Evolution of a Parent
As Mother’s Day approaches, thoughts often turn to the process of becoming (and preparing to become) parents, and how those processes change with each additional bundle of joy you welcome into your life. So, just in time for Mothering Sunday, here’s a satirical look at how things (with a special emphasis on Dad’s perspective) change with each expected arrival.
Put your feet up with a well-earned cuppa (unless you have more than one child, in which case you probably haven’t got time) and enjoy a light-hearted view of those early moments and milestones….Do let me know at the end if you nodded vigorously in agreement thoughout!
Feeling Your Baby Move
First Child: The expectant Dad places his hand on his partner’s tummy every chance he gets for two whole months, waiting for that first time when he can feel the baby move. Hour upon hour he waits until that magic moment when he feels this tiny little flutter. The next hour is spent calling all their relatives and friends to tell them about this moment of wonder.
Second Child: When it first happens, Mum calls Dad at the office. Dad drops everything and runs home, hopeful he is going to be in time to share the occasion. Immediate family are informed.
Third Child: Mum tells Dad (during an England –v- Spain football match) that the baby has moved. Dad tells Mum he will check it out during the next commercial break. Dad misses out because Mum took a telephone call, so he goes on watching the match. By the end of the second half, Dad finally feels the baby move. Mum updates Facebook next time she logs in.
Fourth Child: Mum and Dad are in bed, Dad turns to Mum and says “Can’t you make your tummy stay still? I’m trying to sleep”. When it becomes obvious that baby has decided to audition for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, Dad rings up and orders a pizza delivery.
The Trip to the Hospital
First Child: Dad passes the hospital every day on his journey to work. Despite this, every GPS co-ordinate of the hospital and surrounding streets are programmed into the SatNav, which is left on charge near the front door twenty four hours a day. Every time there’s the slightest Braxton Hicks contraction, Dad rushes Mum to the hospital, carrying her to the car and laying her down in the back seat surrounded by pillows. In all, four trips are made to the hospital on four separate occasions. Dad’s name is added to the Mother & Baby Unit’s ‘nuisance caller’ register.
Second Child: Dad carefully times the contractions. By the time Mum is having three in thirty minutes, Dad rushes her to the hospital. Mum sits in the front seat, with a pillow behind her head and another at her feet.
Third Child: Dad comes home from the office as soon as Mum starts having regular contractions. When they are five minutes apart and hard, they go to the hospital. Dad gives her a pillow to hold along the way.
Fourth Child: When Mum calls Dad at the office to say she is having huge contractions every five minutes, Dad tells her to drive to the hospital and that he will meet her there as soon as he’s finished clearing out his email inbox, as he reached his limit and can’t send anything. Dad reminds her not to forget the pillows.
The First Step
First Child: Mum grabs the camera, Dad makes a lunge for the video camera (the video mode on his smartphone is never going to be good enough quality for this), whilst simultaneously trying to fire up the camera app on his phone in preparation for immediate Facebook upload. Mum maxes out four SD cards in the camera. They immediately run out to the one-hour developing place and had all four cards developed with double prints. The best five pictures are blown up to 24″x 36″ and framed to be hung up in the downstairs loo and hallway. Dad has a professional studio turn the four hours of video he taped into a one-hour documentary complete with voice-over by a local anchor-man.
Second Child: Mum and Dad fill one SD card and take five minute’s worth of video. The next day they order some prints from Snapfish. Dad takes the best picture and puts it into his wallet.
Third Child: Child one (or two) must have hidden the video-camera and child one has been playing with Dad’s phone again and has managed to use up all his Cloud storage. The digital camera never had the pictures deleted from the SD card when Child two took his first steps, so Mum and Dad only manage to get five shots. They don’t remember if they ever got those printed.
Fourth Child: Mum jumps up too quickly snatch the camera and place it out of the reach of the child so he can’t grab it.
The First Time the Child Falls and Gets a Cut
First Child: Mum and Dad frantically run over to the child. They sweep him up and rush him to A&E, no stitches were needed, but they spend the night with him in his room just in case the bleeding starts again.
Second Child: Dad walks over to her, picks her up and quickly puts a plaster on the wound. Mum and Dad spend the next two hours rocking her in the living room to comfort the pain.
Third Child: Dad tells Mum that if he is still crying in a couple of minutes, they should go over and make sure he isn’t hurt too badly. When he doesn’t stop crying, Mum kisses the cut, puts a plaster on it and lays the child on the sofa under the ‘sick blanket’ for an hour, while Mum and Dad go about their business.
Fourth Child: Mum spits on a tissue, dabs the cut and Dad tells the child it will only get better if he stops crying.