Didsbury Dad (to be)
It’s Didsbury not Stoke Newington; so I haven’t joined a Male support group. A final 30-something week scan has given me the opportunity to assess, look sniffily at and occasionally bond with the other dads. This much I have learned…
1. Getting married first is a brilliant idea. Not for moral, religious or financial reasons – it is just the training your ego needs. You are down the pecking order below baked goods and although some men will see this as some kind of virility check, you are now surplus to requirements beyond fetch, carry and handy arguing tool. Nobody is looking at you.
2. The NHS is fantastic in an emergency; sadly this is not classed as an emergency. Whilst to me this is more terrifying than relegation in 1979 and Didsbury Son keeps expecting a delivery similar to John Hurt in Alien, apparently this is normal.
That said, The League of Friends do a classy cheese on toast, microwave cuisine at its finest.
3. The scans are coded for women only. I look at the swirling dust on the screen and see clouds. Didsbury Wife and the sonographer coo over heartbeats, feet and heads. One sonogropher began talking to us in baby talk, she honestly asked if we wanted to see the baby’s bot bot. As we have all sailed past our 30s this was nauseating and surprising in equal manner.
4. Women study, work through and monitor weight gain. With Bio Oil and vitamins they look after themselves and progeny seemingly seamlessly. 9 months of running to Co-Op, Didsbury Village Farm Shop, Fusion Deli and Aldi for a glittering array of high fat, sugar and carb cravings takes it toll.
The waiting room is littered with sweet wrappers and men whose sympathy pains have stretched beyond mood swings, backache and sleeplessness to having Haribo induced bumps of their (my) own.
5. This reminds me of my O’Levels (GCSEs for children with an attention span). My head is full of dilation, epidurals, electives and milking that will soon be redundant, yet is currently my greatest stress. I woke up in a sweat last night trying to remember if Braxton Hicks was bass player in The Fall or the prime minister during The Suez Crisis.
6. My Spending at Boots and on eBay has gone through the roof.
7 Having watched them grow and felt them kick the idea that they are actually real still seems bizarre. I was trying to talk Didsbury Son through the mechanics of the miracle of birth with the help of my finger puppets Colonel Snortly the SuperPig and The Cow Who Moo. After 3 minutes we gave up, switched on Futurama and decided that we should do what we always do; what we are told.