear.

LESTRADE rolls his eyes.
JOHN
Check the blog later, he surely means to say.  Join us for a round? Mary's on her way to meet us.

LESTRADE
Take a raincheck if you don't mind.  Cheers.

JOHN raises his glass. SHERLOCK  raises one hand in a wave, without lifting his eyes from the phone. As LESTRADE exits, he passes MARY WATSON as she enters the pub.

LESTRADE
Evening Mary. Dynamic duo's in the back corner there.

MARY
          Oh, thanks Greg. But, you're not staying then?

LESTRADE

Nah. Got some rote procedures to master at the station.

He smiles wryly and continues on his way.

MARY
          Oh. Well, oh. (Calling after him) Bye then!

She walks back towards their booth and waves as she approaches.
JOHN
Mrs. Mary Watson.

JOHN smiles warmly. MARY kisses JOHN on the head as she takes off her coat and slides in next to him.

SHERLOCK
(eye still glued to his phone)
How is the wee bairn, Mary?

MARY
Oh fine, fine, good. Asleep! Nursed down just before I jumped in the cab, Mrs. Hudson’s got it all under control, as always. So, I got your texts! Sounds like another case wrapped and sorted? 

SHERLOCK
Indeed. Do join us in a celebratory gesture.

MARY
          Don’t mind if I do!

She gestures to a waitperson, who approaches with a notepad and an expectant look.

MARY
          Pint of stout, thanks!

JOHN
(after a momentary pause)
What? Wait. ‘Scuse me? Waiter?

The waiter returns, brow furrowed.

JOHN
(clearing throat)
I’m sorry, my wife, terribly sleep deprived, new baby, you know how it is, I’m sure. Anyway, I’m sure she meant to say she’d like a club soda. Or maybe some tea. Would you like some tea, love?

MARY
          I’m quite sure I’ll take the stout, thank you.

JOHN
But Mary, you’re, um (trying to keep his voice down, clearing his throat again uncomfortably), you’re . . . (whisper) breastfeeding.

MARY
          And?

SHERLOCK looks up from his phone and observes. The waiter attempts to hide his growing impatience.

JOHN
But, you can’t, I mean you shouldn’t, I mean, isn’t it, I mean . . .

MARY
(returning her gaze to the waiter)
          Pint. Of. Stout, please.

The waiter nods and walks away.

JOHN
          Okay, clearly I’ve, uh,  missed something here.

SHERLOCK and MARY
          Clearly.

JOHN
          But, you’re breastfeeding!

MARY
Yes, as you said. I am. I’ve done almost nothing BUT breastfeed for weeks on end, actually. Love it though I do, I’m ready for a wee drink.

JOHN
I just – I didn’t think that was allowed, is all. You were so careful not to have even a drop while you were pregnant. You and the midwives told me all about that.

MARY
          Yeah, I was. And behold, I’m no longer pregnant.

SHERLOCK
          Surely you’ve observed this rudimentary fact.

JOHN
I do have a grasp on that bit of obvious, yes, thank you.

MARY
          Well, so it’s completely different now.

JOHN
It is? You don’t care that the alcohol going to get into your milk, then?

MARY
But that’s just it. Now that the baby is born, it’s completely fine to have a drink or two. All the experts say so. It’s not really going to even reach the baby, much less cause any bother.

SHERLOCK
          She’s correct.

The waiter returns with her drink. MARY takes it and raises her glass.
MARY
          Cheers!

SHERLOCK raises his glass in kind and clinks it to hers.

SHERLOCK
Cheers to you and the bairn. And his well-meaning but underinformed dad.

They each take a hearty swallow. JOHN watches in exasperated befuddlement.

JOHN
So you support this, too, then, mate?

SHERLOCK
Why wouldn’t I? It’s perfectly logical.

JOHN
Go on. Enlighten me, then.

SHERLOCK
Very well. The Thomas Hale guide, considered to be the authoritative source on lactational pharmacology  - meaning medications and other substances in human milk - states that “mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.” In other words, as soon as it’s out of mother’s bloodstream, it’s also out of her milk.

MARY
And that’s pretty much exactly the amount of time a baby will go between nursing sessions, about two hours or so.

SHERLOCK
Mmm. There you have it.

JOHN
Okay. Okay, well, wouldn’t it be better for mums to, what’s it called, pump and dump? Just to really get it out of her system, be on the safe side?

SHERLOCK
Certainly not, don’t be ridiculous.

JOHN
Why is that ridiculous?

SHERLOCK
Tell me, Dr. Watson, when YOU have to sober up, do you need to drain a liter or two of blood, to get it out of your system?

JOHN
          Don’t be absurd.

SHERLOCK
Equally as absurd for a lactating mother. Pumping does nothing to speed the metabolism of alcohol. The only reason a mother should ever pump related to drinking is if she plans to be away from her infant for an extended period of time, but the point of that is to maintain her supply in lieu of any missed feedings, not to somehow detoxify her milk. All that is needed is the passage of time.

MARY
Right, I read that on Kellymom. Great resource, by the way, all the information there is based on evidence.

SHERLOCK
          My favorite.

JOHN
You. Have a favorite breastfeeding website.

SHERLOCK
NO, my favorite type of information. Research and evidence. Further, Dr. Jack Newman, an MD who specializes in lactation, shared the results of a breastfeeding mother who once analyzed her own milk and cited the findings on her blog. See for yourself.

SHERLOCK pulls up a website on his mobile browser and hands it to JOHN.

SHERLOCK
“The alcohol content in breast milk immediately after drinking is equivalent to a 0.0274 proof beverage. That's like mixing 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) with 2919 oz of mixer . By the way, 2919 oz is over 70 liters. Two hours after drinking one (strong) drink the alcohol has disappeared from the sample. Completely harmless to the nursing infant.”

MARY
0.0274 proof. I heard there’s more alcohol present in fruit juice. Not that we’re giving the baby fruit juice yet, but the point remains.

SHERLOCK
Not to say that mothers should be getting falling down drunk and then caring for their children, of course, but at that point it is a safe parenting issue more than anything else. A drink or two, spaced out over several hours, seems to be just fine.

MARY
But if you’re still feeling concerned, the best timing for a drink is right after a feeding -or even during the feeding - so there’s plenty of time for metabolism to do its thing. And I’ve just come from doing exactly that!

JOHN
(giving the phone back to SHERLOCK and throwing his hands up in defeat)
Alright. I get it. Bottoms up, Mrs.

MARY smiles and squeezes his arm affectionately.

JOHN
(to SHERLOCK)
Just how the hell do YOU know anything about sodding lactation in the first place, anyway?

SHERLOCK
Well I do take an interest in all things relating to our species. And the means by which we feed our young is a defining characteristic of all mammals, after all.

MARY
It’s where the term “mammal” comes from in the first place.

SHERLOCK
Quite right. The very nomenclature of our biological classification.

SHERLOCK clinks his glass to Mary’s again and takes another drink.

SHERLOCK
Also I rather like babies.

He takes another swig of his drink.

SHERLOCK
Don’t tell anyone.

MARY
Your secret is safe with us.

JOHN
For now.

MARY gets her own mobile phone out and begins showing off photos of the newest addition to the Watson family.


FADE TO BLACK.


*****

Elementary, Mrs Watson
by Anne Tegtmeier
December 2014 Picture via Huffington Post



















3 comments:

  1. This is pretty adorable. :D

    The original blog post is: http://biologybrain-simonsays.blogspot.com/2008/12/alcohol-content-of-breast-milk.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much! I will amend the post when I get home tonight.

    ReplyDelete

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