Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A new life

I tossed and turned last night and couldn't sleep; this morning I struggled to run, only managing a kilometre before packing it in as a bad idea and hobbling home again. Sat on the sofa, wearing only my underpants, logging on to a work computer felt like less fun than before.

However, this morning we had another visit to the hospital, to check up on the progress of our yet-to-be-born progeny. It now has a heart, lungs, kidneys, identifiable arms and legs, and a face that when it peers back at the scanner still looks utterly terrifying. It has yet to sneer "I'm about to destroy your quality of life" at us, but give it time, and the power of speech, and I have every faith in our child that it will say something out of line. You can't negotiate with children, you know. Their whole way of life is alien to us, our sense of morality means nothing to them.

My wife is always quite chatty, whereas I don't know what to say in a situation like this. "Get many babies in here?" or "busy today?" are hardly exciting conversational gambits to present to a hardworking paediatrician. I suppose I should be happy that I'm conforming to the stereotype of the taciturn male.
I did ask the doctor how much it's going to cost to extract the child when it's time, which probably marks me down as the most venal and materialistic of fathers; it's not the done thing to associate caregivers with cold hard cash, I suppose.

After being shown all our child's features (except for a cape or a copy of the Necronomicon that it's hiding in there) we left the hospital and I went back to work, to make money to keep our child in the future to which it will become accustomed. I was almost narcoleptic, the combination of the icy cold hospital, my lack of sleep and the emotional rigour of looking at my baby causing my body to veer towards shutting down early. Drat that body of mine. Coffee helped, but not enough.

My day trundled past quite slowly; I had to battle with a recalcitrant database that soaked up four hours of my life with nothing to show for it, and when I finally came home I found that my clothes were going mouldy. Staying briefly on the subject of fermentation, my wife fed me cheese, and I booked a holiday for us to a far off country, and gradually the stress dissipated. I received an email from London that is either very good, or not good news, and I'm all in a flap now, wondering quite what the next stage of my life is about to turn in to. These are interesting times ahead.


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