Sunday, 2 May 2010

Diary of an Expectant Father (Part One)

Over seven years ago, I had one of those days, actually one of those evenings, that you'll never forget. It was a February evening and I had decided to leave work slightly early for a reason I can't remember. I had a Daewoo car back then. The worst car I have ever had, and I had a Metro that decided to stall whenever it could sense that it would put me in immediate danger.

I was about half way home when my mobile phone rang (I was hands free, honest).

"Are you sitting down?"
"I'm pregnant"
"I'm doing thirty behind a bus"
"Perhaps I should have asked if you were able to talk"
"Perhaps you could have waited 15 minutes till I got home"
"So what do you think?"
"I'm absolutely delighted."

I was. We hadn't been trying for long, at least I don't think we had. I've seen Gavin and Stacey so us blokes never really know. It was great to know that despite all the reasons for not having kids, like not being able to afford it etc, We would be parents in the next 7 months or so.

So I eventually, get home and hug AJ tightly, then stop being to tight, you know, just in case. She asks if we can go and tell the family and I suggest that it might be a good idea to wait until the doctor confirms everything first. However, that might be a bit tricky because AJ had been sent home from work early with a pregnancy testing kit because of fainting at work. They would want to know the outcome of the test the next day.

Just then, the phone rang. It was my mother-in law. They would be the first port of call, living as they did only five minutes away. This would be the opportunity to check they were going to be in.

"Ian, we've got to take Steph to the Hospital. She can't straighten her back. She is in agony. Laura is coming with us but Michael is in on his own. Can you just check on him if we are out too long?"
"Of course. Give Steph our love."
"Will do."

Of course, this is a very abridged version of the conversation. It is my mother-in-law after all. But it gets all the relevant parts of the story in.

So, a change of plan was in order. Not only were we being asked to keep an eye on a teenage boy, from a distance, but we also had to go and make two visits to my family, to break our good news. Right, no time to lose. Straight in the car with a couple of pieces of toast for tea, and down the full length of the M57 to my family.

First of all my Grandma. Didn't we get there just as the first of the evenings episodes of Coronation Street starts. It was around the time that Richard Hillman was murdering Maxine and trying to murder Emily so obviously we couldn't interrupt.the programme. During the break, we get to divulge our exciting news. Grandma immediately finds some form of alcohol to celebrate. Warnincks advocat and lemonade I think. Second part of Corrie starts so we have to drink in silence until the end credits. Grandma asks if she can tell my uncles and aunties but we ask her to wait until we have told our parents that night. Of course she can't wait to tell the news so immediately packs us off to my dads to get on with it.

We get to my dads just as the second episode of Corrie was starting so we are forced to wait once again. There is a pattern emerging. The break gives us the opportunity to announce our news again and once again the alcohol is offered. If only AJ could drive as she wasn't going to drink any more. I was driving so couldn't accept the drink either. But that was two down, one to go. I couldn't believe how hard being the bearer of good news could be.

So we headed back to our part of the country. It was half an hours travel and we phoned ahead, to see if there was any news from the hospital.

Michael answered the phone and said that Mum and Dad were still at the hospital with Steph. Laura was still with them. He was going to bed. Now this was the first time in his life that he had ever volunteered to go to bed, never mind so early, and on the only night we wanted him to stay up We told him we would pop round, so he agreed to wait up for us.

When we got there, Michael let us in and trundled off to his pit. Ten minutes later he appears at the top of the stairs and shouts to us that we need to let the dog in when she barks at the back door. I ask him when the dog was let out. Mum and Dad let her out before they went to the hospital. Now remember that we have travelled the full length of a motorway TWICE plus the 5 miles to get to the motorway and back plus spent time at two houses watching Corrie and swigging snowballs whilst they have been at the hospital. So slightly concerned for the dogs welfare, I start walking up and down the street calling her name. After ten minutes I decide that there is every possibility that the dog has wandered further afield so decide to get in the car and start to trawl the nearby streets. 20 minutes of driving with not a sighting of the canine equivalent of the Scarlet Pimpernel.I get the call from AJ

When I get back I am attacked by a delirious dog who, apparently, had been sitting on the step when the in-laws returned from the hospital. So we are all sitting in the living room and the in-laws are recounting us with their tales of the NHS. After sitting in the waiting room for a couple of hours, as soon as the doctor asked Steph to straighten up she did as she was asked. All that waiting for nothing. As I mentioned earlier, my mother-in-law is a master of the verbose.Why say in a sentence what can be expand into a three part series for Anglia TV. So just as the younger members of the family were about to be sent to bed at about quarter to midnight, we eventually mentioned that we had a bit on news of our own. So six hours after we had first tried to tell them that we were expecting we got around to it. Once again the champagne (OK Pomagne) was cracked open and we celebrated all over again.

And then we had to tell my mother-in-law what had happened in the nights Coronation Street.

No comments:

Post a Comment