Asides

Eunuchs, Less Than 40 Winks & A Very Naughty Puppy

We’ve reached six months! Onwards and upwards (or rather outwards) to the third and final trimester!

So we’re getting some A* practise in with the whole no sleeping malarky at the moment. Baby likes to donk Suz on the bladder every few minutes just to check she’s still around and Bio-Oil combined with sticky summer nights are, so I’ve been told, as much fun as clapping with poo in your hands. I seem to have developed a heightened need to protect so most of my nights are spent balancing a chess board against our bedroom door as a booby-trap just in case I don’t hear an axe-murderer traipsing up the stairs. They appear to be alarmingly quiet in all the films and I’m determined not to be fooled.

I also got cracking with the nursery last week, which basically involved me hacking one of the built-in wardrobes out and stripping wallpaper… we’ve chosen quite a bright theme and lots of colourful wall stickers so it’s a case of getting the room back to basics before we can do any of the fun decorating stuff. Extra bonus, now we’ve spent so long thinking up nursery designs and seen all on offer, we’re starting to think adults are missing out when it comes to bedroom decor and have decided we’ll probably just turn our own bedroom into an intergalactic medieval safari-themed submarine. Complete with fireman’s pole down to the kitchen. Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen would probably agree with me as long as I agreed to some decadent curtain sashes and a cow-hide chaise longue.

This past weekend I travelled to compete in the European Team Champs in Germany where, while there, a popular past time amongst the GB athletes was to guess the sex of baby. The resounding prediction so far has been girl, although I’m willing to bet my bananas that’s just because they like teasing me about their future sons dating her. Which won’t be happening. Ever. Not unless they’d like their sons to become eunuchs. Speaking of which, my dogs very nearly found themselves living life without any trouser oranges when Suz and I returned home to find one of our kindly-sent parcels from JellyCat torn to shreds in the front garden (which some of you may remember I tweeted about once steam had finished spurting from my ears). Our youngest hound Gus has a tendency to make hamster bedding out of anything and it appears he’d had a whale of a time adding ‘ruining baby presents’ to his usual daily routine of barking at wasps, sniffing, weeing and bum-sliding across the grass. Luckily, he’d found the packaging itself bombastic enough not to care about the cuddly toys held in it and Mr Elephant and Mr Giraffe, aside from a dog-slobber shower, escaped unscathed. They looked a bit miffed following a hand wash but we’re pretty certain Mr Elephant’s perm will go back to normal any day now.

When it comes to all things baby we’re loving this week, check out some of the gadgets and gizmos we’re really excited to give a try once October arrives…

Firstly we’ve got the brilliant TotsBots and their bum-friendly reusable nappies. They come in cooler than cool designs and me and Suz have honestly felt nothing softer. Seriously, I’m considering just giving up pants from here on in. They’re like CLOUDS. We’re quite keen not to go down the disposable route if we can help it and these guys have got tonnes of great tips and advice if you fancy giving it a whirl yourself, so go check them out. Next up is Snugglbundl and their baby-lifting wrap. It’s essentially a fab bit of kit for helping mums lift their babies post birth and (hopefully) reduces the risk of them screaming blue murder should you need to get them from the car seat to the house smoothly. Anything that helps my eardrums gets a thumbs up from me and Suz is pretty keen not to blow too many stitches (should she need them) so we’re really, really happy to add this to our stash. Lastly, Totseat and their chair harnesses are welcomed with open arms in our home. They’re machine washable (I’ve heard a possible myth babies can be messy at mealtimes or something?), great for taking with you if eating out’s on the cards and, again, come in some awesome prints and designs. Suitable from 6 months up, the only way they could improve was if they went into the adult market for when Suz has had one too many vodka lemonades and can’t handle sitting upright…

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It All Starts Here

We’d been happily settled in our new house for oh, all of three days when we decided to take a pregnancy test. I say we, my girlfriend Susie essentially took care of that, (although if we’re showing off excellent urination skills then I’d like it known I have pissed on demand after many a competition and my aim’s now near-on impeccable).

It turned out the littlest room we’d jokingly mentioned being made into a nursery at some point in the near future, was about to become the nursery in approximately eight and a half months, and in the midst of telling my dog Gus off for chasing after a family of rabbits for the 18th time that hour, Suz and I stared at wee covered plastic for the next 20 minutes while trying to take selfies which weren’t blurry from us laughing.

About a week later, the laughter kind of stopped because Suz had developed some really fun morning sickness and resembled the girl from The Exorcist. It’s an odd stage, full of pukes, the sweats and yet endless need for grazing. I’d wake up at 2am having rolled on to a particularly spiky cracker crumb only to come downstairs to find Susie wide-mouth crying because the local fish and chip shop didn’t open for another 7 hours and she really needed a saveloy. She said she’d rather be forced to watch Mrs. Brown’s Boys on repeat for a week than go through another month of morning sickness so I can only presume it was diabolical. Things I’ve learned from this stage of pregnancy? Knock-knock jokes don’t help. Saying ‘at least you’re poorly for a nice reason’ gets you a look that could strike a giraffe down dead. And motion-sickness bands will become the best purchase since your first titty mag.

Around the time the voms were coming to an end, I was heading off to the U.S for training. I’d debated changing the dates of my flight because leaving meant I missed the first scan by one week and believe me I was gutted, but we made the decision to keep them as they were and agreed Suz would just let me know if anything terrifying showed up, like the fact we expecting quintuplets or a fire-breathing dragon. Luckily, we got the brilliant news all was well; the baby was healthy, balancing a treat on Suz’s bladder and most importantly, wasn’t chilling out in there with five brothers and sisters.

I got home six weeks later and arrived back to a blooming tummy at the airport (Suz’s obviously. Some fat bloke hadn’t surprised me at the arrivals gate) and since then we’ve been practising putting prams up and down at various department stores, bought more animal-related clothes than you can wave a zoo at and read up on which breast pump beats the other. (I’ve offered to grab my bucket and just milk her but she’s not buzzed at the idea). We’ve been asked repeatedly when we’re getting married. Answer; when we feel like it. Will it be a long jumper? Possibly, but it might also be a magician or Cliff Richard impersonator. Aaaand the obvious, will it be ginger? It might very well be ginger. It wouldn’t be a shock if it came out ginger. It would be a shock if it came out black.

I’ve looked forward to having a little family of my own for a long time so I couldn’t be more overjoyed and it’ll undoubtedly take a lot of strength not to transform into a net-mum with balls over the next few years. Suz comes from quite a large family and having children together was something we discussed pretty early on in to us dating, so we’re really enjoying waiting for our little arrival to turn up. Over the next few months I’m going to try and blog about what it’s like planning for fatherhood and becoming a dad without hopefully turning into that weird guy you avoid in the pub, and it’d be great to hear stories from other dads and dads-to-be. Once baby’s born I’m sure this will turn into a bit of a sanctuary, where I can just headbutt the keyboard after two hours of sleep and complain about stinking of baby dung and talcum powder, but until then… I’m off to go bake a chickenpie like a real man, GRRR.