Tuesday, 24 March 2015

#DADTALK

I'm just going to do this and get it our of the way with and then we can all move on.

Having a child is fucking nuts. In many ways the biggest problem with that there science is that it only notionally demystifies things that no fucker understands. Like you know, I could mutter a few words about how the Sun works or quote you the theory of special relativity, but ultimately it would be laughable to say I understood either of those things even slightly.

Just so evolution: of course I believe in evolution, but people are stupendously blas̩ when they say things like that. It is totally insane that some single-celled goo Рand I have no idea how that got there Рspent millions of years of trial and error gradually changing into a plethora of notably more sophisticated things. Everyone should be freaked out by evolution, all the time.

Anyway, I think me and Rachael were always pretty clear we wanted a baby. We 'knew' what would happen. But the reality of your partner's body changing so drastically just really rams home the insane high technology that the passage of an amount of time I cannot even begin to comprehend has bestowed upon us. I'm not going to blah on about it all, but the final trimester you really feel the baby's presence in a way that I feel like people who haven't been through it probably don't quite understand: he moves, he kicks etc, and it's impossible to not be aware there is a third person there. I think one reason people are hardwired to love their children is that they spend at least a couple of months regarding their child as a sort of benignly enigmatic blob whose antics kind of grow on them. It's very very different to that first trimester nerviness/illness and second trimester 'I'm pregnant, *shrug*' thing.

So that's something. Labour is mad too, the body triggering this once or twice in a lifetime chain reaction to expel the baby. Rachael's was essentially short but painful: you hear all these people talking about, like, three-day labours but her body really got involved: when our bemused phone calls actually brought the midwife round to our flat after six hours of contractions, she was astonished to discover that Rachael was pretty much good to go and actually asked if she wanted to have the baby at home. She did not, and an ambulance - complete with a plentiful supply of gas and air – was duly summoned and we were 'blue-lit' into the hospital.

So the labour happened and finished and we're given little baby Janek for the first time, and it's astonishing. He is swaddled up with a little hat on his head, and his eyes are open just a crack, and his eyeballs are moving warily from side to side. As time goes on, his eyes open more but his eyes keep doing the side to side thing. He has never done this since. But he looks for all the world EXACTLY what somebody whose entire experience of the universe is being suspended upside down in a sac of amniotic fluid would be when confronted with the reality of all this other shit. At the time it was just fascinating and relieving and etc but in retrospect this was clearly the greatest moment of my life.

I absolutely 100% love him: it's probably not worth breaking this down too much, BECAUSE I JUST DO, but on one level his sheer helplessness has to be a factor – if the entire population of the planet aged six months or above were wiped out, I assume the rest of the human race would be gone in a week. Whereas if babies popped out clued up and good to go, they'd surely be less endearing. It is weird and interesting to think how little he will bear resemblance to his current state in just a few months, let alone 16 years. I am terrified for him, and endlessly fascinating by him, and I wonder how this will change with time. As I write now I persuaded Rach to go to bed a couple of hours again and Janek is still lying in the travel car seat we bought him home in on. At this age he doesn't do much more than eat and sleep, and he has been sleeping for a while, making little wuffling noises and boxing the air a bit. He is clearly dreaming, but what could he possibly be dreaming about, I wonder, when he has so little source material to go on? I am delighted by him and afraid for him and very happy this has all happened.

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