We haven’t done a proper blog post for some time now, mainly because our baby boy is finally here and we’ve been busy to say the least. He made his grand entrance at 3:21 pm on 25th of July and although the birth wasn’t exactly what you’d call textbook, both Mummy and baby are both fine and doing well.
We were pretty set on the name Leo for the last 3 or 4 months of the pregnancy, mainly because it’s the only one we could both agree one. We seem to have pretty different ideas in the baby names department. Some of the rejects included:
So, Leo James Milward it was! We were both ecstatic to finally meet him and spent the next few weeks settling him into his new home. His big brother Finley stayed with us the previous weekend and was the perfect little dude as usual. He was massively excited ever since he found out we were expecting and didn’t stop talking about his new baby bro. He was really helpful around the house too which makes a nice change from leaving Lego everywhere and testing out his new Tai Kwon Do moves on me.
So, yeah. The pregnancy is over. The birthing has been done, and we now have a tiny new lodger in the house. I’m not going to go on and on about how much having a new baby changes your life, or about how powerful it is at putting things in to perspective. How it teaches you humility and to stop focussing on yourself so much. About how monumentally epic it feels to finally see and hold that little human being for the first time that’s been forming silently and invisibly for the last 9 months. I won’t talk about how that sense of being responsible for someone far more important than yourself gives your life a sense of urgency and wakefulness it never had before. None of that soppy bullshit. No, sir.
When you tell people without kids these things they’re either completely forthright in telling you your life is basically over, or they smile and nod and think it to themselves anyway. All they see is the crushing responsibility, the house rammed with toys, the mess, the smell of sick and shit and the fact you’re eternally chained down by this little miniature version of yourself. It’s impossible to fully convey the massive positive impact it has on you and your sense of wellbeing. The sense of purpose it gives you. It is kind of what we’re designed to do after all.
I guess that sounds quite patronising. Like I want to put a hand on their shoulder and smile wisely; “Ah, you simple fools. You’ll understand one day, my friends”. It’s not like being child-free and able to play video games and drink and smoke excessively and be single and work part-time isn’t pretty awesome too. It is. I remember. It’s fucking great! But trying to get across that feeling of being a Dad to someone who hasn’t experienced it is impossible. They just don’t believe you. How can drowning in nappies be better than drowning in tequila?
You go through your life trying to figure out what it is you’re doing, trying to find a reason for being here, shying away from commitment and responsibility whenever possible and then suddenly this little bag of helplessness drops into your life and instantly, without question, you leap into action: “This boy needs food damnit, he’s shit himself, pass me a nappy, we need money, the boy needs shoes, I must go to my horrible job and earn some cash, see you in 14 hours.”
It’s amazing really. I’m by no means claiming that it solves all of life’s problems, of course it doesn’t. I think it’s the fact that it creates so many more urgent ones that it’s so powerful. I’ve never liked the phrase “try to keep busy”. Why would you TRY to keep busy? Being busy is crap. But having a child suddenly gives you this massive weak spot. Having someone so innocent and defenceless that you care about so much gives you a huge area of vulnerability in your life, something that if lost would absolutely, momentously ruin you. It would break you irrevocably. So suddenly you have a fucking good reason to stay busy. And being busy with something that important drags you away from all the trivial shit you used to worry about.
It’s life changing in far more ways than just not being able to go out drinking or go on as many holidays.
So, yeah, quite liking this new guy. At least that’s where I’m currently at, anyway. I’ll reassess and get back to you after a few more months of being waterboarded with vomit and kept awake all night by never-ending screaming.