September 07, 2005
Two of us
Being that your mum is incredibly clever, her work decided that they couldn't do without her for very much longer (the fact that they are going to pay her was not without impact on our decision), and she's back teaching an evening class.
Of course, being your father (and therefore both eminently qualified, and also free), I was the first, and I think best, choice for a babysitter.
This gave me more time to spend with you that I think I haven't had since the exact minute you were born.
Because you were a ceasarean (I am going to check the spelling of that before I post), after you were born, they had to sew up your mum's belly before she could go back to her room. About four minutes after you arrived, they handed you to me, showed me to a chair, and told me to wait. I sat there with you in my arms, tears streaming down my face, unable to do anything, too scared to move, completely at sea. I will be eternally grateful for my photographer's reflexes at that time. All I could think of to do was to take photos of you, looking like a boxer and peering at me with eyes that have never since then failed to transfix me.
In any case, since that day, we've always been around other people. Given how gorgeous you are, it's no surprise that there's always plenty of hands ready to hold you, and with your mum around, I'm able to hand you off when you get too hard to handle.
Being in a situation where I didn't have that capability, punkin, was a real eye opener. Particularly when amplified by your predelictions.
You see (and again we hearken back to your first hours of life), since you were born, you've had formula exactly twice. I was the administrator of said formula on both of those occasions, and so can safely say that you've had sustenance from a bottle precisely the same number of times. Both of these when you were approximately two days old.
Since then, my beautiful boy, your diet has been exclusively dedicated to Jus De Boob 2005 (a particularly good vintage).
Being the child of your parents, who are children of your grandparents, it is, then, no surprise what happened when I attempted to convince you that the missile shaped device known as a bottle being shoved towards your face was food.
The grimace of distaste that furrowed your brow was akin to the look on my face the time I whipped a litre of milk out of the fridge and got half of it into my mouth before realising it had chunks in it.
I've never seen your hand co-ordination be so direct, so obvious, as when you grabbed the bottle and attempted to fling it as far from your gaze as possible. You spat formula at me, you puked up what you'd accidentally swallowed. I persisted.
I should have been gladdened. I should have been overjoyed, punkin. I should have rejoiced that you were remaining true to your roots and utterly rejecting inferior foodstuffs. Of course I didn't. I got all tense that I wasn't a proper dad and why wouldn't you drink your formula and oh my god what's going to happen if you don't and will you get through the next hour OK without a feed and OH MY GOD.
And then I remembered the sage advice of Annette.
I took the bottle out of your mouth. I went and got a beer.
I looked at you when I got back. You were lying on your back, playing with your frog and giggling.
I repeated her words. "Look at this child. There is nothing wrong with this child."
She's right, there's nothing wrong with you. You're perfect, and I