Monday, October 01, 2007


No, not a paean to twice-nightly Richard Whitely (alas – I’ll save that for another day) but a notification to all interested parties that baby Tom’s arrival is now a mere 7 days away.

The cot bed is ready. The pram is ready. Sleepover arrangements for Son No. 1 are set up and code green. Karen’s hospital bag (complete with food goodies to supplement the hospital slop) is all but zipped up and ready to go. The boy’s school has been notified. Work colleagues are primed. The family are on tenterhooks. The hospital is on permanent and ever-ready standby...

But I don’t feel prepared at all.

It’s weird. It’s not like I’m unaware of what is about to happen (hey, for a guy that’s a big thing) it’s just that I can’t seem to make it feel real. Life at the moment is carrying on much as it always has and all seems perfectly normal. I can’t imagine how things are going to look and feel next week with our family increased to 4 at all.

As this is Karen’s second I guess she has a better idea of what to expect but me – I’m blissfully ignorant. I guess it’s going to be something of an adventure... one that’s going to last a lifetime. But hey – what other kind is there?

I must admit though I’ll be glad when the hospital bit is over – to have Karen and Tom and the boy all safely home again with our feet resting on a big pile of dirty nappies, necking down a cup of tea and wondering if we’ll ever sleep through the night again. That seems a long way off at the moment.

In the interim I’m back at Uni this week – tomorrow in fact: Poetry In English Since 1945. A little bit more up my street after the interminable ravages of the 18th Century novel last term. And a countdown of a different sort is also occurring. The promised money from the untrustworthy Mr CM has until Friday to arrive. Still no sign of it.

My money’s on Tom arriving first...


Rol said...

Good luck!

Old Cheeser said...

Yes good luck to Karen, hope it all goes smoothly for her and you! I think you'll be believe it when Tom pops his head out! Coming from someone who would never, ever contemplate having kids - well physically impossible for moi, but I wouldn't even adopt to be honest, cos I'm just too selfish - I'm sure it's a life-changing thing. And I DO know that it has lots of positives too. Quite a few of my female friends have recently given birth and it's odd to see old friends now proud mums!

Good name for a son too, one of my brothers is called Tom, oddly enough it's his birthday today.

Keep us posted!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Let's hope you don't have to sell the baby if the client doesn't pay up! :-)

Seriously though, all the best. Still waiting for someone to leave me one in a carrier bag on the doorstep - then I'll know it's meant to be!

Steve said...

Rol - many thanks!

OC - yeah, we quite like Tom (or Thomas as it will be on the birth certificate) and it goes well with our other boy's name too: Ben. Happy birthday to your brother!

Hi Laura, send me your address and I'll see what I can do. Do you want one to keep or just HP? ;-)

-eve- said...

Best wishes, and congratulations in advance...! :-D

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I think you should give him a chance first Steve.

Mind you if he looks anything like a kitten, I might be persuaded!


Have you been watching Bringing Up Baby on Channel 4?
So what do you think of The 1950's Routine, Dr Spock or The Continuum concept?
Well I laughed like a drain when I watched the program as I am convinced that none of the ideas work all on their own. I'm all for routine(number 1) BUT I'n not obsessive, Baby knows best(number 2) is ok to a limited extent BUT carrying that baby around in a sling for 6 months (number 3)would have just killed my back and made me want to kill everyone else as well!
And the one who insisted on leaving the baby in the garden for 3 hours, on it's own to sleep in the pram in this day and age was just not thinking straight.
I think the Meditarraneans have got it right when it comes to child care. We have friends in Malta and they spend their summer in a beach house (a bit larger than our beach huts) and all the locals promenade and meet with friends every evening.The children there are definitely better behaved and I think this is the result of a more relaxed lifestyle tempered with love and respect.
Sorry if I sound like a hippie.
Lots of love to you all, even my girls are asking if the baby has been born yet.

TimeWarden said...

Benjamin and Thomas are both good traditional names, Steve, but then I would say that as they were the names of my two Grandfathers!

All the best for when the happy day arrives and deep breaths for the nappy days that follow! Look forward to hearing that all is well, in the very near future!!

Steve said...

Thanks Eve - much appreciated!

Laura, do you have a preference for a tabby or a "Felix"? Let me know and I'll see what we can do!

Hi Ally, we have indeed been watching Bringing Up Baby. The 1950's "Trunchbull" approach has had Karen turning the air blue. I've never seen such a loveless, unsympathetic approach to a baby in my entire life - even though, as you say, the end results might be desirable. I do wonder what the effect will be on the child later in life though. I suspect Karen and I will go for the Dr Spock approach mixed in with one or two of our own preferences. Horses for courses and all that. Rules are there to be made up in my opinion! My thanks to you and your girls!

Hi TimeWarden - Karen and I considered the names carefully and as Ben is actually a "Benjamin Charles" we opted for "Thomas Arthur" for the newbie. All four names features in our ancestral stockpile of monikers! Although we did briefly consider some LA hippy names like Leaf, Mulch and Brouhaha.

Actually, no we didn't... just joking!