Comes at the moment you realise the nappy you accidentally put in the washing machine was only a pee nappy.
Our baby sits low in my wife’s belly. She appears to be quite comfortable, far more so than my wife for whom any position can now only be maintained for short periods at a time. The exercise ball rotates under her hips, the motion intending to push her body along into labour, ready now.
Our son sleeps upstairs, blissfully unaware of how much his life is about to change. Perhaps we are too. A friend commented recently it’s good we’ve done this already; as if we know what to expect. I think that we have not been here before, that things are not the same, that we do not know what to expect, that whatever this experience brings it will be as unique as the child being born. And that is quite terrifying.
I reminded myself earlier that everything we do today is a last. A last as a trio. A last for a while of a just us two even. But I don’t see fit to mark this in any way. I don’t see the need to linger on the moment I kiss my son as he goes to bed, or somehow capture for posterity these moments, me tapping away single-fingered, she arguing over crossword clues. I’m not even sure why I feel the need to want to make a point about it any more.
Tomorrow is 42 weeks.
Our little girl has in a sense already been with us for 42 weeks now, making tiny adjustments to the patterns of our lives, hiding in plain site.
However, we’ve all agreed it’s time and one way or another she’s coming tomorrow.
I think there’s this thing called parent time. It’s the way as a parent you experience time completely differently from anyone else including other parents who are also experiencing the same thing but completely differently from you. It is particularly virulent for parents of toddlers and young children and may decrease in severity over time but as yet I have no concrete evidence.
Parent time is like taking the concept of dog years and putting it through the crazy crash zoom in Jaws.
So a normal month of real time feels like a day of parent time and a real day can have moments of fleeting eternity, usually accompanied by the sound of screaming, and many minutes of laughter and play that are only able to register themselves as a split second on your consciousness.
A year of parent time is equivalent to a blink in real time but two years of parent time (rounded up or down) are a blink within a blink. That’s like half a blink I guess, or if you like to cook then a small pinch.
When you operate in the outside world there’s a further momentum effect at play so the moment you step out of your door the missing time kicks you square in the chops like a wrecking ball swinging from its highest apex.
If you decide to do something stupid and and entirely incompatible with parenting like holding down a job or a home or friends, then no matter how long a real day might be in parent time, or possibly how long a day of parent time might represent itself as real days which we’ve already ascertained are many, there will never be enough hours in the day.
If you don’t there still won’t be enough hours in the day, only they’re different kinds of hours.
It’s highly likely that you will also suffer from sleep deprivation at times in which case all the above rules still apply only in slow motion, severely intoxicated and in Klingon.
It’s been almost two years.
It doesn’t feel like it.
That means there are old friends I haven’t seen in almost a year, let alone spoken to.
It doesn’t feel like it.
When you’re waiting on baby to arrive all the other parents tell you how quickly the time goes.
It goes way fucking faster than that.
There’s an old(ish) Rush song I’ve always loved. There’s a moment towards the end where Geddy Lee’s voice seems really urgent and full of emotion and I heard it again today for the first time in a while and it kinda broke me for a bit.
Summer’s going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Of course if you don’t like Rush then I just come across as being an over-emotional idiot with dodgy prog-rock leanings. I agree with the first bit…
Love those old 80s videos, never realised it was Aimee Mann who provided the backing vocals
One of the delirious ironies of parenthood is that whatever distraction you come up with to avert your toddler from one perilous activity, that too will be rapidly turned against you as the next thing you have to try to put a stop to.
Is when halfway through the evening your other half reminds you to take the pirate hat off