Baby Days

Week 2: It takes the imminent arrival of a baby to bring into focus your life’s failings

It’s taken for herself to get pregnant for me to realise how uncultured we are. The baby doesn’t have a chance.

Before conception I had fanciful notions in my head of how our child would speak seven languages, play five instruments and be an athletic powerhouse.
“It’s going to be great, our baby is going to be amazing,” I said pre-embryo as I stuffed my hungover face with overpriced brunch.
“Totally. It’s going to be so smart,” she said as she took a glug of her Bloody Mary.
“I know this is not a very PC thing to say, but we could live off it’s success.”
“I was totally thinking the same thing,” she smiled.
“And this is another reason why we are perfect together.” We laughed over our shared belief in child exploitation.

That was then. This is now. There’s nothing like the imminent arrival of a baby to bring into focus your life’s failings. Neither of us can play an instrument, spoons don’t count. Neither of us speak a second language, well I’m OK at Irish but the only words she knows are the Irish for; cake, please and teeth. She also can ask permission to go to the toilet in Irish. That is some feat. After twelve years of learning Irish as a compulsory subject she can only remember three random words and a sentence that asks for permission to urinate. The only French she knows are curse words, she also knows the German for pussy. I think it’s safe to say the child will not develop its language prowess from us.

Then there are our non-cultured habits. Herself listens to true crime podcasts. The violence is graphic but she insists that, “they help me go to sleep.” Now I have a real worry that our baby will kill us. It will just smother us in the night with it’s tiny arse.

Our philistine values don’t just stop at her feet. I adore Highway Thru Hell, but it’s a meaningless show. Grizzly Canadian men rescuing trucks. The same story-line every week, “will Jamie rescue the truck that is full of apples?” Just in case you’re on tenterhooks, Jamie did rescue the truck. Here’s the real rub, I’ve watched so many episodes of it yet I still call it, Ice Road Truckers which is a totally different show. Let me break this down further. I have watched the opening credits of this show at least eighty times yet I still can’t recall it’s actual name. I actually had to google it’s name for this post, I shit you not.

In conclusion, in our little culture bucket that is the size of a thimble she can sprinkle in three words of Irish and an obsession with true crime. I can season it with a reality show about rescue trucks in Canada plus flavour it with terrible recall ability, borderline I need medical intervention. At this stage if we can keep the child alive we will be winning.


Pregnant Days

Week 1: KGB Babies Know We’re Pregnant

She’s pregnant. Even though this is something that we have wanted for quite awhile when it happens it’s a shock. The excited hugs and smiles are soon replaced with a cautious distance.
“Well let’s just see how we go,” says herself.
“Of course, no point in getting too excited.”
“Yeah it’s early days, let’s keep the news to ourselves for awhile.”
“I attribute some of the success to that song.” The conception happened in our bedroom. A modern pop-star clone squealed about fellatio. She used an analogy of licking icing from a cake just as herself was given some of the proverbial icing.
“I hate that song. It’s disturbing what passes as music these days,” she said as she applied her lipstick.
“Well, at least your egg responded well to a bit of smut.”

We’ve been down this road before, that is many false alarms. Yet, that didn’t prevent a deluge of babies suddenly appearing on our morning commute to work. Before she got pregnant you might see the odd baby on the walk into the office. That week their huge toothless smiling heads appeared on the back of buses. They gazed at us whilst their plump arses got wiped by a mysterious hand. Their eyes shouted, “we know your secret lezzers.”

Prams started crowding the paths. Each manned by stern looking cherubs with Putin eyes. They saw right through us.
“We all know your secret lezzers. There’s one of us in there albeit a tiny cell,” their eyes said. Herself clutched her belly.
“Is it me, or are there a shit load of babies about this week?”

“They’re everywhere,” I said as I dashed past one parked outside a fancy coffee shop. His blue eyes locked on me like a homing missile. I looked away but then he dropped his toy… on purpose. I picked up his teddy and handed it to him. He scowled at me and dropped it again, staring at me as I knelt to pick it up for him.
“I’ve told teddy your news and he’s going to tell all the teddies in Ireland,” he grunted.

“It’s like they know. Do you think babies can sense these things?” She looked at twins hurtle by her in a pram. Their four eyes trained on her and then her belly. They turned to each other and nodded in an ode to The Shining.

“Definitely.” Their drool is a decoy to their higher intelligence I have concluded. Once they find out you have one of them in your belly you’ll see them everywhere. On the streets, on the TV… everywhere.