Simple, lovely words about parenting from Bob Harris, Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation:
‘It’s the most terrifying day of your life the day the first one is born… Your life, as you know it, is gone, never to return. But they learn how to walk and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you’ll ever meet in your life.’
Five years ago today, the Duchess and I were wed. This morning, I marked the anniversary with a lovely breakfast. I had a big bowl of cereal, hot, buttery toast and a glass of fresh orange. Sitting opposite me, smiling and occasionally cuddling up to me, the Boy Wonder had Shreddies and my orange juice whenever I wasn’t looking.
Every night, I get Boy Wonder ready for bed and, while he drinks his warm milk, read him one of the following stories. It goes without saying that it’s the favourite part of my day and any work-related stress is gone by the time we finish the story and I cuddle him to sleep. Most of these books are oversized and illustrated. They typically take 5-10 minutes to read, depending on whether you deploy funny voices and a few theatrics:
It’s my last day of paternity leave – boo hoo hoo – so I thought I’d treat myself by escorting Boy Wonder to a soft play centre. After all, it’s been a whole three days since we last visited one and I’ve been slack these past three weeks by frequenting these junior fun palaces a mere seven times.
We return to a big site near Wetherby, which is called something like Little Toes or Bite Your Toes or Little Shits.
2nd February, 8.00am
The delivery suite is so busy we were lucky to get a room. It’s basic, with an old bed and no en suite bathroom – at least we’ve got one and the Second Coming will have no illusions about our austere times. There have been a few traumas in addition to the human traffic jam, which has drawn in several of the embattled midwives. It means Debbie has had to abandon the maternity assessment centre and will now stay with us for the duration to deliver our baby. Understandably, she seems impatient to get on with it and return to her duties. The Duchess, however, wants time to freeze and is no longer keen to have a baby.
A time-bending, remarkable event awaits us this week. No, not the birth of the Second Coming, although we’re in impatient countdown mode to the due date on the 28th. Before then, though, something nearly as important will occur, temporarily altering the whole dynamic of our little family. In the next day or so, the Duchess will weigh more than me.