I won’t break him: I was pretty convinced I’d be rushing to A+E at some point having accidentally dropped eldest on his head, twisted his arm trying to wrangle him into one of those damn baby vests, or broken his little legs by crashing the car seat into a wall as I tried to navigate through a tight space. Luckily none of those things happened and with number two I realise his risk of sustaining any of these injuries is small. He is, however, more likely to have his eyeballs poked out, his cot tipped over and his peace significantly broken by his older brother. Rough with the smooth, my friend, rough with the smooth.
I read a lot of blogs on the run-up to number two. I say ‘run up’ but in reality it was more of a steep slug up Everest walking through treacle while dragging a horse-drawn-carriage.
I was already suffering a mild bout of gender disappointment. No dolls house or My Little Ponies for me. Yet. But I was more preoccupied with love.
It shouldn’t be hard really, should it?
I mean, aside from having 9 months to think up a name, you must have vaguely thought about it beforehand. “If I had a baby girl I want to call her Emily”.
But it’s not that easy is it?
Not only have you got to run it by the other person who helped produce the child (although I do think the months of actual pregnancy should give the mother some special privileges, no?), but every Tom, Dick and Harry sticks their ore in too. “Na, I knew an Emily at school. Total. Bitch.”
How chilled is this Houston mum delivering her own 10lb baby, you know, in the car?
Anyone who’s had a baby knows this natural law: Time will fly.
You prepared for 9 months to welcome this human. 9 whole months. And not once did you consider the week after you had him.
That a week will have passed and your newborn will no longer actually be newborn.
His little face will have changed already, he will have grown and developed and will be fast becoming ‘him’. Not part of you. Not in you, not attached to you, not feeding off your every blood vessel. His own little dude.
I feel I should put my hands up immediately and admit I’m 35. I hereby declare an interest. In the 80s. I didn’t go to a school prom, not because my train track braces were so ridiculously off-putting to the opposite sex that I couldn’t get a date (could well have been true), but because they hadn’t been invented yet. Or more accurately, they were invented, but only taking place in the land where you can go to a movie drive-thru and American Diners are just called, well, Diners.
And so it is with the apparent grand ‘tradition’ of the baby shower. It’s new. It’s not something we had even heard of ten years ago, apart from on the odd American sitcom. Nowadays though, it seems to the The Thing To Do.
With only 7 weeks left until mini man #2 turns up, I return to my old faithful pal, mortality.
It’s not depression. I’m not upset, distressed or desperate. I’m resolute. I will die. This new life will be the end of me. Period.
I will suck my last worthless breath and my husband will be left raising two boys alone. Or perhaps he’ll shack up with young hot designer from work, yes, that’ll be it. They’ll be calling someone younger and fitter ‘mummy’ and I’ll be bloody well dead.
Eldest used to be so chilled. Such a chilled dude. Everyone always said. So happy, so chilled.
You want milk? Yeah? Just have a bit more, ok? Cool. Thanks. You woke early. Just go back to sleep, yes? I’ll just leave you until you do. Great. Worked a charm. Want this toy? Yes? And this one? Great. You don’t want the toy your cousin has, no? No. Good boy. Good, chilled, happy boy.
But wait. 18 months arrived, and with it a completely different specimen. Coinciding with a muggy, light-mornings summer, he’s waking at crack of sparrow fart. He doesn’t go back down. He’s learned ‘the cry’. Not had it yet? Lucky you.