The Endless Chain

I don’t want to turn this into a baby blog, partly because I don’t want to end up like those newspaper columnists who have a kid and feel as if they’ve been handed the Keys to Wisdom, but also because I’ve always tried to respect the privacy of those around me when writing here, which puts a lot of stories off-limits. One day, after all, William may want to tell his own stories for himself. But when they’re about what’s going on in my own head it seems okay to tell them, and it would be a shame not to follow up the saga of his delivery.

So, here’s the précis:

Father and son

It’s true. You don’t get much sleep, or at least much continuous sleep, so you take it when you can. Day and night turn into an endless chain of waking moments. And he’s better than most newborns—we’ve even had a couple of nights where we’ve had five hours in a row. Last week was pretty rough, though.

But we’re so totally entranced that it doesn’t matter. The combination of irresistible cuteness and hilarious moments of ill-fitting clothing and toilet humour can carry you a long way. It wouldn’t be fair on the little guy—or the adult he will become—to go into detail about the nappy department, so let’s just say that it’s breathed new life into all sorts of pop culture references: Thunder Down Under; Rumble in the Jungle; Trouser Jazz; Pants Pants Explosion.

And the expressions his face goes through are priceless, especially during one of those episodes. Not many have mapped onto actual emotions yet, so a fleeting smile is still more down to random chance than anything, but the randomness is part of the appeal; I’m waiting to see him do that one with the raised outer eyebrows you only ever see in noh theatre. It certainly made taking his passport photo a challenge. Praise be to digital cameras and gigabyte flash memory.

He’s already a pound heavier than when he was born, and he’ll be walking and talking before we know it, so we’re making the most of these early days. Even now, when he’s lying asleep in my lap and his face is relaxed, I can see the baby turn into the boy. Then he wakes up to a rush of warmth at the other end and turns straight back into an upset baby. Never mind. Given what’s down there, I’d be upset too.

One day we’ll share a glass of port and laugh about it all, no doubt, assuming I live long enough to meet his children. I hope to be doing the same in the other direction when my parents fly over next month. Because that’s another thing you don’t expect: how often your mind goes back to your own parents and what they must have done for you in those blank months before your first memories. And back to theirs, and back and back, and forwards and forwards and forwards.

20 April 2007 · Journal

I now have a niece. Born 7.32 this morning. Induced, 12-hr delivery, very painful, but all well now apparently.

Added by James on 22 April 2007.

Hooray! That’s wonderful news. Congratulations all round.

Added by Rory on 22 April 2007.

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